Alexander Volfovsky

Alexander Volfovsky writes:

For more than twenty years (with a gap year here and there) the IMS has been hosting the Meeting of New Researchers in Statistics and Probability immediately before the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). At each of these conferences a group of around 50 new researchers — postdocs and newly minted faculty — is exposed to panels led by leading researchers in the field on subjects that range from teaching to writing grants to finding collaborators. Beyond these presentations from established statisticians and probabilists, the conference has been a place for new researchers to meet others in their “academic cohort” and to establish lasting collaborations and friendships. Following one of these conferences the idea for the New Researchers Group (NRG) was born.

Prior to the establishment of the group, the New Researchers Conference was the only venue within the IMS that provided guidance and instruction specifically for early career researchers. The main goal of this newly formed group (announced by Richard Davis in the January 2016 issue of the Bulletin) is to provide new forms of engagement for early career researchers with the IMS. The Group will continue with organizing the Conference but will also sponsor sessions at the IMS annual meetings and other IMS co-sponsored conferences, organize new annual workshops that will showcase the work of new researchers, and provide a general forum for new researchers to interact. More lightheartedly, after the success of the new researchers reception at the 2015 Seattle JSM (see below), we will be making such a reception a yearly tradition.

NR JSM reception1

Alex addresses New Researchers at the JSM reception in Seattle

NR JSM reception2

Finding collaborators and friends

New website

The first order of business for our Group is the establishment of a website that will serve as a portal to all things related to the engagement of new researchers within the IMS. While the page is still under construction ( I am excited to share some of the details that we have planned. The landing page of the website will (quite literally) showcase the work of new researchers by presenting a sampling of their recent arXiv submissions. The New Researchers Conference output (such as abstracts and slides) will now be archived on this page. New meetings, grants and job announcement pages will be created to address the needs of early career researchers. The aspect that I am most excited about is the establishment of a community discussion forum to facilitate collaboration and interaction among those entering the field. The highlights of this forum will include an “Open Problems” and “Finding Collaborators” sections for sharing and developing new work ideas and a “Teaching” section that will hopefully be the start of a repository of lecture notes, problems, and classroom ideas that will provide much needed support for those balancing research and teaching loads.

We’ll publish here when the site is ready. We expect to make a few more announcements in the near future (such as the reissuing of an updated version of The IMS New Researchers’ Survival Guide).

New Researchers Conference:
deadline February 27, 2016


New researchers (in this particular instance defined as those who received a PhD in or after 2011 or expect to receive one by the end of 2016) should apply for the 18th Meeting of New Researchers in Statistics and Probability that is going to be held at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on July 28–30, 2016 (for those who are interested, the conference will culminate in a road trip to Chicago for JSM). The deadline for the application is February 27.

Finally, stay tuned for details about the New Researchers Group reception at this year’s JSM!


Poster session at NRC Seattle in 2015 (photo: Ali Shojaie)