A Letter from NESS Founding President

Deal All,

We write to invite you to join an exciting adventure with us: the establishment of the New England Statistical Society (NESS) and its flagship journal. As many of you are aware, the New England Statistical Symposium has just celebrated its thirtieth gathering last year. Ever since its launch at UConn in 1987 at the suggestion of Herman Chernoff, the symposium has been an intimate annual gathering of our large statistical family in the region, and through its course it has greatly fostered the growth and unity of our community. To sustain such a success and build upon its lasting legacy, it seems to us beneficial to form a society. But we do not intend to create yet another regional society -– we all have too much on our plates to dilute further our limited energy or time with something routine.

Rather, we envision NESS to be an engine to mobilize the abundant pedagogical and research resources in New England area to promote and sustain the growth and expansion of statistical science as one of the two fundamental pillars of Data Science (the other being computer science). With the emergence of data science and the growth of technological innovations including social media, we see tremendous opportunities, as well as urgency, to integrate statistical research and education. For example, with NESS, we can pool our talents to produce educational products, including short course videos, talks about cutting-edge research, online tutorials and live webinar, etc. All these products can be used for general public, as well as for high school students, as a part of our effort to build larger pipelines of talents for statistics and data science.

We aim to launch a rather unique journal: The New England Journal of Statistics in Data Science. It is unique because it will focus on the roles of statistics (and statisticians) in Data Science. We can explore many newer ways of publication, including a variety of columns aiming for readers with different interests or backgrounds; monitored blog-style open discussions followed by periodic authors’ rejoinders, eventually forming a “topic thread”; and immediate publication upon acceptance with retrospective indexing for archiving purposes; etc.

Clearly we need many creative minds and sustainable passions to make all these not just a wishful thinking. We believe that you are likely one of those who either share our dream and/or who can help to realize it. We therefore sincerely invite you to join our adventure.

Xiao-Li Meng Ph.D., Founding president.

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