Talk Wednesday on the roles statisticians play in U.S. Census

Talk today on the roles statisticians play in U.S. Census

The Center for Applied Mathematics is again offering its colloquium series this fall. The series is intended to introduce the University of St. Thomas community to a variety of problems, careers and professional activities involving applications of mathematics. All presentations will be held at 3 p.m. in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall. Refreshments will be available at 2:45 p.m.

The next colloquium will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24, on "Who Count? Why Count? How Do We Count?" presented by Lynne Billard, University of Georgia.

Here is Billard's synopsis of her talk:

"The decennial census in the United States is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Ever since the first census in 1790, questions have been raised about various aspects of its conduct and results. Indeed, the American Statistical Association was founded in 1839 over the issue of concerns about the conduct of the then upcoming 1840 census. Statisticians have played key roles ever since. The census 2000 received more than its share of public attention, having been enveloped in politically inspired debate. We will look at some of the attendant issues, especially as they pertain to the role that statistics and statisticians can play scientifically and professionally."

Lynne Billard

Billard received her bachelor's degree in 1966 and her doctorate in 1969 at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She has taught at the University of Georgia since 1980 where she also was head of the Computer Science and the Statistics departments, and associate dean of the university from 1989 to 1991. She was president of the International Biometric Society from 1994 to 1995 and president of the American Statistical Association for 1996. She served on the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Census 2000 Advisory Committee.

Billard concentrates mostly on the field of statistical methodology and applications; her research interests include epidemic theory, AIDS, time series, and sequential analysis. She received the Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Medal from the American Statistical Association. She was chosen for this medal, the ASA's top research award, based on her entire career.

Here is a list of upcoming discussions in the CAM Colloquium Series:

  • Nov. 14, "Mathematical Aspects of Software Engineering," presented by Pat Moberg, BAE Systems
  • Dec. 5, "Modeling the Mechanics of Living Organisms," presented by Magda Stolarska, University of St. Thomas

For more information, call (651) 962-5524 or visit the Center for Applied Mathematics Web site.