Purple globe made out of statistical data points

Biocomplexity Institute Researchers Make an Impact at 2021 Joint Statistical Meetings

Statistics and data help solve challenging problems, and there’s no place like the annual Joint Statistical Meetings to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals in pursuit of this goal.

The Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) is the premier event—one of the largest statistical events in the world, in fact—for statisticians and data scientists in academia, industry, and government to exchange ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration. Records show that the event began in 1840.

The 2021 JSM was held virtually; however, in a typical year, the annual event draws more than 6,500 attendees from 52 countries and includes 600+ sessions on various topics.

This year, an unprecedented number of speakers from the Biocomplexity Institute’s Social and Decision Analytics division were part of the week-long line up from August 8 -12, 2021. Topics ranged from broadband challenges in rural communities to career pathways for Army veterans.

“Our list of speakers and topics this year was impressive,” said Sallie Keller, division director and Distinguished Professor in Biocomplexity. “This is a testament to the dedication of our researchers and reflects the mission and purpose of the Biocomplexity Institute. We bring a unique perspective to research in that we seek to untangle the interconnections of complex systems through a team science and transdisciplinary approach with the intention that our work will produce new data insights to help inform policy and support decision makers.”

Biocomplexity Institute speakers touched on topics such as:

  • Design and estimation for the population prevalence of infectious diseases with limited testing resources
  • Exploring Army Veteran career pathways in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. using sequence analysis to inform new quantitative approaches for Army personnel planning and talent management
  • Evaluation of broadband subsidy programs on property values: combining spatial regression discontinuity designs and bayesian wombling
  • Mining Federal RePORTER using machine learning: selected case studies on the popularity of concept-related topics
  • Detecting and measuring product innovation in news articles using Google’s BERT
  • The role of statistics in open science and publicly accessible research data using selected case studies on concepts such as pandemics, coronavirus, and artificial intelligence
  • Creating data for good programs: roadmap and research highlights
  • FAIR principles; data reuse; data sharing; privacy; restricted data; open science

In addition to a full agenda of wide-ranging topics, the 2021 JSM also provided an opportunity to celebrate award winners announced earlier in the year, including Sallie Keller, recipient of the American Statistical Association’s 2021 Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of statistics.

To learn more about the Institute’s speakers and listen to their recorded talks, please visit our online speaker page.