ASA Sections on:

Statistical Computing
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John Chambers Award

John M. Chambers Statistical Software Award 2016

The Statistical Computing Section of the American Statistical Association announces the competition for the John M. Chambers Statistical Software Award. In 1998 the Association for Computing Machinery presented its Software System Award to John Chambers for the design and development of S. Dr. Chambers generously donated his award to the Statistical Computing Section to endow an annual prize for statistical software written by, or in collaboration with, an undergraduate or graduate student. The prize carries with it a cash award of $1000.

Teams of up to 3 people can participate in the competition. To be eligible, the team must have designed and implemented a piece of statistical software. At least one individual within the team must have begun the development while a student and must either currently be a student, or have completed all requirements for her/his last degree after January 1, 2015. The award will be given to the student, or split between student team members if the team consists of multiple students.

To apply for the award, teams must provide the following materials:

  • Current CV's of all team members.
  • A letter from a faculty mentor at the academic institution of the primary submitter. The letter should confirm that the individual had substantial participation in the development of the software, certify her/his student status when the software began to be developed (and either the current student status or the date of degree completion), and briefly discuss the importance of the software to statistical practice.
  • A brief, one to two page description of the software, summarizing what it does, how it does it, and why it is an important contribution. If any student team member has continued developing the software after finishing her/his studies, the description should indicate what was developed when the individual was a student and what has been added since
  • An installable software package with its source code for use by the award committee. It should be accompanied by enough information to allow the judges to effectively use and evaluate the software (including its design considerations.) This information can be provided in a variety of ways, including but not limited to a user manual (paper or electronic), a paper, a URL, and online help to the system.

All materials must be in English. We prefer that electronic text be submitted in Postscript or PDF. The entries will be judged on a variety of dimensions, including the importance and relevance for statistical practice of the tasks performed by the software, ease of use, clarity of description, elegance and availability for use by the statistical community. Preference will be given to those entries that are grounded in software design rather than calculation. The decision of the award committee is final.

All application materials must be received by Tuesday, December 15, 2015 and should be sent to the e-mail address below. The winner will be announced by January 15. The award will be presented at the 2016 Joint Statistical Meetings, and the winner(s) will be given an opportunity to present their work in a topic-contributed session at the meetings.

Patrick Breheny
Department of Biostatistics
University of Iowa

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