JSM 2021: Statistics, Data, and the Stories They Tell

August 8 to 12, This is Statistics attended the annual Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM)–the largest annual gathering of statisticians in the world. Under the conference theme, “Statistics, Data, and the Stories They Tell,” 390 sessions covered a variety of topics including a number of education-focused sessions. 

Here are a few highlights: 

Open-Source Educational Resources are on the Rise 

In a year of digital classrooms and unpredictable learning environments, educators have integrated open source tools to engage students and get them excited about data science and statistics.

From fostering creativity to inspiring engagement to exploring future careers, open source offers a wide range of tools, resources, and lesson plan inspiration.  Here are few open source  tools recommended by the presenters:

  • R Course Startera github repo for building interactive R courses.
  • Palmerpenguins – an engaging tool using the study of penguins to introduce data exploration and visualization 
  • OpenIntro – a website for free mathematics and statistics education products

For takeaways and resource recommendations from the presenters, review our live tweet thread.

Cross-Sector Partnerships Jumpstart Statistics Careers 

Collaboration and partnerships with mentors create opportunities for students pursuing data science and statistics careers with internships, research opportunities, mentorships, and more. For example, CDC offers a fellowship program that offers informatics work experience to students who have recently completed a post-graduate degree. Opportunities such as these are crucial to introduce students to career paths and experiences that will make them more competitive as they begin their careers. 

For more insights about internships and other student professional development opportunities, review our live tweet thread.

Educators Shared Lessons Learned for Virtual Classrooms 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many in-person classrooms to virtual classrooms, but educators have gotten creative to inspire and engage their classes. Educators can use Q&A features, interactive polls, and Google Docs to monitor students’ progress while class is in session. Educators also shared tips to keep students connected, such as breakout room assignments and learning pods that supported each other through the course.  

For more insights and best practices from the presenters, review our live tweet thread. 

That’s a wrap for #JSM2021! We hope you enjoyed this year’s engaging discussions with data science and statistics professionals. Thank you to the American Statistical Association for hosting another successful conference. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more highlights from JSM! 


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