Editors’ Letter—Vol. 37, No. 2

Dear CHANCE Colleagues,

Welcome to the second issue of CHANCE for 2024! Our faithful readers will (hopefully) recall our challenge “Pixel by Pixel: The Art of CHANCE,” which was announced one year ago in the April 2023 issue of CHANCE. We are happy to present the winners of the contest. Lexie Hassien won in the student category with her creation inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s “The Olive Trees.” Giulio Stancari’s contribution was the winning entry in the professional category. He was also inspired by van Gogh’s masterful use of colors. Both winning entries are showcased in the article titled “Pixel by Pixel: Artistic Achievements,” and the accompanying code used to create their artworks is available in the supplemental materials for this issue.

CHANCE continues to remember great statisticians and colleagues who are no longer with us. First, we have an article by Ron Wasserstein, “Remembering Katherine Wallman.” Wallman was the former chief statistician of the United States and a past president of the American Statistical Association. Hopefully, readers will appreciate her contributions and influence around the world. The Amstat News March 2024 issue has remembrances from her domestic colleagues, while readers will get a sense of her international influence from our CHANCE article.

The History Chronicles column highlights lesser-known achievements of C.R. Rao, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 102. Chaitra Nagaraja offers a fresh look at Rao’s accomplishments by discussing how Rao followed “a modern collaborative data science framework, from study design to data stewardship.” Nagaraja focuses “on three themes integrated within such frameworks: replicability; reproducibility; and incorporating data context.”

International contributions to CHANCE continue with two articles by authors from Stockholm, Sweden. First is an interesting article on the Wilson confidence interval for a binomial p by Per Gösta Andersson, who recommends using this over the Wald interval. Next is a thoughtful piece in the Teaching Statistics in the Health Sciences column titled “The Potential of Simulations in Public Health.” Robert Thiesmeier and Nicola Orsini discuss how simulations can help students gain statistical understanding and improve their reasoning skills. It’s exciting that the authors provide code to implement the ideas in Stat, R, and Excel, which can be found in the supplemental materials associated with this issue.

There is a fascinating article titled “The Impact of Altitude Training on NCAA Division I Female Swimmers’ Performance” where Katherine L. Manzione, Bailey K. Fosdick, Ryan Elmore, and Connor Gibbs explore “the effects of altitude training on female swimmers prior to college and how that training ultimately affects performance in their college career.” Stuart Baker and Karen Lindeman explore the reality that multiple developments of the same idea occur among different disciplines and, many times, in the same one. They “tell a story of multiple discoveries in causal inference related to a quantity called the local average treatment effect (LATE)” in their article, “Multiple Discoveries in Causal Inference: LATE for the Party.”

The issue is rounded out with three columns. Our Taking a Chance in the Classroom column has a piece written by Jo Hardin describing Hardin’s effort to “Introduce students to scholars to whom students can relate.” She calls this system CURV—connecting, uplifting, and recognizing voices. This is an exciting way for teachers to foster diversity and to show how statistics can “do good in the world.” The One Thing About column has guest author Milton Loyer writing about our possible “Strange Expectations: A Dickens of a Problem.” This discusses something we should all remember: “Pooling different data sets can produce artificial results that apply to neither of the original sets.” Finally, we are happy to have another book review column by Christian Robert, where he reviews: A Second Course in Probability by Sheldon Ross and Erol A. Peköz and Exhalation by Ted Chiang. The second book is not the type usually reviewed in CHANCE, but we thought readers might be interested in knowing more about it. Wendy was motivated by the review to get it for her Kindle!

Wendy Martinez and Donna LaLonde

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