Editors’ Letter—Vol. 36, No. 3

Dear CHANCE Colleagues,

Welcome to the third issue of CHANCE magazine for 2023. Once again, we bring you an eclectic collection of excellent articles, so you can explore new topics and reignite existing interests.

We are happy to continue the tradition of publishing an article based on the annual Deming Lecture given at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). For this issue, the 2022 Deming speaker David Banks wrote an article based on his presentation, “The Future of Industrial Statistics.” He provides examples of data engineering, such as computational advertising, and discusses how statisticians and data scientists can make important contributions. You can view David’s JSM presentation, “Deming and the Industries of Today,” on YouTube.

The theme of contributions from statistics and data science continues with an article on cybersecurity. To quote Pat Muoio in her CHANCE article “Assessing Risk in Cybersecurity: How Sound Data Science Can Raise the Bar,” statisticians and data scientists have an important role to play in tackling cybersecurity problems, because “cybersecurity solutions are fraught with challenges born from a lack of understanding of basic statistics.” This article is complemented by Ben Baumer’s article “More Math for Data Scientists, Not Less.” Ben discusses the essential curriculum for undergraduate data science programs. Be sure to read his article to learn more about what’s needed to prepare students to be successful.

Three articles in this issue have a connection with history. First is one by JunBo Wu and Nathaniel Comfort, about applying precision medicine to public health. Starting with the Progressive era, they examine attempts to use genetics to establish public health programs, point out potential risks, and recommend ways to mitigate them through “data integration across many levels of analysis, from the molecular to the social.”

The History Chronicles column introduces a new format, with an expository piece pertaining to the history of statistics and another section listing historical milestones.

Our third historical article is by R J Andrews, founder of Info We Trust . Many know about Charles Joseph Minard’s (1781–1870) infographic of Napoleon’s march on Russia in 1812–1813. However, few probably know about Minard’s contemporary and equally talented infographics artist (and women’s rights activist) Emma Willard (1787–1870). In the Visual Revelations column, RJ shares some beautiful examples of her work.

Continuing with an emphasis on graphics and viewpoints, we have the article “Bringing Unrelated Games Closer: Excitements Unified with Changes Picked Through a Careful Parallax” by Moinak Bhaduri. Moinak discusses how a parallax—”the apparent displacement of an object caused by a change in observational position”—can help us understand the concept of “excitement” in various sports.

Howard Wainer, the usual author of the Visual Revelations column, branched out in this issue to co-author an article about the time it takes to boil eggs. This article was particularly timely for Wendy, who was facing a cooking challenge: Should she add more cooking time when soft-boiling jumbo eggs instead of large ones?

As readers should know by now, both of us love challenges and contests. CHANCE is happy to highlight our connection with the Stats+Stories podcast hosted by John Bailer and Rosemary Pennington in this issue. Stats+Stories has hosted several contests over the years, with the latest one challenging people to devise innovative ways to visualize a data set they created based on previous podcast episodes. In this issue, John and Rosemary share the “stories” of past challenges. Stay tuned for the next issue of CHANCE, where we will announce the winners of the latest challenge.

This issue is rounded out with a “One Thing About…” column by Usha Govindarajulu. Recall that this new column wants to know “What ignites your passion, feeds your frustration, or impresses you with its beauty or power?” Usha is passionate about the proper application and understanding of statistical hypothesis testing. In her contribution, she reminds us about the importance of multiple testing and the inflation of Type I error in studies, especially in the COVID-19 vaccine trials.

What ignites your passion? Send an email to us at chancemag.editor@gmail.com to contribute to CHANCE.

Wendy Martinez
Donna LaLonde

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