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Live from San Francisco … CSP 2023

1 May 2023 No Comment

A headshot of a white man wearing glasses. He has white hair and his chin is resting on his hand. Ralph M. Turner is the chair of the 2023 Conference on Statistical Practice Steering Committee. He is also the owner and principal consultant of Phoenix Data Analytics.

The 2023 Conference on Statistical Practice took place February 2–4 in San Francisco and was attended by 358 statistical practitioners and data scientists who learned new statistical methodologies and best practices in statistical analysis, design, consulting, and programming to help solve real-world problems.

A white man and woman sit at a table in a conference room. The screen to their right reads "Practical Significance."

ASA Associate Executive Director Donna LaLonde and ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein host a live broadcast of the Practical Significance podcast at CSP 2023.

Opening Keynote Speaker

Dionne Price, 2023 ASA president, gave the opening keynote address, titled “Our Impact in the Evolving Data Landscape.” When she is not guiding the ASA, Price is the deputy director of the Office of Biostatistics in the Office of Translational Sciences of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA. She provides leadership to statisticians involved in the development and application of methodology used in the regulation of drug products. She talked about her experiences as a statistical practitioner and working her way up the management system.

Price was enthusiastic about the importance of statistical analysis and encouraged the audience to keep engaging in continuing education to improve their statistical skills, but to also learn about topics outside statistics so they can stretch their expertise. She encouraged everyone to go to meetings and events that give them the opportunity to talk to specialty scientists one-on-one to find out what they are working on.

2023 Conference on Statistical Practice Steering Committee
Chair: Ralph (Mac) Turner, Phoenix Data Analytics
Vice Chair: Julia Sharp, NIST
Allison M. Florance, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Margaret Anne Betz, Purdue University
David Corliss, Fiat Chrysler
Mike Jadoo, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Anne Meibohm
Salvador Melendez
Sudeshna Paul, Emory University
Mary Jeanne Kwansy, Northwestern University
Kristin Mohebbi, ASA
Donna Lalonde, ASA

Closing Keynote Speaker

Megan Price, executive director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, gave the closing keynote address, which was a new feature for 2023. The title of her talk was “Does the Truth Matter? The Role of Statistics in Human Rights Advocacy.” Price is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and human rights editor for the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics. She also serves on the editorial board of Significance magazine.

Price discussed how she has used statistics to answer important questions about social justice and human rights. She gave an overview of traveling the world to collect data that was used as evidence in the prosecution of war crimes, among other human rights issues. Her talk was a rousing end to the conference.

Day 1 Courses

A highlight of CSP are the half-day and full-day courses that take place on Day 1. This year’s offerings included the following:

  • Advanced Programming in R by William Lamberti
  • DEPICT: A Framework for Ethical Reasoning in Statistics and Data Science by Mario Davidson and Jennifer Van Mullekom
  • Hands-On Python Programming for Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning by Mei Najim
  • Version Control and Git for Data Analytics by Bogdan Rau
  • An Introduction to Second-Generation P-Values and Their Use in Statistical Practice by Jeffrey Blume and Megan Murray
  • Introduction to the Federal Statistical System: Challenges and Opportunities by Brian Harris-Kojetin
  • Navigating Tough Conversations in Statistical Collaboration by Emily Griffith, Julia Sharp, and Zachary Weller

William Lamberti, who taught “Advanced Programming in R,” told Ralph Turner, CSP steering committee chair, he had a great time and thanked the steering committee for inviting him to teach. He said the students who came to his class were enjoyable and asked a lot of insightful questions—so much so that he wished he could have stayed longer and had more opportunities to interact with them.

Practical Significance Podcast

A special component this year was the live presentation of the Practical Significance podcast, co-hosted by ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein and ASA Associate Executive Director Donna LaLonde.

Practical Significance endeavors to inspire listeners with compelling stories from statistics and data science. The podcasts present a diverse and engaging lineup of ASA members who share their passions and professional initiatives. The live episode focused on conference attendees’ experiences at CSP.

Student Poster Awards

All student posters presented at CSP were evaluated at the conference by a panel of judges using structured rating scales. Judges rated the posters on the topic, methods used, and presentation of the material visually and orally. Winners received a certificate from the ASA and a one-year student membership. Following are the winners:

  1. Adeline Guthrie, “A Bayesian Approach Towards Balanced Probability Calibration and Boldness” (First Prize)
  2. Cody Leporini, “Automation of Personalized Reports: Effective Communication Through Data Visualization” (Second Prize)
  3. David Edwards, “Quantifying Polarization in Newspaper Media” (Third Prize)
  4. Megan McCabe, “An Overview of Statistical Approaches and Operational Challenges Related to Non-Concurrent Controls in Platform Trials” (Third Prize)

Honorable mentions went to Yuyan Yi for “CW_ICA: An Efficient Dimensionality Selection Method for Independent Component Analysis,” Paula Hatum for “A Dynamic Bayesian Network Model for Predicting the Resilience of Seagrass Ecosystem to Future Heatwave Events,” and Christopher Grubb for “Automating Data Cleaning, Merging, Processing, and Visualization in Real Time.”

Travel Award Winners

In addition to the student poster awards, the Lingzi Lu, John Bartko, and Lester R. Curtin awards offer registration and travel support to students attending the conference.

The John J. Bartko Scholarship was awarded to Michael Palazzolo. Yuxuan (Daisy) Jin won the Lester R. Curtin Award, and Lydia Suzanne Gibson won the Lingzi Lu Memorial Award.


The smaller size of CSP means attendees have opportunities to come together, converse with each other, and digest what they are taking in at the conference. Gatherings included meals organized for isolated statisticians and those practicing in health care. Although only one poster session was an official mixer, all three of these sessions served to attract small crowds, leading to in-depth conversation and connection among the attendees.

Concurrent Session Presentations

Paper presentations run concurrently over the last two days of the meeting. This year, talks focused on a range of topics and included “Precision Medicine with Imprecise Measurements: Exploring Measurement Error in Personalized Decision-Making” and “Network Optimization for Real-World Problems: Vehicle Routing Problem in Supply Chain.” Additionally, there was a panel session, “Leveraging the ASA Ethical Guidelines for and by Practicing Statisticians,” and several papers about issues related to SARS-Cov19 such as “Adjusting Incidence Estimates with Laboratory Test Performances: A Pragmatic MLE-Based Approach Motivated by a Longitudinal Study for SARS-CoV-2 Incidence.”

Check out more photos from CSP 2023 on Flickr.

CSP 2024

The 2024 Conference on Statistical Practice will take place February 27–29 in New Orleans.

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