Bhramar Mukherjee is JSM Program Chair for the 2013 meeting in Montreal. She writes:


The 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings will be held in Montreal, Canada. Standing in the province of Québec, Montreal offers a distinct English/French flavor and is very much a mixture of the old and the new. Known for its friendly atmosphere and ambiance, historical architecture and lavish churches, top restaurants, cafés and bistros, Montreal is a city with its own distinct character. With cruises along the scenic St. Lawrence River, a trip to the Biodome or Mount Royal Park, Montreal features many attractions and we expect a large turnout. The time has come to put together proposals for invited sessions. The JSM program committee needs your help!

The theme for JSM 2013 is “Celebrating the International Year of Statistics.” Leading statistical societies have joined forces to declare 2013 the International Year of Statistics ( in order to promote the importance of our discipline to the broader scientific community, business and government data users, media, policymakers, employers, students, and the general public. As the largest gathering of statisticians in the world, the JSM embodies the spirit of the International Year, showcasing both fundamental contributions of statistical research and applications of statistics. The theme emphasizes the unique opportunity presented by the JSM program to highlight the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of science and society world-wide.

The JSM program committee is now soliciting proposals for invited sessions. JSM invited sessions are always a highlight of the program, featuring cutting-edge work and attracting sizable crowds. Most invited sessions originate from proposals put together by members of the sponsoring societies—that includes you! The sessions can be posters, panel discussions, or talks. An invited paper session consists of two to six people, including speakers and discussants. For an invited panel, the session consists of three to six people who provide commentary, discussion, and engaging debate on a particular topic. An invited poster session typically consists of 10 to 12 participants whose work addresses a common theme; these sessions give presenters an opportunity for extended one-on-one discussion of their work, and have been great community-builders.

The ideal invited session is about fresh, important work that many JSM attendees will find interesting. Many of the most stimulating sessions discuss divergent views on a topic, with speakers coming from different institutions, and taking different approaches towards similar problems. To organize a session, you should first set a theme of broad interest, and choose the participants; once these are arranged, you should write a proposal consisting of the title, a brief abstract/rationale for the session as a whole, the list of participants, and tentative titles of talks. (With JSM a year off, it is expected that some titles may change.) When planning an invited session, please note that JSM continues to have strict rules for participation,—the official guidelines can be found at Talk to potential speakers to ensure they are not committing to more than one invited proposal.

With your proposal written, you need to contact a member of the 2013 JSM Program Committee,, to see if they are willing to sponsor the session. They may accept the session outright for one of their allocated slots, or they may enter it into a competition, where selection is decided by a vote of the entire program committee.

The program committee includes the program chairs for the ASA sections and representatives of the partner societies: International Biometric Society (ENAR and WNAR), Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Statistical Society of Canada, International Chinese Statistical Association, International Indian Statistical Association, Korean Statistical Society and International Society for Bayesian Analysis. There are also ASA committees and outside organizations that may sponsor invited sessions. A complete list can be found at If you have ideas that don’t fit these sponsors, you may approach the general methodology chairs or send your proposals to me at Although I have little discretion to accept a session, I can discuss your proposal with program committee members and try to locate a place for it in the JSM program. If you don’t find success with your proposal, you can convert it to a topic-contributed session or try again in the future, as there are always more fine sessions proposed than can fit into the program.

I am especially looking for ideas for introductory overview lectures on topics of interest to a large number of JSM attendees. If you have an idea for such a session, want to organize such a session, or have suggestions for speakers, please send them to me. The invited session proposals can be submitted online, from July 19 to September 6, 2012.

A particular highlight of recent JSMs has been the high quality and visibility of the poster sessions, where presenters have an opportunity for more extended one-on-one discussion of their work. Poster sessions come in two flavors—contributed and invited. Ideas for invited poster sessions should be sent to Joyee Ghosh Again for 2013, invited poster presenters will have the option to present electronic posters on monitors rather than the traditional poster board method. This new format of presenting posters has been quite popular in its pilot promotion trials at various ASA conferences this year and we look forward to increased participation in JSM 2013.

I appreciate participation and effort from the world-wide statistical community to put together a diverse and engaging invited session program for JSM 2013. Thank you in advance!