UNCG Research

UNCG hosts highly successful international conference on statistics and combinatorics

Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Sangeetha Shivaji.
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Over the Oct. 5-7 weekend, UNCG hosted a major international conference on Advances in Interdisciplinary Statistics and Combinatorics (AISC). The conference promoted interdisciplinary research involving statistical techniques, which has become increasingly important in all fields of scientific discovery.

AISC assembled scientists from a diverse array of disciplines. Nationally and internationally recognized researchers representing anthropology, biology, economics, education, environmental science, information systems, mathematics, medicine, psychology, and public health presented on statistical methods relevant to their fields. The conference featured approximately 180 presentations (42 by students), with academic session topics ranging from wild fire management and insurance to weather modeling and network security.

Sastry Pantula (2010 ASA President, NSF and NC State), Alan Gelfand (Duke), and Ross Leadbetter (Chapel Hill) were among the four North Carolina statisticians recognized at the conference banquet.

The breadth and academic heft of the attendees advanced a second conference goal – to groom young researchers through interactions with established members of their fields.Young researchers and student participants networked with senior researchers from across North Carolina and the globe. Conference attendees hailed from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Within the U.S., delegates represented Columbia, NC State, Duke, UC-Berkeley, Ohio State, IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center, UNCG Chapel Hill, and Princeton, to name just a few. Four graduate students and three undergraduate students received Best Paper Presentation Awards. Archana Polisetti from UNCG was among the winning graduate students, and all three undergraduate winners (Anna Tuck, Tracy Spears Gill, and Caitlin Ross) were UNCG students.

Len Stefanski (NC State) and Sat Gupta (ASA NC Chapter President and conference organizer, UNCG) during the Distinguished Service Awards ceremony at the conference banquet.

The NC Chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA) organized the conference, and UNCG Professor Sat N. Gupta, the current ASA NC Chapter President, served as conference chair. At the conference banquet, the ASA NC Chapter highlighted the research, teaching, and service contributions of its members, recognizing ASA President-Elect Marie Davidian, Duke’s Alan Gelfand, Chapel Hill’s Ross Leadbetter, and 2010 ASA President Sastry Pantula. Meanwhile, The Fifth Moment (an NC State band) entertained guests with statistics-themed musical numbers.

At a local level, Dr. Gupta shaped the conference to “create a network among North Carolina statisticians, and equally importantly … among UNCG quantitative researchers.” He hopes this network will help educate UNCG researchers on the different sources of analytic expertise available across our campus.

The National Science Foundation, Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications, American Statistical Association, and UNCG provided funding for the conference, along with software-giant SAS, the Pearson learning company, and the Taylor and Francis publishing group.