Editor’s Letter – Vol. 23, No. 4

Dear Readers,

It is hard to believe three years have passed and my term as executive editor is coming to a close. It has been a lot of work, but also a great experience. Staff at the American Statistical Association (ASA), column editors, editors, advisory editors, and staff at Springer have been supportive and contributed a lot to the success of the magazine during this time. Authors also deserve sincere thanks for their efforts.

I specifically want to thank Herbie Lee and John Kimmel for their efforts related to CHANCE. Herbie is stepping down as editor to become interim vice provost for academic affairs at the University of California, Santa Cruz. John is departing from Springer as executive editor for their statistics program. Best wishes to them on their new endeavors.

As you may have heard, the new executive editor for 2011–2013 is Sam Behseta of California State University, Fullerton. I look forward to the new issues and wish Sam all the best.

Let me tell you about three items before describing this issue. First, did you know you can sign up to receive email notifications about the table of contents (TOC) for CHANCE?

Second, the ASA has decided to make the online version of CHANCE a member benefit for K–12 teacher members of the ASA. Earlier this year, it was made a benefit for student members. This means a critically important segment of the ASA can access CHANCE without additional charge. Thanks to the ASA for making this possible.

Third, the ASA will launch a new blog called “The Statistics Forum, brought to you by the American Statistical Association and CHANCE magazine” in February, with Andrew Gelman of Columbia University as editor. This development has great potential to extend the mission of CHANCE. In particular, it will give all of us opportunities to participate in discussions about probability and statistics and their role in important and interesting topics.

Now, in this issue, Necip Doganaksoy, Gerald Hahn, and Bill Meeker describe issues involved in validating product liability with limited budgets and testing timeframes. Several illustrations from real applications are presented.

Jason Crowley, Brenna Curley, and Dave Osthus analyze results from the game show “Jeopardy” from 1984–2009. Graphical analysis is used to depict trends across the show’s history.

Janice Lent discusses the role of statistical models and statistical insight in forecasting and understanding energy supply and demand. She explains the role of the U.S. Energy Information Administration in developing the statistical National Energy Modeling System.

Terry Allen, Amber Thom, and Glen Buckner present multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) as a tool for summarizing several categorical variables. In this article, MCA is used to interpret factors related to infant homicides. Data come from the Uniform Crime Report.

A group of authors provide us their insight into statistical consulting with limited resources. Mark Glickman discusses short-term consulting and the idea of approximating the most principled approaches. One of his illustrations comes from consulting about multiplayer online games. Sarah Ratcliffe and Justine Shults, biostatisticians in a medical school, share their insight regarding methods research on a limited budget, where the limiting factor is often time. Todd Nick and Ralph O’Brien focus on developing grant proposals on a limited budget, which again often means limited time. They encourage developing a task checklist and planning ahead. Richard Ittenbach outlines the process of scale—or composite measure—development, and how it can be approached on a limited budget. He emphasizes that some costs, such as the need to acquire new knowledge, can be difficult to quantify.

Are you a fan of bodybuilding champion, movie actor, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Whatever your opinion of him, you’ll enjoy the statistical analysis by Phil Stark of the text of a veto by Schwarzenegger in 2009.

Michael Huber reanalyzes a famous homerun hit by baseball legend Mickey Mantle in 1963. Using a combination of mathematics, physics, and statistics, can we accurately predict the distance the ball would have gone if not impeded?

Trent McCotter addresses expected maximum length of hitting streaks in baseball using permutations of actual hitting streaks. Read the article to learn how computations were done and what conclusions can be reached.

Howard Wainer, in his 20th year as a columnist for CHANCE, gives us his 93rd article (according to his count), which is titled “Pies, Spies, Roses, Lines, and Symmetries.” The Visual Revelations column focuses on common topics: graphical display and history.

Finally, Jonathan Berkowitz brings us a new puzzle in his Goodness of Wit Test column. Solving the puzzles involves pattern recognition and looking beyond the obvious. His 10th puzzle is titled “Once Is Enough.”

Enjoy the issue!

Mike Larsen

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