Noon to 1:30 PM
TUESDAY September 22nd, 2009
The East Bank Club 500 N Kingsbury, Chicago 60610
Please join us for this first exciting event in the CCASA's 2009-2010 Luncheon program.
Our September speaker, Borko D. Jovanovic, PhD , is a member of the Biostatistics Collaboration Center of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at Northwestern University. He also serves on the Clinical Protocol Scientific Review Monitoring Committee of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and is the Director of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics for the Special Program in Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer. HIS TALK IS ENTITLED STATISTICS IN TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE.
A full scale scientific circle of reasoning in the domain of prostate cancer metastasis will be presented: from population to cells to animals to humans back to population. Dr. Jovanovic will look, by this example, into what part statistic plays (or does not play) in such 'translational' research, what may be new and what may be old. He will present his own ideas of what may be 'translational' in statistics as well as discuss some of the ideas presented in chapters of the book Translational Medicine: Strategies and Statistical Methods (CRC Press 2009 edited by Dennis Cosmatos & Shein-Chung Chow).
The October luncheon will be held on Oct 27th, and the speaker will be David Cella. He will discuss his thoughts and obvervations about measuring pain.
Upcoming Luncheon dates are: September 22nd, October 27th, November 17th, December 8th, January 26th, February 23rd, March 23rd, and April 27th.
Please mark your calendar!
Plans for our future luncheons will be included in our upcoming announcements and in the Parameter. Lunch is $30 for CCASA members, $35 for nonmembers. Nonmembers, join the chapter for a year for only $15 and get the discount plus all the other benefits of membership! As usual, the Lucile Derrick Fund will purchase a limited number of tickets for students who wish to attend. If you are a student and would like to take advantage of this offer, please register online below, and contact Gerald Funk, expressing your interest. Please register for the luncheon by Friday September 18, 2009.
Register online at http://www.123signup.com/calendar ?Org=chicagoasa
Questions: Contact Gerald Funk, CCASA Past- President, Phone: 773-508-3561 or E-mail: email@example.com
JSM Makes the News!
In D.C., Statisticians Flex Their Strength in Numbers
By Monica Hesse Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Real superheroes, most people know, skip the capes and tights. Too bulky, too flashy, spandex doesn't breathe well, etc.
Which is why they can be easy to miss when they're in town, even when there are 6,000 of them, super- number crunchers, data heroes, with powers of finding meaning in digits far beyond those of mortal men and women.
The 6,000 is just rough data, not accounting for last- minute arrivals. Their median annual income is $65,720. Their employment is expected to grow 9 percent by 2016.
That's not even getting into their standard deviations.
Ladies and gentlemen: statisticians. At the Washington Convention Center this week for the Joint Statistical Meetings, the largest international gathering of data junkies on the continent.
The geek-chic beacon of hope for a nation of thoroughly confused individuals.
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The read further in the Washington Post, click here.
Chicago ASA Chapter Officers 2009-2010
President Lou Fogg, Rush University
President-Elect Mike Wise
Past-President Gerald Funk, Loyola University
VP Communications Linda Burtch, Smith Hanley Associates
VP Conferences John VanderPloeg, ARC Worldwide, an affiliate of Leo Burnett
Co-VP Luncheons Borko Jovanovic, Northwestern University
Co-VP Luncheons Gerald Funk, Loyola University
VP Membership Richard Smiley, NCSBN
VP Publicity Mike Wise
VP Secretary Dan Hayes
Co-Treasurer Peter Manikowski, Zelcom Group
Co-Treasurer Jerry Enenstein, JEResearch
VP Workshops Tony Babinec, AB Analytics
ASA Council of Chapters Rep. Tony Babinec, AB Analytics
Historian Steve Maguire
Career Fair Byron Bell
Directors at Large
George Bateman, University of Chicago
Linda Clark, LMC Consulting
Edward Hirschland, The Landhart Corporation
Mary Kwasny, Rush University
Arnold Zellner, University of Chicago
Ex-Officio Director: Council of Chapters Governing Board, Vice-Chair, Region 2, District 4 (effective Jan. 2007) Kathy Morrissey, Strategy 2 Market Inc.
Statisticians are Cool!
I hope many of you have had the pleasure of reading this article about statisiticians, for those of you who have missed it, we've reprinted the article below in it's entirety:
For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics
By STEVE LOHR Published: August 5, 2009 The New York Times
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - At Harvard, Carrie Grimes majored in anthropology and archaeology and ventured to places like Honduras, where she studied Mayan settlement patterns by mapping where artifacts were found. But she was drawn to what she calls "all the computer and math stuff" that was part of the job.
"People think of field archaeology as Indiana Jones, but much of what you really do is data analysis," she said.
Now Ms. Grimes does a different kind of digging. She works at Google, where she uses statistical analysis of mounds of data to come up with ways to improve its search engine.
Ms. Grimes is an Internet-age statistician, one of many who are changing the image of the profession as a place for dronish number nerds. They are finding themselves increasingly in demand - and even cool.
"I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians," said Hal Varian, chief economist at Google. "And I'm not kidding."
The rising stature of statisticians, who can earn $125,000 at top companies in their first year after getting a doctorate, is a byproduct of the recent explosion of digital data. In field after field, computing and the Web are creating new realms of data to explore - sensor signals, surveillance tapes, social network chatter, public records and more. And the digital data surge only promises to accelerate, rising fivefold by 2012, according to a projection by IDC, a research firm.
Yet data is merely the raw material of knowledge. "We're rapidly entering a world where everything can be monitored and measured," said Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Digital Business. "But the big problem is going to be the ability of humans to use, analyze and make sense of the data."
The new breed of statisticians tackle that problem. They use powerful computers and sophisticated mathematical models to hunt for meaningful patterns and insights in vast troves of data. The applications are as diverse as improving Internet search and online advertising, culling gene sequencing information for cancer research and analyzing sensor and location data to optimize the handling of food shipments.
Even the recently ended Netflix contest, which offered $1 million to anyone who could significantly improve the company's movie recommendation system, was a battle waged with the weapons of modern statistics.
Though at the fore, statisticians are only a small part of an army of experts using modern statistical techniques for data analysis. Computing and numerical skills, experts say, matter far more than degrees. So the new data sleuths come from backgrounds like economics, computer science and mathematics.
They are certainly welcomed in the White House these days. "Robust, unbiased data are the first step toward addressing our long-term economic needs and key policy priorities," Peter R. Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, declared in a speech in May. Later that day, Mr. Orszag confessed in a blog entry that his talk on the importance of statistics was a subject "near to my (admittedly wonkish) heart."
I.B.M., seeing an opportunity in data-hunting services, created a Business Analytics and Optimization Services group in April. The unit will tap the expertise of the more than 200 mathematicians, statisticians and other data analysts in its research labs - but that number is not enough. I.B.M. plans to retrain or hire 4,000 more analysts across the company.
In another sign of the growing interest in the field, an estimated 6,400 people are attending the statistics profession's annual conference in Washington this week, up from around 5,400 in recent years, according to the American Statistical Association. The attendees, men and women, young and graying, looked much like any other crowd of tourists in the nation's capital. But their rapt exchanges were filled with talk of randomization, parameters, regressions and data clusters. The data surge is elevating a profession that traditionally tackled less visible and less lucrative work, like figuring out life expectancy rates for insurance companies.
Ms. Grimes, 32, got her doctorate in statistics from Stanford in 2003 and joined Google later that year. She is now one of many statisticians in a group of 250 data analysts. She uses statistical modeling to help improve the company's search technology.
For example, Ms. Grimes worked on an algorithm to fine-tune Google's crawler software, which roams the Web to constantly update its search index. The model increased the chances that the crawler would scan frequently updated Web pages and make fewer trips to more static ones.
The goal, Ms. Grimes explained, is to make tiny gains in the efficiency of computer and network use. "Even an improvement of a percent or two can be huge, when you do things over the millions and billions of times we do things at Google," she said.
It is the size of the data sets on the Web that opens new worlds of discovery. Traditionally, social sciences tracked people's behavior by interviewing or surveying them. "But the Web provides this amazing resource for observing how millions of people interact," said Jon Kleinberg, a computer scientist and social networking researcher at Cornell.
For example, in research just published, Mr. Kleinberg and two colleagues followed the flow of ideas across cyberspace. They tracked 1.6 million news sites and blogs during the 2008 presidential campaign, using algorithms that scanned for phrases associated with news topics like "lipstick on a pig."
The Cornell researchers found that, generally, the traditional media leads and the blogs follow, typically by 2.5 hours. But a handful of blogs were quickest to quotes that later gained wide attention.
The rich lode of Web data, experts warn, has its perils. Its sheer volume can easily overwhelm statistical models. Statisticians also caution that strong correlations of data do not necessarily prove a cause-and-effect link.
For example, in the late 1940s, before there was a polio vaccine, public health experts in America noted that polio cases increased in step with the consumption of ice cream and soft drinks, according to David Alan Grier, a historian and statistician at George Washington University. Eliminating such treats was even recommended as part of an anti-polio diet. It turned out that polio outbreaks were most common in the hot months of summer, when people naturally ate more ice cream, showing only an association, Mr. Grier said.
If the data explosion magnifies longstanding issues in statistics, it also opens up new frontiers.
"The key is to let computers do what they are good at, which is trawling these massive data sets for something that is mathematically odd," said Daniel Gruhl, an I.B.M. researcher whose recent work includes mining medical data to improve treatment. "And that makes it easier for humans to do what they are good at - explain those anomalies."
Andrea Fuller contributed reporting.
To read this from it's original source, click here.
Stay Tuned next month
... for a featured article on the Netflix prize winners!
Editor: Linda Burtch (312) 629-2400
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