Jean D. Opsomer is JSM 2014 Program Chair. He writes:

The 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 2–7. As you know, this largest annual conference devoted to statistics is an event not to be missed. The theme for 2014, announced by ASA President-elect Nat Schenker, is “Statistics: Global Impact—Past, Present, and Future.” This theme seeks to emphasize, celebrate, and share information about the contributions our profession has made, currently makes, and will continue to make to important problems in the world.

The JSM 2014 Program Committee will put together the conference program. The first major step in this process is to create the invited program, which, together with the keynote and other plenary sessions, makes up the heart of the scientific portion. The invited program is composed of 161 sessions selected by the members of the program committee from among the invited session proposals submitted by the end of August. This might sound like a lot of sessions, but there are a total of 700 sessions scheduled for JSM this year.

Do you have an idea for a session? If so, I encourage you to submit a proposal. There are three types of invited sessions: papers, posters, and panels. An invited paper session consists of two to six people, including speakers and discussants, while an invited poster session typically consists of 10 to 12 participants. For an invited panel, the session consists of three to six people who provide commentary, discussion, and engaging debate about a particular topic.

To organize a session, you should set a session theme of broad interest (connections with the JSM2014 theme are a plus) and contact potential participants. A proposal consists of a session title, a brief abstract/rationale for the session as a whole, a list of participants, and tentative titles of talks. When planning, note that JSM has strict rules for participation, with official guidelines 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 JSM 2014 Program Committee (see to see if they are willing to sponsor the session. If you are a member of an ASA section or another sponsoring society, going through the corresponding representative is often a good way to proceed. Alternatively, if you have a proposal that does not clearly fit any ASA sections or sponsoring society, do not hesitate to submit it to one of the general methodology chairs (for papers and panels) or the poster chair (for posters). I urge you to contact program committee members well ahead of the August deadline.

Decisions about the invited program are finalized by the end of September. With only 161 invited slots on the JSM program and growing attendance each year, the competition is increasingly severe. If you don’t find success with your proposal, you can convert it to a topic-contributed session at that time or try again in the future.

Ultimately, the JSM 2014 invited program is only as good as the quality of the submitted proposals, so your input is important. On behalf of all the members of the program committee, I thank you for your help in putting together an exciting invited program for JSM 2014. In the meantime, à bientôt à Montréal!


Participation Guidelines

The Committee on Meetings, with members drawn from all cosponsoring societies, has put into place some guidelines to help encourage a wide and diverse set of presenters. These guidelines are as follows:

Each participant may participate in one activity from each of the following categories A–I:

  • Deliver a main presentation (one of the following):
  • Present an invited paper
  • Serve on an invited panel
  • Present a contributed or topic-contributed paper
  • Present a contributed or topic-contributed poster
  • Present in a SPEED session
  • Serve as a discussant, panelist, or other presenter in a topic-contributed session
  • Chair a session
  • Present an invited poster
  • Present an Introductory Overview Lecture
  • Teach a short course or workshop for the Continuing Education program
  • Lead a roundtable (A.M. or P.M.) or speak at a speaker luncheon
  • Present in a first-time invited memorial session (first time a memorial session has been submitted and designated for a particular deceased person)
  • Present in a late-breaking session
  • Serve as a discussant in an invited session

While the above guidelines allow for multiple presenting roles within the JSM program, please note that a person cannot hold multiple roles within one session. In addition, the participation rules do not preclude individuals from being co-authors of as many papers as they wish or from organizing multiple sessions. Only the JSM program chair, with ample justification, can grant any exceptions to the above rules.