Women Share Experience at SAMSI at the Women in Statistics Conference

Over 200 female statisticians gathered in Cary, North Carolina May 15-17 to attend the Women in Statistics Conference. Both SAMSI and NISS were sponsors of the event.

four women talking at break

Women networking during a break including former SAMSI postdocs Elizabeth Mannshardt and Jenny Brynjarsdottir (two on the right).

Women shared their experiences working in statistics and gave tips on how to navigate a career path in this field. Women from industry, academia and government all shared their perspectives of how women are impacting the statistics area.

Snehalata Hurzurbazar speaking

Snehalata Hurzurbazar

SAMSI was featured in a session, starting with an overview of SAMSI and at NISS by the SAMSI Deputy Director, Snehalata Huzurbazar. She focused on opportunities to be involved with SAMSI, and shared her experience of first being a visitor and later her experience as the Deputy Director. She noted that it is hard for women who have small children to leave their home institutions for an extended period of time, but that shorter visits and participation in working groups via Webex are completely feasible and the norm for participation in SAMSI research programs. She also noted that during her time as Deputy Director, SAMSI posted a list of local day care facilities that have been used by other visitors.

three women on the panel

Jessi Cisewski, Xia Wang and Bailey Fosdick.

Jessi Cisewski, from Carnegie Mellon, explained what it was like to be a graduate student fellow at SAMSI. She was able to network with lots of different people and learn about many different opportunities by participating in the programs and workshops. Last summer she was involved with the summer Kepler program, which was a more intensive three week workshop that got astronomers together with statisticians to analyze data from the Kepler telescope. This initial work has greatly expanded and Jessi is still working with astronomers in this area. She encouraged audience members to get involved and told them about an upcoming workshop at Carnegie Mellon that would be about this topic.

Bailey Fosdick talked about was it was like to be a SAMSI postdoc this past year. She also commented on the great opportunities she had to meet so many different people during the workshops this year and that she got involved with some of the working groups from the LDHD program in addition to the Computational Methods in Social Science program. She told people she has learned a lot and has been able to greatly expand her research horizons by being a SAMSI postdoc.

Xia Wang from University of Cincinnati shared her experience of being a postdoc at NISS and how she was able to participate in SAMSI programs as part of her perks of being a NISS postdoc. She is still meeting regularly with a working group that was formed five years ago and they are still producing papers and interesting research.

For more information on becoming a visitor, or applying for a postdoctoral position at SAMSI, visit the website at http://www.samsi.info. The entire SAMSI-NISS session was videotaped and will soon be available at https://women-in-stats.org, the website for the conference.

Researchers Receive IJERPH Best Paper Award 2014

What are the human health implications of climate change? There is by now a well established body of evidence about the direct effects of increasing temperature, for example, heat stroke. But is that the full story? It is also possible that air pollution patterns may change as a result of the changing climate, especially ozone, whose production is stimulated by hot weather. In work started at The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) and later completed with colleagues at North Carolina State University, Howard Chang studied the effect of simultaneous changes in temperature and ozone, using simulations from climate models. Rather than run the model multiple times under different scenarios (a very time consuming process), Chang and his colleagues devised a statistical approach which saves computation time and also allows them to estimate the uncertainty in their projections. As a result, they find significant increases in projected mortality in the southeastern U.S. during the period 2041-2050 compared with 2000 levels.
The resulting paper, written by Chang, Jingwen Zhou, North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Montserrat Fuentes, NCSU, was awarded the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) Best Paper Award 2014. Their paper, “Impact of Climate Change on Ambient Ozone Level and Mortality in Southeastern United States” received the 3rd prize in the category “Articles.”
On an annual basis the IJERPH Best Paper Award recognizes outstanding papers in the area of environmental health sciences and public health that meet the aims, scope and high standards of the IJERPH journal.

Article link: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/7/7/2866
Award link: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/1/1192