Thursday, August 2, 2012

JSM 2012 in the rearview: reflections on the world's largest gathering of statisticians

The joint statistical meetings is an annual gathering of several large professional organizations of statisticians, and annually we descend on some city to share ideas. I'm a perennial attendee, and always find the conference valuable in several ways. I have a few thoughts about the conference in retrospect:

* For me, networking is much more important than talks. Of course, attending talks in your area of interest is a great way of finding people with whom to network.
* I'm very happy I volunteered with the biopharmaceutical section a couple of years ago. It's a lot of work, but rewarding.
* This year, I specifically went to a few sections out of my area, and found the experience valuable.
* I definitely recommend chairing a session or speaking.
* I also recommend roundtable lunches. I did one for the first time this year, and found the back and forth discussion valuable.

In short, I find that connecting with like-minded professionals to be an important part of my career and development as a person.