Dipak K. Dey, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Connecticut (UConn), has been nominated to run as a candidate for President of the American Statistical Association (ASA) for the 2025 term.
The ASA is the world's largest community of statisticians, and is the second-oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. Its members serve in industry, government, and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.
"It is most exciting time for me to be a statistical scientist, and I am honored to be a candidate for President of the ASA," says Dey.
Read Professor Dey's candidate statement
A prominent statistician, Dey is most known for his pioneering work in Bayesian analysis, decision science, and model selection. With over 320 research articles published in reputable national and international journals, and over 10 books and edited volumes to his name, he has made a significant impact on the field of statistics and data science. Dey earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Purdue University, under the supervision of Prof. Jim Berger. Before joining the UConn in 1985, he held academic positions at Stanford University, the University of Kentucky, and Texas Tech University, and has also held visiting appointments at several universities and institutions worldwide. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, and the International Statistical Institute, and has received numerous awards and honors for his work.
Dey is a dedicated mentor to students and colleagues. He has supervised over 45 Ph.D. students and has collaborated with practically every colleague in his department in a career spanning more than 40 years, helping tenure-track faculty and Ph.D. students achieve their professional goals. His broad range of interest and expertise, combined with his devotion to his peers has been instrumental to many in the statistical community. One of his many awards was the Marth Award for mentorship at UConn.
It is most exciting time for me to be a statistical scientist, and I am honored to be a candidate for President of the ASA.
Dey has held multiple leadership positions. He was for fourteen years Head of the Statistics Department and for five years the Associate Dean for Research of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UConn. He has been a highly effective leader, while maintaining an extremely active academic career. Among his many accomplishments in his leadership roles, Dey oversaw an expansion of the Statistics Department; he started a Biostatistics program, a partnership with UConn Health; he developed collaborative research program with various other schools, colleges and Institutes (e.g., CHIP, IMS, Center for Environmental Science); and he initiated corporate partnership with Pfizer, CIGNA and Travelers.
Dey has been the editor-in-chief of Sankhya, the official journal of world-renowned Indian Statistical Institute, since 2016. Sankhya is the second oldest journal in Statistics in the world. It has two series: Series A covers mathematical statistics and probability, while Series B covers applied and interdisciplinary statistics. He has also served as an associate editor for several statistical journals such as the Journal of the American Statistical Association (1997-1999), the Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference (2001-2003).
Dey has a clear long-term vision for the field of statistics and data science based on his many years of experience as a researcher, mentor, teacher, and interdisciplinary collaborator. He believes that statistics should be introduced from an early age in schools in order to develop statistical thinking and to learn how to apply them in real-life situations. His goal for the profession is to make it broadly understood, much beyond STEM programs. At the college level, data science education must include statistics, mathematics, and computational skills in order to train students who plan to pursue a professional career as data scientists in industry, government, and academia.
Candidate Statement to ASA Members
Dipak K. Dey
Candidate for the Board Directors President-Elect 2024; President 2025.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Department of Statistics and Department of Mathematics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Connecticut
Council Member, New England Statistical Society
Editor-in-Chief, "Sankhya," Official Journal of Indian Statistical Institute
It is most exciting time for me to be a statistical scientist, and I am honored to be a candidate for President of the ASA. I have been learning Statistics since my undergraduate years but I have never felt this much excitement. I have witnessed over the time that we are becoming more and more needed by the society. As we move into a new era where the demand for data scientists exceeds the supply, our profession’s skills, talents, intellect, and knowledge about various domain of sciences and technologies have become increasingly important.
We are now to capitalize fully on our strong foundations of Statistics in the age of data and extensive computational resources. We live and breathe this excitement in our daily lives, passing this enthusiasm along to the next generation of statisticians and data scientists in all domains of biological, physical, medical, behavioral, and social sciences.
I strongly believe in the collective strength of diverse people and perspectives. I know it from working at University of Connecticut, one of the forward-looking universities, for over thirty years and having led our department as Head for three terms and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as Associate Dean for one term, In addition, serving on various committees and chapters of ASA has taught me how to advocate for statisticians to take leadership toles in teams and in organizations.
My priority as ASA President is to take more initiatives in Data Science. Our field has seen an explosion of new methods in statistics and data science, integrating the best of statistical thinking and practice. Forward looking universities rely heavily on, and invest in, their statistics departments to build top data science programs. The ASA has an opportunity to work with university leaders and government agencies to articulate the values that statisticians bring to the table.
One important area is social science data analytics and data privacy. Urban analytics requires new statistical paradigms and a willingness to engage local, state, and federal governments; NGOs; and communities. Central to this focus are growing issues of data privacy and the changing landscape of availability and use of data. As ASA President, I will take a leadership role to understand the changes and address their impact through collective effort. This area opens an opportunity for the ASA to foster greater involvement of local government and chapters.
We will continue to secure our place in the world of data science. We have been working on making ASA more welcoming to data scientists. ASA is already arranging each year two conferences, publishing two journals and has two sections with “data science” in their names and missions. There is, however, no doubt that more needs to be done. In this perspective, I will promote these groups for more collaborative research in various application domains such as health solutions and business analytics.
ASA developed a strong program Statistical Partnerships Among Academe, Industry & Government (SPAIG), which promotes collaborative research activities between partners from academe, industry and government. The program is going very strong because of increase in interdisciplinary research within Statistics departments. If elected, I will take more initiative to foster the program.
With many years mentoring experience, I am convinced that it plays a major role in professional development of students, faculty, and staffs on every level. ASA has a good mentoring program but I look forward to expanding our mission even further. Our leadership should reflect our demographics, and we need more statisticians to volunteer for mentorship. Our students should also be exposed to ethical guidelines and teamwork, including professional ethics.
If elected, I will keep promoting ASA’s efforts in developing periodic webinars for professional development of our members. ASA can develop multiple strategies for professional development, first to get more involvement in memberships of committees and sub committees of National Academies, which will eventually help in membership of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. I will also encourage ASA members to get involved in American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Areas for the ASA’s immediate attention is leadership, advancing the ASA’s data science role, and engaging in the new frontier of social analytics. Currently, members of our profession hold strategic leadership positions across various types of industry, government, and academia. Past presidents of ASA have already taken initiatives to achieve these goals. If elected, I will continue to strengthen all those goals through mentoring interested statistical scientists by using Webinar to achieve higher leadership positions. Training in statistics naturally develops a foundation for leadership in large part due to the interdisciplinary nature of our profession. In 2018, the ASA founded the Leadership Institute, and it needs to be moving forward further, by developing strategic initiatives. Again, through webinars, we will invite department heads to participate in the programs of Leadership Institute. Few selective topics will include, for example, how to communicate the theory and practice to a transdisciplinary team for statisticians who are becoming leaders in their work by promoting statistics, analytics, and logical thinking as key contributors to decision-making.
It has been observed that our membership has been declining for several years. My effort towards increase in membership is based on more inclusiveness. Many members in other statistical societies in other countries, especially developing countries, can be invited to become a shared member of ASA through a cost reduction approach, following guidelines in line with those developed by the International Statistical Institute. Consequently, they can also subscribe ASA journals at a reduced rate following the World Bank guidelines.
We need to meet the needs of our members, of course, and we also need to recognize that meetings are an important source of revenue for ASA. If that revenue source dries up, either it must be replaced, or we must cut somewhere else. Further, selecting meeting locations has become an increasingly complex and problematic issue. How we move forward, and how we communicate about this, are keys to our success. My proposal is to have JSM in a hybrid fashion with multiple hub system, where each hub will be located at each ASA chapter location to be selected by officials of individual chapters as mirror sights. This will be challenging in some instances in terms of coordination but it will undoubtedly reduce the transportation and accommodation costs as well as travel restriction rules.
Publications are fundamental to any professional society. In my perception, most journals will eventually be online, where members or subscribers, both individuals and organizations will receive pdf files after the papers are accepted. I think ASA will follow that path and consequently it will be more attractive to subscribers and members around the world.
We should be more serious about implementation of Justice Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness (JEDI). The JEDI outreach group is functioning well and is an excellent addition to the ASA. I will be working with the ASA antiracism task force group to evaluate the need for change within the organization.
In summary, as strategic plans, I will pursue three major themes, enhancing the diversity and breadth of our association, increasing the visibility of our profession, and ensuring the future of our profession. I am excited about where our profession is heading and will be honored to have the opportunity to help achieve these goals as ASA President.