I am a statistician, and I love numbers and the stories that they tell. The Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association, like any great organization, has some great stories. I love that sometimes even seemingly easy questions wind up with a story. As the ASA is gearing up to celebrate their 175th anniversary, a question popped up: how old is our chapter? Well... in 1922 a group of number-lovers got together to form a society. They were mostly businessmen (hey - it was 1922 - that's what they were called!), and they formed The Society of Business Analysis. That organization was the seed from which we have grown. In 1928 the Society officially became a chapter of the ASA, and took on the moniker, The Chicago Chapter. We have been at it ever since! So for 85 or 91 years, depending on how you count, we have been a part of Chicago, a part of the ASA, and really, a part of the greater statistical world.
I have served on the Board of the Chicago Chapter since our 75th anniversary. That year we organized a talent show, Uncertain Comedy. We dug deep to find talent for skits such as, Max Likely of the ASA, and created cast t-shirts, or Uncertain-tees. I happily inform you that we will not be engaging in such behavior this year. Over the years, I have served as Membership VP, Conference VP, Secretary, Council of Chapters Representative, and President Elect. Each of these positions taught me something about the Chapter and how we can fit into the greater ASA. It is a personal goal of mine as President to increase Chapter-Chapter interactions as well as to promote Chapter-Section activity.
We have already started planning luncheons, a workshop, and a conference. We are thrilled to be presenting Larry Hedges with the Chicago Chapter's Statistician of the Year on October 24th. We hope to plan more MeetUps and hopefully a few social events. We will help promote local conferences, including the International Conference on Health Policy Statistics in Chicago from October 9-11, and let you know of any other ASA Section or Chapter events that we hear about. Stay tuned for updated information on these and all of our events.
I am thrilled to be taking my turn at the helm of the Chicago Chapter of the ASA. As you know very well now, 2013 is the International Year of Statistics; additionally, 2014 marks the 175th Anniversary of the ASA. The theme for that is "Celebrate our past. Energize our future." Statistics as a field of study has made great progress over the past decades. The future holds great advances in statistics, and it has been energized with the need to analyze great swathes of data, more complicated and detailed that we could have possibly imagined even 40 let alone 85, 91, or 175 years ago.
Mary J. Kwasny, ScD