StatFest 2017 Will Be Held in Atlanta

From left: Rodrigue Djikeuchi, Turayo Tijani, Alexandria Hinds, Dana Browne, Jeffen Stubbs, Paulin Yannick Mbiakeu Ngueamba, and Adrian Coles attended StatFest 2016.

StatFest 2017—a free one-day event aimed at encouraging undergraduate students from under-represented groups to consider graduate studies and careers in the statistical sciences—will be held September 23 in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the 17th annual StatFest conference, which rotates throughout the country to cover different geographic regions.

StatFest includes keynote addresses from noted statisticians that motivate how statistics and data science are being used to extract meaning from data. The program also includes interactive panels on statistics careers in industry, government, and academia, along with a discussion for students about the graduate student experience. Undergraduates can present posters on quantitative or computational research projects or related work. Multiple opportunities are built into the program to allow participants to meet each other, interact, and network.

The conference is an ongoing initiative of the American Statistical Association through its Committee on Minorities in Statistics. The committee’s efforts have been focused on increasing participation and inclusion of U.S. students in graduate programs in the statistical sciences and supporting these graduates as they move into the workforce and throughout their careers. Ensuring that the statistics profession reflects the diversity of society is one of the ASA’s strategic planning goals.

StatFest 2017 will be hosted by the department of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Emory University is a top-ranked research university. The biostatistics and bioinformatics department works to improve methodological approaches and carry out collaborative research with a focus on infectious diseases, analysis of large-scale epidemiologic studies, next-generation sequencing, the analysis of biomedical imaging data, and the design and analysis of clinical trials.

Committee chair and Emory biostatistics professor Renee Moore says, “StatFest brings the community together to demonstrate the excitement of statistics and the opportunities that students have to make sense of the world around them via data. We’re looking forward to hosting this event at Emory this fall.”

Co-organizer Jesse Chittams of the University of Pennsylvania added, “StatFest is important because it brings interested undergraduates together with established professionals, academic leaders, and current graduate students to help understand routes for success in the field.”

More than 100 participants attended last year’s event at Howard University: Approximately 7% were high-school students; 52% undergraduate students; 14% graduate students; and 27% professionals from academia, government, or industry.

While the conference is free, registration is required. Contact Renee Moore or Jesse Chittams with questions or for information regarding sponsorship. 

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