On Friday, 6 October 2017, the Department hosted the “Scientific Inference in the Age of Data Science” symposium. Guest lecturers included Professor and Andrew Banks Family Chair Michael Daniels from the University of Florida’s Department of Statistics, Professor Francesca Dominici of Harvard’s Department of Biostatistics and Co-Director of Harvard University Data Science Initiative, and Maurice Falk Professor of Statistics & Computational Neuroscience Robert Kass from Carnegie Mellon University. Each provided a brief overview and keen insight into the important and, indeed, essential role statistics plays in the emerging age of data science and the significant contributions of Brown’s Department of Biostatistics. We were also honored with the participation of University Provost Richard Locke, School of Public Health Dean Fox Wetle and Health Services Policies and Practice Professor Vince Mor.

The symposium, hosted by Department Chair Professor Joseph Hogan, not only showcased significant research in biostatistics, it was also a platform through which recognition and appreciation was bestowed upon founding Chair, Professor Constantine Gatsonis, who stepped down in June 2017, after founding Biostatistics at Brown and leading the Department for 22 years. While a great deal of appreciation, personal insights and heartfelt gratitude were shared and exchanged, Professor Gatsonis is nowhere close to the thought of retiring. Last month, the National Cancer Institute and ECOG-ACRIN, launched a 4.5-year clinical trial entitled Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST) through which the Center for Statistical Sciences, directed by Dr. Gatsonis, will serve as the hub for handling and compiling the TMIST data for the 165,000 participants and will conduct the statistical analysis the trial. The full TMIST story can be found here.

The symposium was followed by a reception and private dinner.