Thursday, January 3, 2013

SPEED Dating at the JSM

The Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM) is held each summer in a city in the U.S.A. or Canada. Last year, the JSM was held in San Diego, and it attracted some 6,300 attendees. This August, the JSM will be held in MontrĂ©al.

In an effort to deal with the size of the meeting, and the number of parallel sessions, a new format for some "contributed" sessions is to be tried out this year.

The following is an extract from the latest issue of Amstat News, the newsletter of the American Statistical Association.

"SPEED Sessions Come to JSM
Bhramar Mukherjee and Marie Davidian
A recurrent concern for many JSM attendees has been the seemingly unbounded size of the meeting. Having to choose among 46 parallel sessions and navigate the inevitable conflicts that arise has been a source of frustration for many. Therefore, a pilot study of contributed sessions with a different format will be conducted during JSM 2013.

In MontrĂ©al, we will test “SPEED sessions.” Five large ASA sections (Biometrics, Statistics in Epidemiology, Statistical Learning and Data Mining, Biopharmaceutical Statistics, and Survey Methodology) will collaborate on this pilot venture. A SPEED session will consist of 20 oral presentations of approximately five minutes, with a 10-minute break after the first set of 10 talks. These short oral presentations will be followed by a poster session later on the same day. The following incentives will be offered to the presenters who agree to participate in the pilot SPEED sessions:
Electronic poster boards will be provided to SPEED presenters, so there will be no additional costs or hassle associated with printing or transporting your poster
Refreshments will be provided at the poster sessions corresponding to the SPEED sessions 
A certificate of appreciation and a special badge will be given to SPEED presenters
We also plan to recruit distinguished members to chair the SPEED sessions."
It will be interesting to see how this "speed dating" exercise works out, and if other conferences pick up on this format.

© 2012, David E. Giles

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