The proposed project is a statistics conference "International Conference on Advances in Interdisciplinary Statistics and Combinatorics (AISC 2012)". The plan is to hold the conference on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC during October 5-7, 2012. The main objective of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary research involving statistical techniques. These techniques are becoming increasingly important in all fields of scientific discovery. A unique feature of the proposed conference is to bring together nationally recognized researchers from many fields such as anthropology, biology, economics, education, environmental science, information systems, insurance, mathematics, medicine, psychology, and public health. The common thread is the statistical methods used in their respective research programs. The statisticians benefit by getting exposed to real problems from other disciplines and researchers from other disciplines benefit by learning more about various statistical techniques. The PI and both Co-PIs are currently involved in several collaborative research grants and have experienced firsthand the significance of interdisciplinary research.

An important objective of the conference is to groom young researchers by providing them an opportunity to interact with established researchers in their respective fields. These young researchers include undergraduate researchers, graduate student researchers and new PhDs specializing in statistical sciences. They are given the opportunity to make oral presentations as opposed to poster presentations. The investigators are specifically trying to attract women and minority candidates by giving them higher priority in awarding financial support. The organizers plan to contact appropriate departments at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, and North Carolina Central University in Durham, all historically black universities. They also plan to place conference announcement on the web pages of the Committee on Women in Statistics and the Committee on Minorities in Statistics (both committees of the American Statistical Association).The organizers also plan to make special efforts to accommodate the needs of the participants with disabilities. More details about the conference are available at the website

Project Report

The proposed conference took place, as planned, during October 5-7, 2012, and was a great success. The conference featured around 180 presentations including 42 by students. delegates came from many countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK, and of course the United States which contributed the largest number of participants. As planned, the conference featured many interdisciplinary topics such as wild fires management, environment, anthropology, medicine, insurance, weather modeling, and network security. At the conference banquet, contributions to statistics of four North Carolinians, Marie Davidian (ASA President 2013), Alan Gelfand (Duke University), Ross Leadbetter (UNC Chapel Hill) and Sastry Pantula (NSF, 2010 ASA President) were recognized. They were preented award palques by the North carolina Chapter of ASA. The conference was a perfect platform for young researchers, 46 of whom, including 18 women, were supported by NSF funding. Of the papers presented at the conference, 20 were published as peer reviewed articles in two major statistics journals. Eleven of the papers will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Communications in Statistics - Simulation and Computation, and another 9 have already appeared in Vol. 8 (3) of the Journal of Statistical Theory and Practice. Students were co-authors on many of these 20 papers. Four graduate students and three undergraduate students received "Best Paper Presentation Awards". The graduate student winners were Thais Paiva (Duke University), Kyle White (NC State University), Sara Becker (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Archana Polisetti (UNC Greensboro). Undergraduate student winners were Anna Tuck, Tracy Spears Gill and Caitlin Ross (all from UNC Greensboro). All student awardees received a certificate, a plaque, and a cash award ranging from $100 to $200.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
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Gabor Szekely
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University of North Carolina Greensboro
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