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Health & Human Services

National Institutes of Health

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Division of Intramural Population Health Research

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Branch

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Branch is an intramural research program within the Division of Intramural Population Health Research (DIPHR) at the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The Division’s mission is to conduct original research focusing on human reproduction and development, pregnancy, and child and adolescent health. Branch members conduct independent methodological research relevant to the design and analysis of epidemiological, behavioral and clinical studies. Specific research interests of the Branch members include: Bayesian methods, longitudinal data analysis, the analysis of biomarker data, methods for diagnostic tests and measurement agreement, survival analysis, risk modeling, and statistical bioinformatics, and statistical genetics. Much of the statistical research is motivated by collaborative research with DIPHR investigators. Postdoctoral fellows will have the opportunity to develop an exciting statistical research program related to statistical problems encountered in DIPHR scientific studies. They will also have the opportunity to collaborate with DIPHR investigators on important studies. Candidates eligible to work in the USA and with an earned doctoral degree in statistics or biostatistics within the past five years are invited to apply. We anticipate multiple positions in all of the following statistical research areas: (i) longitudinal data analysis, (2) statistical genetics, (3) risk prediction and diagnostic testing, and (4) Bayesian statistics. Strong candidates in other areas are also encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to candidates with working on applied problems, and with superior communication skills. Stipend is commensurate with training and relevant research experience.

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An editorial published earlier this month in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology” has raised concerns in the statistics community. The editorial declares that “the null hypothesis significance testing procedure (NHSTP) is invalid,” and states that authors of papers submitted to the journal, will--prior to publication--“have to remove all vestiges of the NHSTP (p-values, t-values, F-values, statements about ‘significant’ differences or lack thereof, and so on).”  Bayesian alternatives will be considered on a case-by-case basis and “are neither required nor banned” from the journal.

The statistical community is aware of problems associated with the use and interpretation of inferential methods, and appreciates the concerns that the journal has about misuse of such methods in scientific research. However, the journal proposes to fall back entirely on descriptive statistics and use “larger sample sizes than is typical in much psychology research.” We believe this policy may have its own negative consequences and thus the proper use of inferential methods needs to be analyzed and debated in the larger research community.

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Dear Professors, Researchers, Experts, and Students………..

 

We would like to inform you that Qatar University is organizing the international conference on “Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Applications in Cancer Genomics Research (BBACGR 2015)” April 26 – 28, 2015, at Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

http://www.qu.edu.qa/BBACGR-2015/

 

 

It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome and invite you to attend in our conference. The

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In my November and December posts, I extolled the virtues of SEM for estimating dynamic panel models. By combining fixed effects with lagged values of the predictor variables, I argued that this approach offers the best option for making causal inferences with non-experimental panel data. It controls for all time-invariant variables, whether observed or not, and it allows for the possibility of reciprocal causation. Simulation evidence strongly favors SEM over the more popular Arellano-Bond method for estimating these kinds of models.

Despite the potential for this method, I recently learned that it’s vulnerable to a very troubling kind of bias when the lag structure is misspecified. In the 

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[2/11/15 Update: For trust in education statistics, Emerson Elliott, The Hill Congress Blog, 2/10/15.]

Twenty former federal statistical agency heads this week signed onto a letter to Congress urging Congress to "strengthen the accountability and responsibilities of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the reauthorization of the Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES)." The letter specifically urges Congress to restore Senate confirmation of the currently presidentially appointed commissioner—which was lost in 2012—and lists six other responsibilities and capabilities NCES should have.

The letter went unheeded in the Senate on Wednesday when the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee unanimously advanced S.227, the Strengthening Education Through Research Act

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Dear Colleagues……

 

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,    It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the International Conference on “Bioinformatics and biostatistics applications in cancer genomics research (BBACGR2015)” which will be held at Qatar University,  Ibn Khaldoon hall, April 26-28, 2015. For more details, please see following link for details:

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Dear Colleagues……

 

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,    It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the International Conference on “Bioinformatics and biostatistics applications in cancer genomics research (BBACGR2015)” which will be held at Qatar University,  Ibn Khaldoon hall, April 26-28, 2015. For more details, please see following link for details

2 people recommend this.

Dear Colleagues……

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,    It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the International Conference on “Bioinformatics and biostatistics applications in cancer genomics research (BBACGR2015)” which will be held at Qatar University,  Ibn Khaldoon hall, April 26-28, 2015. For more details, please see following link for details: http://www.qu.edu.qa/BBACGR- 2015/

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CONFERENCE | The Infinite Possibilities Conference 2015 -- a national conference designed to promote, educate, encourage, and support minority women interested in mathematics and statistics -- will be held at Oregon State University March 2 and 3. Act soon; the housing deadline is January 26.

Details: www.diversityinscience.org/infinite-possibilities-conference
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The FY16 federal budget request will be released February 2, 2015. This blog entry will track FY16 appropriations developments

for the federal statistical agencies and so will be updated accordingly. (See update log below.) To receive notifications of updates, follow ASA Science Policy on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol. 

Because this blog entry covers everything from the budget request to the final determination of the budget, it can become quite long. To help with that, I'll try to partition the blog entry:

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The FY16 federal budget will be released February 2, 2015. This blog entry will track FY16 appropriations developments for NSF and NIH and so will updated accordingly. (See log updates below.) To receive notifications of updates, follow ASA Science Policy on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol. 

Because this blog entry covers everything from the budget request to the final determination of the budget, it can become quite long. To help with that, I'll try to partition the blog entry:

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Abstract submission for oral and poster presentations at the 2015 GeoComputation conference is now open. The deadline for abstract submission is January 15, 2015. GeoComputation 2015 conference will be held at the University of Texas at Dallas from May 20-23, 2015. Accepted papers will be eligible to extend and to submit to special issues in Journal of Visual Languages and Computing and another SCIE indexed journal (a negotiation is being finalized), and to an edited book.

The Organizing Committee is accepting proposals for both half-day and full-day workshops.The deadline for workshop proposal is January 15, 2015. A workshop proposal can be submitted to geocomputation2015@utdallas.edu

For detailed information, please visit the conference website (http://www.utdallas.edu/geocomputation). Any questions can be directed to geocomputation2015@utdallas.edu.

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Dear Professors, Researchers, Experts, and Students,

Qatar University is organizing the international conference on “Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Applications in Cancer Genomics Research (BBACGR 2015)” in collaboration with Qatar National Research Fund www.qnrf.org and Texas Tech University (Health Sciences Center-School of Pharmacy, USA) http://www.ttuhsc.edu/sop/biomedicalsciences/ .  BBACGR 2015 will be held during April 26 – 28, 2015, at Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. On behalf of the University and the Organizing Committee, I am delighted to invite you and your faculty to participate in this important event.

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Below are the U.S. universities granting graduate degrees in psychometrics and econometrics from 2010-2013 as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Since we know there are many more psychometrics programs and econometrics programs across the U.S., one can assume that universities (and specifically their institutional research offices) are not categorizing psychometrics and econometrics degrees using the NCES CIP codes:

42.2708     Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
45.0603     Econometrics and Quantitative Economics

The APA Report of the Task Force for Increasing the Number of Quantitative Psychologists reported the number of PhD's in quantitative psychology mostly in the range of 20-30 for 1980-2005 (see p. 48), based on the NSF data.

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[2/10/15 update: See also this February Amstat News article: GAO to FBI: More Focus on Statistics]

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released its report on the scientific approaches in the FBI investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. The GAO summary of the report, which is titled, "ANTHRAX: Agency Approaches to Validation and Statistical Analyses Could Be Improved," states the genetic tests conducted by the four FBI contractors "were generally scientifically verified and validated, and met the FBI's criteria" but they also found considerable variation in the approaches used by the four contractors, which could have been avoided. "The GAO found that the FBI lacked a comprehensive approach—or framework—that could have ensured standardization of the testing process." The summary also provides the GAO recommendation "that the FBI develop a framework for validation and statistical approaches for future investigations," with which the FBI agreed.

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After the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee passed a bill in September that would have weakened the stature and autonomy of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), it seemed certain the House and Senate would pass the bill in the lame duck Congress. The House had passed the bill—H.R. 4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act (SETRA)—this spring with broad bipartisan support and committee staff from both chambers were actively negotiating any changes the Senate HELP would make leading up to its September mark up. It appears however that a few Senators blocked its Senate passage with concerns over the bill's funding of education research and a desire to discuss the bill's contents. First indications of these concerns were referred to in a November 13 CQNews article on a related bill: "The only other [education measure] that may have a chance of final adoption in the lame-duck session, a bill to overhaul federal education research (HR 4366), has been reported out of committee but may be hung up by disputes over funding."

The ASA and the American Educational Research Association had serious concerns with the bill because of its provisions to weaken NCES

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Responding to an October 31 Federal Register Notice on proposed changes to the American Community Survey (ACS), the ASA today submitted comments on the importance of question number 12 asking the undergraduate field of degree. The U.S. Census Bureau proposed the elimination of this question and five others (all relating to marital status) as part of their 2014 ACS Content Review.



As explained in the Federal Register Notice, "The 2014 ACS Content Review is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the Census Bureau to review content on the survey, seeking to understand which federal programs use the information collected by each
question, the justification for each question, and assess how the Census Bureau might reduce respondent burden." Their methodology is explained in the Notice.

The American Statistical Association letter
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U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.), according to a November 20 press release, introduced a bill "to establish a 15-member commission to study how best to expand the use of data to evaluate the effectiveness of federal programs and tax expenditures." Statistics is included as one of the disciplines to be represented on the commission because of its relevance to program evaluation and program management.

With the 113th Congress set to adjourn within days, there will be no action on the bill in this Congress but the bill is expected to be introduced in the 114th Congress.

H.R. 5754, the "Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2014," recognizes randomized control trials as an important tool in its Study of Data Section (4a):

Study of Data.--The Commission shall conduct a comprehensive
study of the data inventory, data infrastructure, and statistical

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This is a very exciting time to be in statistics and biostatistics. The number of undergraduate statistics degrees has nearly doubled in the last four years—making it the fastest growing STEM degree—and Master’s degree are also growing quickly. Further, the number of universities granting undergrad statistics degrees has increased from the 74 in 2003 to more than 110 last year. (See this Amstat News article for more on these developments.) Based on reports we have been hearing about colleges and universities establishing new undergrad statistics programs, this number will continue to grow. To highlight these developments, we assembled the following list of new undergraduate statistics programs. Thanks to the many members who made us aware of these programs. (If you are aware of other new undergrad programs besides those below, please email them to me: pierson@amstat.org.)
[This list has been updated from its original 16 programs.]
  1. Amherst College, new Major in Statistics
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[12/12/14 Update: Common Core repeal maneuver fails in Ohio House, from AP and Newark Advocate. Effort likely dead for this year but sure to be brought up in new year.]

Anticipating a vote by the Ohio House of Representatives on a bill repealing Ohio's Implementation of Common Core State Standards, the ASA President Elect David Morganstein today emailed its Ohio members urging them to contact their Ohio State Representatives voicing their support of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and urging her/his representative to oppose H.B. 597. See the text of Morganstein's email below.

The ASA supports the CCSS because of its statistical content for grades 6-12. See this May 2010 Amstat News piece for ASA's involvement in the CCSS process: Common Core Standards Reviewed. See also

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