Annual Reports


A - Biometry and Statistical Computing Section - Officers (A013)

2011 Annual Report

2011 Biometry and Statistical Computing Section Business Meeting Minutes




David Meek and Kathy Yeater


      The meeting was held on Monday, October 17, 2011; it started about 5:15 PM and continued on for an hour.  Formal attendance was not taken but about 20 members were present.  David Meek, Presiding Chair, convened the meeting and welcomed members.  Newell Kitchen, ASA President, offered thanks to the section and communities for the organization of the talks and workshop.  He reported on the state of the society – it is in good shape financially.  More details are available through the B&F committee.  He also introduced Reinvest ASA.


      Sasha Kravchenko, Board Representative, reported on the status of membership.  Currently the number of members is down from the previous year.  She announced the call for nominees for Board Representative and Vice Chair to stand for election in the spring of 2012; those elected will begin their terms in 2013.  The nominees for Vice Chair are Jose Hernandez and Edzard van Santen.  The nominees for Board Rep. are German Bollero and Kathy Yeater.


      David Meek reported that he and Kathy Yeater, as Chair and Vice-chair of the section, promoted the section and its communities to other statistical groups this year.  There were announcements printed in the August issue of AMSTAT NEWS and first January to March quarterly issue of Biometrics Bulletin.  There was also a poster presentation given at the annual Conference on Applied Statistics in Agriculture held in Manhattan, KS this last May.


      There was an open discussion for Section-wide symposia.  The ideas suggested were:


            R-based programming for statistical analysis (this topic is for a workshop)

            Multivariate Analysis

            Analysis of Messy Data

            Data Mining

            Collaboration Sessions for Scientists to receive consultation time with statisticians

            Database Management as idea for online training with Stat. Ed. Community


A section conference call for planning the 2012 annual meeting section program is planned to be held before the end of this year.


      Kathy Yeater gave an explanation of the availability of funds through ASA Reinvest and Performance Enhancement Funds.  The ASA Reinvest funds are surplus monies available only when the society has a good year.  Obviously the amount of money available will vary.  In 2010 $41,800 are in the fund.  Each community will receive $750 allocation for use in either one or both 2012 and 2013 Annual Programming.


      The Performance Enhancement Funds (PEF) are to have a new use policy starting in 2012.  Each ASA Section has more than $1000 which is non-accumulating over the next year.  In turn 50% of remaining funds are allocated to the Communities.  The funds are prorated based on activity and presentations at the 2011 Annual Meeting; they can accumulate for no longer than 2 years; and if a community is dissolved the funds revert to A711.  The level of funding for 2012 will be known sometime in January.  The other half of the remaining funds go to A711 Program Planning Committee.  These funds are available for Competitive PEF Proposals ($500-$2500, maximum $5000); for expenses and honoraria for invited speakers; and for underwriting the costs of workshops.



Community Business Meeting Minutes


      The section meeting was small and many members are in all communities; hence, a joint business meeting proceeded for the next 45 minutes.  There was a gradual exodus of members throughout the period.  The respective community presiding leaders were all present and lead discussion on matters relevant to their communities as well as to the section and other communities as a whole.  For each community, the presiding leader’s term was extended to a two year term by a vote of the members present. 

Spatial Statistics Application


      Jose Hernandez, presiding leader, guided the relevant discussion.  Plans to be completed before the end of the year are to:


            Create a database of current relevant papers on Spatial Statistics applied to the

               agricultural sciences.

            Contact authors and develop a repository of codes (basic and advanced) for spatial



      Plans for the upcoming 2012 meetings are to:


            Coordinate a workshop on using the R statistical programming language.

            Coordinate a symposium on spatial statistics applications, possibly in collaboration with

               the "Precision Agriculture" community, or S05 (Soil Pedology).


      Finally, members will also explore other opportunities to contribute to review articles and to symposia with The International Precision Agriculture Conference.


Bioinformatics in Crops and Soils


      Claire Coyne, presiding leader, guided the relevant discussion.  On the following day, further ideas were introduced and discussed at the community sponsored symposium on Bioinformatics for Crop Improvement: Assay Design and Applications.  The symposium was very well attended (at least 50).  Both multivariate methods and database design/management topics emerged as leading areas of interest for the 2012 meeting.  Related workshops may also be considered.  Planning is still in progress.


Statistical Education/Training for Researchers


      Edzard van Santen, presiding leader, guided the relevant discussion.  The Walk, Crawl, Run! – Hands-on Training in Modern Data Analysis with SAS® for Researcher was very well attended (over 40) and received many compliments.  Likewise for the Partnering Soil Science and Statistics, Ways to Avoid Statistical Malpractice in Soil Research Symposium (over 100 for some talks).  Future variations of each of these sessions seemed to be of general interest.  In addition, many of the possible section symposia topics are also topics of interest for future workshops with multivariate methods and the R statistical software most often being suggested.  Planning is still in progress.

Items Requiring Board Attention:

The nominees for Vice Chair are Jose Hernandez and Edzard van Santen.

The nominees for Board Rep. are German Bollero and Kathy Yeater.

For each community, the presiding leader’s term was extended to a two year term by a vote of the members present. 

Members of the Committee:

David Meek (Presiding Chair, Biometry and Statistical Computing Section)
Kathleen Yeater (Vice Chair, Biometry and Statistical Computing Section)
Alexandra Kravchenko (Board Rep., Biometry and Statistical Computing Section)

Prepared By:

Meek, David W.