We're evaluating the feasibility of sponsoring a member of the statistics community to speak at a conference in 2011.

Speaking is a relatively big "ask", so this needs to be planned many months in advance. Let's get started!

We'd like the community to establish where ...

What relevant statistics conferences are coming up in 2011 that have open speaker slots or calls for papers?

... and then who.

Which members of the community are strongly interested in being sponsored by Stack Exchange, Inc to speak at one of the above conferences in 2011?

To be clear, the speaker is free talk about anything he or she wants so long as it would be roughly on topic for this site -- with a quick acknowledgement of support from Stack Exchange and a mention of the community here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Stats conferences have relatively long lead times, Jeff. For instance, opportunities for this summer's Joint Statistical Meetings are long past and the next one won't be until the middle of 2012. Perhaps we should be including 2012 in our considerations now? $\endgroup$ – whuber Apr 21 '11 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @whu sure -- whatever makes sense $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Apr 21 '11 at 20:24

We're too late for this year's annual JSM (in the US). However, the ASA is starting a new "Conference on Statistical Practice", to be held in early 2012, that seems closely aligned with this site's aims. It would be especially good to attract well-qualified practitioners to answer questions. It's not clear how one can participate as a speaker, though.

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I don't really think this is a good idea in case of scientific conferences -- they are very different from business ones. First of all, they are effectively free (buy a laptop, you'll find Windows on it; work for an academia, they'll sent you to a conference for time to time), so we treat them mostly as an occasion to meet people and free food. Sponsored talks are treated as yadda yadda and in short real talk it is usually very hard to go off-topic. Backstage promotion seems a better option, but it is risky -- I doubt someone would honestly commit to do this for money. Final option is to support the conference itself -- it could be reasonably cheap in a scenario of few small conferences but I don't think it will generate significantly bigger traffic increase that we currently get organically.

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you think about stats software user conferences? For example, UseR has some sponsor-funded travel scholarships available for students. Perhaps we could fund someone who normally wouldn't be able to attend. We could of course do the same for the other major user conferences (SAS, Stata?) $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Apr 21 '11 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ Not all of us fall under the academic model, either - for example, I have no problem getting funded to go to tuberculosis conferences, but couldn't attend JSM last year because it was outside of the US and that grant explicitly forbade travel outside the US. :| (Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting myself for this - I there are many people in the community who are far more qualified than I am) $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Apr 21 '11 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Matt Sure, this answer was intended as a form of explanation why this may not be a tempting perspective for hard academics. BTW, with 900 rep and 4 shurikens you seem qualified enough =) $\endgroup$ – user88 Apr 21 '11 at 21:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Matt: the question of comparing the majordomo-based statalist and StackOverflow did come up in Stata circles (stata.com/statalist/archive/2011-07/msg00990.html). Giving a talk about CV or SO won't seem too far-fetched for a Stata conference/UG meeting (stata.com/meeting), although generally the expectation is that you talk about something Stata related, and help enriching other Stata users' experiences (while CV is almost solely R-oriented). $\endgroup$ – StasK Aug 12 '11 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @StasK Even though I'm a bit of an R zealot, I still find that disappointing - there are big groups of people who are missing out on the utility of SO and CV just because their particular language hasn't found a foothold yet (I'm continually depressed by the scarcity of SAS questions on SO). When R first started going on SO, there was a concerted effort to blast the site with R questions over a 24-hour period, just to get the basics covered and get the site into Google results. Perhaps a speaker at a Stata/SAS conference could orchestrate something similar... $\endgroup$ – Matt Parker Aug 15 '11 at 16:45

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