American Mathematical Monthly, volume 107, number 7, by The Mathematical Association of America

By The Mathematical Association of America

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Additional info for American Mathematical Monthly, volume 107, number 7, August-September 2000

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2000] STATISTICS AND MATHEMATICS 623 finally, an illustration of a trap for the unwary user who neglects essential mathematics. This example is adapted from a recent article by Diaconis and Sturmfels [4]. The mathematics is theirs, the moral sub text is ours. Consider testing independence of the row and column variables in a two-way table of counts. For example, to test for association between birthday and death day, let 0ij be the number of people in a population of interest who were born in month i and died in month j 0, j = 1,2, ...

ASA can contribute here by inaction: it should encourage attendance at the mathematics meetings rather than, as has been suggested, sponsor a winter statistics meeting. cians by the absence of ASA meetings in January. A tinal plea. Having made several pleas to mathematicians, we end with a simple plea to academic statisticians: Join the MAA. To succeed in and change a foreign culture, immigrants must be willing, at least partially, to assimilate. 628 © THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [Monthly 107 6.

The panel of course fudged a bit: "mathematical scientists" other than core mathematicians often work in environments where communication is essential. This is certainly true of non-academic statisticians, that is, of most statisticians. Statistical work in the private sector is almost always interdisciplinary, centered on the needs of clinical trials, market research, or industrial process improvement rather than on the internal development of statistics itself. Academic statisticians have gotten religion more slowly, but many now display the enthusiasm of converts.

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