JSM 2014 – Wrap Up

It was another banner year for the department at this year’s Joint Statistical Meetings conference. This year’s conference was held in Boston, allowing many to experience the rich history and culture of the city. The attendees enjoyed attending informative presentations and reconnecting with friends and alumni at our department reception.

Numerous awards were given out to current and former NC State people. Two of our alumni, Martha Gardner and Josh Tebbs, were named Fellows of the American Statistical Association. Dr. Arnab Maity received the 2014 Noether Young Scholar award. Former department head Sastry Pantula received the prestigious Founders Award. Graduate student Meng Li received the JSM student paper award form the Section on Bayesian Statistics. Congratulations to all honorees!

A major highlight was the 175th ASA Anniversary celebration, where two groups of our talented graduate students were invited to perform. Solo vocalist and songwriter Jami Jackson sang one of her own compositions. The Fifth Moment, the department’s graduate student band, delivered a glorious final performance for many of its members.

We asked some of our students to share their memorable moments from the conference:

“Since it was my first JSM, I was overwhelmed with the number of talks and events scheduled throughout the week. Compared to other conferences, JSM was much more intimidating. Attending the social events was a lot of fun and made for a nice way to unwind after a long day. Now that I know what to expect, I’m anxious for JSM 2015.” – Nicholas Meyer, 3rd year PhD student

“I was fortunate enough to attend a computing session that featured an overview of Rstudio’s shiny app and the latest from Hadley Wickham, the legend himself.  I also sat in on an interesting and encouraging panel discussion on how the graduate curriculum can help to stop statistics as a discipline from falling behind in the big data revolution. The highlight of the trip, though, was attending the Google reception (thanks Dr. Stefanski!).  It was really cool to talk to multiple Googlers and hear about the various ways statistics is being used at such a successful company.  Perhaps even better was my conversation with Susan Murphy, the same Susan Murphy who won a MacArthur Fellowship and is currently the featured famous statistician on the recently-launched This is Statistics website.” – Brian Gaines, 4th year PhD student

“I participated in the JSM Diversity Mentoring program, making the JSM experience a little more fruitful and manageable. I had the opportunity to meet and network with other under-represented minority statisticians, both fellow students as well as professionals in academia and industry. Our department was well-represented, so there were some familiar faces participating as well — Drs. Marcia Gumpertz, Kim Weems, Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, and Reneé Moore. The experience was beneficial for me and I enjoyed interacting with those involved.” – Matthew Austin, 5th year PhD student

We hope everyone had as much fun as we did. Be sure to view our photo slideshow from the conference and our reception. See you next year in Seattle for JSM 2015!