Dear Philadelphia ASA members,
Once upon a time there was a young… handsome… enthusiastic… statistician, fresh out of university and
eager to find a job. He started out on his career and as the years went by, benefitted greatly from
the advice of more experienced statisticians around him. I have to tell you, I was that statistician,
only now I am not so young… or enthusiastic!
Get Involved in Mentoring
The point of this poor joke is to let you know that the chapter is looking for ways to encourage
mentoring. I’m sure you’ve noticed this topic is a big theme of recent ASA communications. So
within the chapter, we are thinking about ways to foster mentoring at a local level. For younger
statisticians, there is almost nothing so valuable as talking to a more experienced and seasoned
practitioner. And for the mentor, there is the satisfaction of helping others and furthering
As the community of statisticians in the Philadelphia area, we are well positioned to bring together
local mentors and mentees. We’re really just getting started with this, so if you have ideas or want
to take a lead in this, I would love to hear from you. Are you interested in being a mentor? Would
you like to benefit from the advice of a more experienced statistician? Are you an isolated
statistician, with no or very few others in your organization, and need someone to bounce ideas off?
Are you a student, looking for one-on-one help with anything to do with statistics? I see this as part
of our wider outreach activities, potentially expanding our involvement with students of statistics at
high schools and colleges in the area. Look out for more news from the chapter on how you can get involved.
But in the meantime I would be more than happy to hear from anyone that wants to get involved in any way.
Events, Past and Upcoming
Spring is the most hectic time on the ASA-P calendar, and there are lots of opportunities to participate
in chapter events. Already behind us are the Villanova career night, the ‘Mid-Winter’ Gathering, and the
Delaware Valley Science Fair. I was gratified to see some new faces joining us for DVSF judging: this is
another important avenue of outreach where we can play a part in encouraging the statisticians of tomorrow.
Thanks to everyone that came along. The Mid-Winter Sedgeley meeting was enjoyable as ever, with a speaker
who gave us plenty to think about in the realm of social media. Just past is the career day at Strath Haven
High School on May 29th, and the Short Course on June 4th is upon us, which you will read about elsewhere
in the newsletter. I hope you can make it to this event.
We’re looking ahead to the Fall and next year’s program, so if you have ideas for these meetings, please
let me or any officer know. There are lots of interesting issues touching on statistics these days – big
data, climate change, clinical effectiveness/outcomes research, bioterrorism, the list goes on. We’ve
started to brainstorm and are open to more ideas. Many of you will be at JSM this summer in Boston. If
a talk or a speaker inspires you, let us know!
Volunteer for ASA-P!
Time flies like an arrow… fruit flies like a banana. Another poor joke serves to finish my column, as my
way of remarking that the current ASA-P session is drawing to a close already. My year as President is
almost finished, and we have a roster of new people to stand for election, to serve the chapter starting
July 1. The offices of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary are open to election. All are
open and require no previous experience. PLEASE consider volunteering. Volunteering for the chapter is not
a large commitment of time and is a great way to network among local statisticians, and a notable achievement
to add to your resume. If you are interested but unsure, I urge you to contact any of the officers (contact
details at the end of the newsletter) to get an idea of what’s involved.
I will close with my heartfelt thanks to my fellow officers, for their service, ideas, and encouragement.
Anne, Prasheen, Jason, Bill, Mac, Alex, Ruifeng, Michael, James – I have been proud to lead you this year.
David Radley, President