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JSM 2024 a Data for Good Treasure Trove

1 July 2024 No Comment

David Corliss David Corliss is the principal data scientist at Grafham Analytics and founder of Peace-Work.

In just a few weeks, thousands of statisticians and data scientists will gather in Portland, Oregon, for the Joint Statistical Meetings. JSM brings together researchers, students, and thought leaders to present and take part in classes, panels, papers, posters, and more—all with the goal of sharing the best in statistics and data science. #DataForGood uses statistical science proactively to help people, but it also has an advocacy role, supporting all science and the good it can do. Sometimes that means defending science against being ignored or even misused. The theme of JSM 2024—informing policy and countering misinformation—addresses this core function of Data for Good.

Conference content can be found using the conference program, which supports queries by type of session, sponsoring organization, author, and more. It also supports text search, identifying author names, keywords in the subject and methodology, and type of session. The ASA organization sponsoring the session is in the drop-down menu for category. This will help locate all the sessions supported by ASA organizations with a strong D4G mission, including the following:

  • Committee on Professional Ethics
  • Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights
  • Health Policy Statistics Section
  • Privacy and Confidentiality Interest Group
Getting Involved

JSM is more than an August meeting. Whether you can attend or not, it’s a year-round virtual resource available to everyone. Use the conference program to find sessions in your area of interest and reach out to the authors. Look at the data sources and analytic methods they use. Connect with new collaborators and get ideas for your next D4G project.

Also his month, the Civic Hacker Network launched their Community Impact Accelerator. The network also has a virtual meeting on the last Friday of each month. The network’s online resources are there to empower your civic D4G collaboration, wherever you are.

Many D4G topics are the focus of special presentations and meetings. The President’s Invited Address on August 5 will feature Jason Matheny, CEO of RAND, addressing AI policy and the important impact made by statistics and data science. And on August 6 at 8:00 p.m., ASA President Madhumita Ghosh-Dastidar will present on JSM’s theme. Additionally, the Stats4Good Challenge topic, ethical AI, is featured in many sessions, including session 1443, “Using AI for Good in Statistics Classrooms.” Another challenge topic this year is collaboration with industry, featured in session 1238 on AI and machine learning in business and industry.

JSM also provides opportunities for networking. Attendees can make connections, set up new mentoring relationships, and encourage others in D4G work. For example, section and committee meetings are wonderful places to be a voice for Data for Good and make sure it is included in plans for the coming year. On August 7 at 12:30 p.m., I will present a roundtable about getting started on your first project in Data for Good.

At JSM, attendees can learn about analytic tools needed to advance their work and address any issues they have. In methodology, the subject of the paper isn’t as important as the techniques used and the context in which they are applied. Look at the top 10 papers in your area of Data for Good and make a list of the statistical methods used and data issues addressed. Then, use your list to find sessions, posters, authors, and research teams using these methods. Be sure to use JSM and its resources to help plan your work for the next year, connect with old friends, and find new collaborators. I hope to see and talk with many of you at JSM!

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