JSM Student Paper Competition

The Section for Statistics in Defense and National Security (SDNS) of the American Statistical Association is soliciting entries for a student researcher paper competition for the 2024 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). 


This competition is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and researchers that are at most two years beyond their terminal degree. The author must be a member of the SDNS Section or should join the section at the time of the paper submission. The contribution may be a theoretical development or it may cover any of the numerous applications related to defense or national security. Papers that have been accepted for publication are not eligible for the competition. The winner will have the opportunity to present the paper in a JSM session sponsored by SDNS.

Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts will be judged based on relevance and interest of the subject matter, the quality of writing, and of course the quality of the research itself. Entrants should submit the following:

  1. A list of authors and contact information (the contestant must be the first author).
  2. A double-spaced manuscript in two versions: a regular manuscript with author information and a blinded manuscript without author information or other identifying information (such as references). Both versions should include an abstract.
  3. A reference letter from a faculty member familiar with the submitted work, stating the status of the applicant and the publication status of the manuscript.


    The winning author will receive a plaque and a travel award of $1000 to defray costs for attendance and presentation of their work at an ASA sponsored conference. 

    All required materials for the Student Paper Award Competition must be submitted by 15 December to Kimberly Kaufield, Chair of the Paper Award Committee, via email at kkaufeld@lanl.gov. The email should include the two versions of the completed manuscript as attachments in PDF format. Please include the words "2024 JSM SDNS Student Paper Competition" in the subject line of the email. 

    Student Paper Award winners will be announced by 15 January 2024. Winners should submit an abstract to the topic contributed session under SDNS for JSM 2024 by 1 February 2024.   

    2023 Recipient

    The SDNS awarded the 2023 Best Student Paper Award to Andrew Simpson for his paper titled, "Finite Mixture Modeling for Hierarchically Structed Data with Application to Keystroke Dynamics" The award was presented at the 2023 Joint Statistical Meetings in Toronto.

    2022 Recipient

    The SDNS awarded the 2022 Best Student Paper Award to Roshni Anna Jacob for her paper titled, "HOT-Nets: Higher-Order Topological Neural Networks on Power Distribution Systems." The award was presented at the 2022 Joint Statistical Meetings in Washington, DC.

    The SDNS awarded the 2022 Best Student Paper Award to Roshni Anna Jacob for her paper titled, From Left: Roshni Anna Jacob (2022 Award Recipient) and Karl Pazdernik (SDNS Chair)


    2021 Recipient

    The SDNS awarded the 2021 Best Student Paper Award to Yuzhou Chen of Southern Methodist University for the paper titled, “Topological Adversarial Learning on Graphs.” Yuzhou presented her paper virtually as part of the 2021 Joint Statistical Meetings and was presented the award at the SDNS Mixer.

    2020 Recipient

    The SDNS awarded the 2020 Best Student Paper Award to Monisha Yuvaraj for the paper titled, “Harnessing Multilayer Network and Topological Data Analysis for Mitigating Impact of Climate Change on Insurance”. The award was presented virtually at the JSM 2020 SDNS Mixer and Monisha presented her paper at the 2021 Joint Statistical Meetings.

    2019 Recipient

    The SDNS awarded the 2019 Best Student Paper Award to Asim Kumer Dey for the paper titled, “What do Network Motifs Tell us about Robustness and Reliability of Complex Networks?”. The award was presented at the 2019 Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver, CO.

    From Left: Nick Clark, Asim Kumer Dey and Jane PinelisFrom Left: Nick Clark (Chair of the Paper Award Committee), Asim Kumer Dey (2019 Award Recipient), and Jane Pinelis (SDNS Chair)

    2018 Recipient

    ​Furong Sun from Virginia Tech for her work on Emulating satellite drag from large simulation experiments.  Her paper was selected for both the contribution of the research and the direct connection to a specific defense application.​
    thumbnail image
    From Left: Art Fries (2018 Chair) and Furong Sun (2018 Award Recipient)

    2017 Recipients

    The 2017 recipients of the SDNS student paper competition are the following:
    "Inferring Atmospheric Release Characteristics in a Large Computer Experiment Using Bayesian Adaptive Splines" by Devin Francom, University of California, Santa Cruz
    "Approximate Bayesian Method for Inference of Self-Exciting Spatio-Temporal Models" by Nicholas Clark, Iowa State University

    From left: Laura Freeman (2017 Chair SDNS);
    Nicholas Clark; Devin Francom; Jane Pinelis, (2017 Program Chair SDNS)