American Statistical Association


American Statistical Association

The American Statistical Association (ASA), a scientific and educational society founded in Boston, Massachusetts on November 27, 1839, is the second oldest, continuously operating professional society in the United States. ASA has been providing its members and the public with up-to-date, useful information about statistics. The ASA has a proud tradition of service to statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across a wealth of academic areas and applications.

The ASA mission is to promote excellence in the application of statistical science across the wealth of human endeavor, specifically to:
* support excellence in statistical practice, research, journals, and meetings
* work for the improvement of statistical education at all levels
* promote the proper application of statistics
* anticipate and meet member needs
* use the discipline of statistics to enhance human welfare
* seek opportunities to advance the statistics profession

Membership

ASA serves 18,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and overseas. In government, academia, and the private sector, ASA members apply their expertise to diverse and vital areas that include:
* research in medical areas such as AIDS
* environmental risk assessment
* the development of new therapeutic drugs
* the exploration of space
* quality assurance in industry
* the examination of social issues such as the homeless and the poor
* analytic research on current business problems and economic forecasting
* the setting of standards for statistics used at all levels of government
* the promotion and development of statistical education for the public and the profession, and
* the expansion of methods and the use of computers and graphics to advance the science of statistics

Organizational Structure

ASA is organized in Sections, Chapters and Committees. Chapters are arranged geographically, representing 78 areas across the US and Canada. Sections are subject-area and industry-area interest groups covering 22 sub-disciplines. ASA has more than 60 committees coordinating meetings, publications, education, careers, and special-interest topics involving statisticians.

History

"What do Florence Nightingale, Alexander Graham Bell, Herman Hollerith, Andrew Carnegie, and Martin Van Buren have in common?"

These historical figures all were members of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the second oldest [160+ years] , continuously operating professional association in the country. Founded in Boston one wintry November morning in 1839, the association continues a tradition of promoting excellence in statistics in its application to the frontiers of science, from biological to socio-economic to the physical sciences.

The ASA was formed at a meeting in the rooms of the American Education Society in Boston and was chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Present at the organizing meeting were William Cogswell, teacher, fund-raiser for the ministry, and genealogist; Richard Fletcher, lawyer and U.S. Congressman; John Dix Fisher, physician and pioneer in medical reform; Oliver Peabody, lawyer, clergyman, poet, and editor; and Lemuel Shattuck, statistician, genealogist, publisher, and author of perhaps the most significant single document in the history of public health to that date. By 1841, ASA was already an energetic society with a roster of 109 members, including U.S. President Martin Van Buren and the others mentioned in the sub-head.

From its inception, the ASA founding fathers demonstrated a commitment to statistical science in service to public welfare, and the association has had a close affiliation with the statistical work of the U.S. government, particularly the Bureau of the Census. As early as 1844, ASA recommended to Congress that the Sixth Census "be revised and a new and accurate copy be published." In those early years, the heads of the Census were generally ASA members or officers. John B. D. DeBow, superintendent of the Seventh Census, was an ASA member. Francis A. Walker directed the Ninth Census and initiated the Tenth Census. Carroll D. Wright worked on finishing the Eleventh Census. The first director of the permanent census office was S. N. D. North, the sixth president of ASA and the first to serve a one-year term (1910).

Statistical work in government and business stimulated much expansion after World War I, including the founding of the first local chapters of the Association. From 1920 -1943, 22 chapters were formed across the country. Generally, these chapters were located in large cities, such as Washington, DC, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. In addition, groups were formed in state capitals such as Albany, New York, and Austin, Texas, and at universities, such as the University of Illinois. Today ASA has 78 chapters serving its members all across the country. They vary in composition and size, ranging from groups of less than 50 members to one with over 1,000 members.

The ASA publishes several scientific journals:
*Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA)
*The American Statistician (TAS)
*Journal of Business & Economic Statistics (JBES)
*Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (JABES)
*Journal of Computational & Graphical Statistics (JCGS)
*Technometrics (TECH)

Online-only journals:
*Journal of Statistics Education (JSE)
*Journal of Statistical Software (JSS)

It co-sponsors:
*The Current Index to Statistics (CIS)

ee also

*
*President of the American Statistical Association
*American Mathematical Society
*COPSS Presidents' Award

External links

* [http://www.amstat.org/ American Statistical Association]
* [http://www.amstat.org/about/index.cfm?fuseaction=history The ASA: the First 160 years by Robert L. Mason]
* [http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Societies/American_Statistical.html MacTutor: American Statistical Association]


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