From Industrial Statistics to Data Science

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The conference “From Industrial Statistics to Data Science” to be held from 1 to 3 October 2015 at the Department of Statistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is focused on the changing role and nature of statistics in industry and in academic collaborative research. It is also a celebration of the outstanding contributions of Professor Vijay Nair on the occasion of his 65th birthday.

This conference aims to bring together researchers making fundamental contributions to methodology for complex and large-scale data analysis, researchers with deep ties to industry, and researchers with deep ties to emerging applied research in academia involving “big data”. A major goal is to promote connections between statistics researchers with a primarily methodological focus and researchers with close ties to specific application areas. This is an especially valuable opportunity for graduate students and new researchers who may not otherwise have the opportunity to see emerging statistical methods considered in an applications-oriented context.


Professor Vijay Nair has made many outstanding contributions over the course of his career, to the statistics community in general and to the Department of Statistics at the University of Michigan in particular. He has played a major role in promoting a broad and outward-looking emphasis in statistics research, in developing ties between academic research and industry, and in promoting the internationalization of statistical research and advanced practices. As a long time (former) chair of the U-M Department of Statistics, Professor Nair led the formation of an Informatics concentration for undergraduates, and more recently has been instrumental in the creation of the Michigan Institute for Data Science on the U-M campus. A lasting legacy of his vision and efforts in promoting ties between industrial and academic research dating from his time as a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs is the successful annual Spring Research Conference series in industrial statistics. As president of the International Statistical Institute, Vijay Nair has played a highly visible role in efforts to build the capacity of statistical expertise worldwide, including in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

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