ASA Causality in Statistics Education Award


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 17 February 2016
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of Clipart

The American Statistical Association is inviting nominations for the prize Causality in Statistics Education aimed at encouraging the teaching of basic causal inference in introductory statistics courses.

The prize carries a monetary award of $10,000. Originally donated by Judea Pearl and now sponsored by Microsoft Research and Google, the prize is motivated by the growing importance of introducing core elements of causal inference into undergraduate and lower-division graduate classes in statistics.

thumbnail image: ASA Causality in Statistics Education Award

The prize will be given by the ASA to a person or team that does the most to enhance the teaching and learning of causal inference in statistics. Winners are announced on or about May 1 each year, and the prize is presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings.

Winners will be selected by the members of the prize committee, who will administer submissions and judge their merit according to the following criteria:

1. The extent to which the material submitted equips students with skills needed for effective causal reasoning. These include:
- Ability to correctly classify problems, assumptions, and claims into two distinct categories: causal vs. associational
- Ability to take a given causal problem and articulate in some mathematical language (e.g., counterfactuals, equations, or graphs) both the target quantity to be estimated and the assumptions one is prepared to make (and defend) to facilitate a solution
- Ability to determine, in simple cases, whether control for covariates is needed for estimating the target quantity, what covariates need be controlled, what the resulting estimand is, and how it can be estimated using the observed data
- Ability to take a simple scenario (or model), determine whether it has statistically testable implications, and apply data to test the assumed scenario

2. The extent to which the submitted material assists statistics instructors in gaining an understanding of the basics of causal inference (as outlined above) and prepares them to teach these basics in undergraduate and lower-division graduate classes in statistics.

Nominated material can be in a variety of forms, including exemplary content such as class notes, books, or chapters with associated lesson plans; excellent resources for teachers such as annotated instruction manuals; or innovative student activities with pedagogical and content notes, especially those using broadly accessible technology.

The deadline for submission has been extended to March 1, 2016. Submissions should include a cover letter that provides information about the nominee, type of material suggested as an important contribution, the intended audience, and an abstract of why the material is nominated, along with the nominated work. Submissions and questions should be sent to the ASA office at

For additional information about the award, see the Amstat News articles at and

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