Five College Statistics Program


Upcoming Events

  • "Statistical Analysis of Big Genetics and Genomics Data" by Xihong Lin, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  
  • Abstract: The human genome project in conjunction with the rapid advance of high throughput technology has transformed the landscape of health science research. The genetic and genomic era provides an unprecedented promise of understanding genetic underpinnings of complex diseases or traits, studying gene-environment interactions, predicting disease risk, and improving prevention and intervention, and advancing precision medicine. A large number of genome-wide association studies conducted in the last ten years have identified over 1,000 common genetic variants that are associated with many complex diseases and traits. Massive targeted, whole exome and whole genome sequencing data as well as different types of -omics data have become rapidly available in the last few years. These massive genetic and genomic data present many exciting opportunities as well as challenges in data analysis and result interpretation. They also call for more interdisciplinary knowledge and research, e.g., in statistics, machine learning, data curation, molecular biology, genetic epidemiology and clinical science. In this talk, I will discuss analysis strategies for some of these challenges, including rare variant analysis of whole-genome sequencing association studies; analysis of multiple phenotypes (pleiotropy), and integrative analysis of different types of genetic and genomic data. 
    • Monday, November 16, 4:30 pm, Amherst College, Seeley Mudd 206 -- refreshments to precede talk at 4 pm in Seeley Mudd 208.
    • RSVP by Tuesday, November 10, 2015 to 

Recurring Events

Past Events

  • On Sunday, February 15 from 1 PM – 4 PM, Amherst College will be hosting a Sports Analytics Forum in the Cole Assembly Room on campus. The day will consist of several guest speakers who work and/or do research in the field of Sports Analytics, in addition to a handful of research presentations by students. This event is free and open to the public. If you would like an in-depth look into the day, please visit: Sports Analytics Forum Details.
    • Sunday, February 15 from 1 PM – 4 PM, Amherst College, Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall, Amherst, MA.

  • Taylor Arnold, PhD of AT&T Labs will talk on: Oh the Places You'll Go: The Surprising Complexity of Statistics' Most Basic Model. Abstract: A Bernoulli distribution describes a process which has only two outcomes. Despite the simplicity, it is used in a wide array of applications including a simple coin toss, the outcome of a sporting event, weather models, and the winner of an election. A careful analysis of the Bernoulli distribution also raises a number of theoretical questions leading to topics such as Bayesian inference, minimaxity and estimator theory. Fortunately, the relatively uncomplicated nature of the Bernoulli model allows such questions to be studied without the advanced mathematical machinery required for a more general treatment. This talk will explore these practical and theoretical considerations, with a focus towards the `big questions' which continue to guide modern statistical research. Two real datasets, from baseball and medicine, will be used throughout to guide the discussion.
    • Monday, February 16, 4:30PM, Amherst College, Seeley Mudd building Rm. 206. 

  • DataFest 2015: DataFest is a nationally-coordinated undergraduate competition in which teams of up to 5 students work over a weekend to extract insight from a rich and complex data set. The mission of DataFest is to expose undergraduate students to challenging questions with immediate real-world significance that can be addressed through data analysis. Apart from developing data analysis and team building skills, students can win cash prizes, fame, glory, or some combination thereof… and will get a free t-shirt!
    • Friday, March 27, 6:30PM, to Sunday, March 29, 4pm. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

  • Five College DataFest
  • New England Statistics Symposium
  • HackEbola: Sponsored by Graduate Researchers in Data (GRiD) will take place at UMass over the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nov 21-23, 2014. The event will bring students, faculty, and other professionals together to work on learning more about Ebola by analyzing real-time data on the outbreak and response. For more information, check out this website:
  • 2014 Alice Ambrose Lazerowitz-Thomas Tymoczko Dinner and Lecture: "Predictive Accuracy and the Bayesian Approach to Inductive Inference,James M. Joyce, Cooper Harold Langford Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Statistics, University of Michigan. Thursday, December 4, 2014, Smith College at 5:30pm.

  • Ben Alamar, Sports Analytics Consultant and Researcher, currently works for ESPN, author of "Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers" and also was the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports ( Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 7:30PM, Amherst College, Lewis-Sebring Commons (Desserts will be served)

  • Graduate study in Biostatistics: a panel discussion with faculty and current students from the Center for Statistical Sciences at Brown University. 
    Come hear about opportunities for graduate study in biostats (both MA and PhD) from Prof. Christopher Schmid and two current students at the Center for Statistical Sciences. Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 4:30 pm, Amherst College, Seeley Mudd 206
  • "A Crash Course in Shiny via ShinyHelper," Jay (John) Emerson from Yale has offered to give a crash course in Shiny, a straightforward means to create interactive web applications in R and RStudio.Wednesday, Sept. 18, 4 pm, Seeley Mudd Room 207, Amherst College
  • "Inferring Causation without Randomization: A matched design to assess the number of embryos to transfer during in vitro fertilization," a talk by Cassandra Pattanayak, Wellesley College. Monday, Sept. 23, 4 pm, Seeley Mudd 206, Amherst College
  • "A beginner's guide to using SQLite with R: database usage for fun and profit," Nick Horton will be giving a beginner's guide to using SQLite with R, in the context of the Data Expo 2009 airline delays dataset ( This includes 150,000,000 rows corresponding to every commercial flight in the US from 1987 to 2012. Thursday, Sept. 26, 7 pm, National Priorities Project, 243 King Street, Northampton, MA
  • "Big Data:  A perspective on their current uses and potential future uses by the Federal Statistical System," a talk by Mike Horrigan, Associate Commissioner for Prices and Living Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monday, Sept. 30, 4:30 pm, Ford Hall 240, Smith College
  • "Turning a group of programming newbies into R users," Andy Smith. Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7 pm, Room 222, Morrill Science Center, UMass
  • "openWAR: An Open Source System for Overall Player Performance in Major League Baseball," with Ben Baumer and Greg Matthews.  Thursday, Oct. 17, 4:30 pm, Room TBD, UMass
  • "Mapping Spatial Dynamics of Yellowtail Flounder on the Northeast Shelf with R," a talk by Megan O'Connor and Carl Dunham. 
    • Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 pm, McConnell Room B05, Smith College
  • "Business Analytics Research at IBM," a talk by Bonnie Ray of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.
    • Thursday, November 14, 4 pm, Seeley Mudd 206, Amherst College, refreshments at 3:30 pm. 
  • "TBA," a talk by Brianna Heggeseth, Williams College
    • Monday, November 18, 4 pm, Lederle Graduate Research Tower 1634, UMass, tea at 3:45 pm.
  • "Taking a Passion for Statistics to the Classroom, into the MOOC World and Back Again," by Lisa Dierker, Wesleyan University. 
    • Monday, March 24, 4:30 pm, Amherst College, Seeley Mudd 206 -- refreshments to precede talk at 4 pm in Seeley Mudd 208
  • "STAT4STEM: Online resources to help students (and instructors!) learn stats," by Eric Simoneau (Boston Latin) and Neil Heffernan (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) will be talking about their successful ASSISTments and STATS4STEM projects.
    • Monday, September 22, 4:30 pm, Amherst College, Seeley Mudd 206 -- refreshments to precede talk at 4 pm in Seeley Mudd 208
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