The statistics department at Colorado State University has hosted the Graybill conference since 2001. The theme of the conference differs from year to year, but the objective is to bring together researchers, practitioners, and graduate students, in a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere focused on research and applications. For the 2011 conference, the theme is ``Modern Nonparametric Methods.'' The program consists of a workshop, invited plenary talks, and a poster session. The intimate nature of the conference allows for concentrated discussion and interaction among the participants, which can be especially valuable for young researchers and graduate students. The conference will continue the series of topical conferences co-sponsored by the ASA Section on Nonparametric Statistics initiated in 2007, furthering the goal of establishing a biannual conference tradition on a topic of interest to this important segment of the statistical community.
The continued development of practical nonparametric and semiparametric methods is crucial to the advancement of modern sciences, medicine, economics, agriculture, environment or global change, health and medicine, and many other fields. In many disciplines, the increasing availability of large amounts of high quality data has outpaced the methods available to analyze them. Flexible and robust tools such as modern nonparametric methods are increasingly necessary to address many questions encountered in practice, so that continued research in this area as well as education of future researchers will benefit the statistics discipline as well as the many disciplines that rely on it.
The Graybill 2011 Conference on Modern Nonparametric Methods brought together researchers and students in statistics to Fort Collins, CO for a four-day conference. The first day of the conference featured a short course in semi-parametric regression methods, providing an introduction and overview in an emerging topic in statistical methodology. All of the talks in the following three days were plenary lectures given by top researchers in modern nonparametrics. These invited speakers represented a diverse mix of strong young researchers and established statisticians. The format of conference, with all plenary talks and no parallel sessions, provided cohesion to the group. Young researchers and students had plenty of access to experiences researchers between session, at coffee breaks and meals, as well as mixers and the poster session. The NSF funding provided travel support for speakers as well as for student attendees. The poster session was very well attended, and included a student competition. With almost 100 participants from three continents, the conference was very successful. The Graybill Conference series is organized annually by the Department of Statistics at Colorado State University since 2001, on a different topic each year. It has been growing in reputation over the years, drawing more distinguished attendees, and the 2011 Graybill conference was considered to continue in this positive trend.