September 15, 2003, 12:00AM

The Department of Statistics had a pretty good summer. In fact, that may be something of an understatement.

The department has received a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund its Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) program, a national initiative to increase the number of U.S. citizens who pursue and complete doctor's degrees in the mathematical sciences. Statisticians are in demand because of the increasing amount of data generated by scientific research, as well as the growing complexity of that information, said Rob Kass, head of the Statistics Department.

The overriding objective of Carnegie Mellon's VIGRE program is to train students to solve a scientific problem by translating it into a statistical question, then explaining the results so that they can be understood by the scientific community. The program also prepares graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to be university-level statistics instructors.


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September 9, 2003, 12:00AM

Friday September 12, 2003 at 4:15 pm, University of Chicago Professor Steve Stigler will deliver the Seventh Morris H. DeGroot Memorial Lecture at 4:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12, in McConomy Auditorium, University Center. A reception follows in McKenna/Peter/Wright Rooms.

This biennial event is hosted by the Department of Statistics to honor the memory of its founding Head, Morris H. DeGroot. The lecture is in conjunction with the seventh workshop: "Case Studies in Bayesian Statisics," Friday Sept 12 - Saturday Sept 13. Further information at

September 2, 2003, 12:00AM

AAAS, the science society, today announced startling new estimates on the number of people who "disappeared" or were killed in Peru during a 20-year battle between government forces and Maoist insurgents that ended in the late 1990s.

A final, peer-reviewed version of the AAAS analysis, released today, "doubles earlier, incomplete estimates of how many people were killed," said Patrick Ball, Deputy Director of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program. Ball served as co-author of the AAAS report, "How Many Peruvians Died?--An Estimate of the Total Number of Victims of the Internal Armed Conflict, 1980-2000," along with Jana Asher, a statistical consultant for AAAS, and David Sulmont, with Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission."

Some 69,280 people (in a confidence interval from 61,007 to 77,552) were murdered or disappeared during the turmoil in Peru, the AAAS report concludes.

The new estimates will be examined during discussions with Peruvian scientists, journalists and the report co-authors. "This exchange is important for the credibility of the report," Ball noted.

To come up with the death toll, the authors used statistical projections from...

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