The American Statistical Association (ASA) is the main professional organization for statisticians and related professionals in the United States. It was founded in Boston, Massachusetts on November 27, 1839, and is the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the US (only the Massachusetts Medical Society, founded in 1781, is older). The ASA services statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across many academic areas and applications. The association publishes a variety of journals, and sponsors several international conferences every year.
The organization's mission is to broadly promote good application of statistical science, 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
ASA has about 18,000 members, found in government, academia, and the private sector. The membership is involved in a wide variety of activities including:
- 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
New Fellowships of the ASA are granted annually by the ASA Committee on Fellows. Candidates must have been members for the preceding three years but may be nominated by anyone. The maximum number of recipients each year is one-third of one percent of the ASA membership.
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.
Accredited Professional Statistician
As of April 2010[update], the ASA offers the Accredited Professional Statistician status (PStat), to members who meet the ASA's credentialing requirements, which include an advanced degree in statistics or related quantitative field, five years of documented experience, and evidence of professional competence. A list of current members with PStat status is available.
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 and Graphical Statistics (JCGS)
- Technometrics (TECH)
- The Current Index to Statistics (CIS)
Historical publications include:
- Edward Jarvis, William Brigham and John Wingate Thornton, Memorial Of The American Statistical Association Praying The Adoption Of Measures For The Correction Of Errors In The Census, 1844
- Publications of the American Statistical Association, 1888-1919 (Vols. 1-16) and Quarterly Publications of the American Statistical Association, 1920-1921
Meetings provide a platform for scholars and practitioners to exchange research, job opportunities and ideas with each other. ASA holds an annual meeting called Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), a conference on statistical methodologies and applications called Spring Research Conference (SRC), Conference on Statistical Practice (CSP), and sponsors multiple international meetings and special-interest group meetings.
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