The Freezing Rain Sidewalk Challenge

01/27/2013 at 5:38 pm

Freezing rain occurs almost every year here in Iowa. However it isn’t every year that the sidewalks and roads completely ice over. This is both entertaining and dangerous to attempt to walk up a sidewalk with any significant slope. Unfortunately the longest sloped paths I knew of were not icy enough, but we found some formidable sidewalks that were nearly unwalkable. The following video highlights Our attempts to walk the sidewalks near our apartment.

I had planned to drive to school to do some work, but when I noticed the solid layer of ice on the car, I gave up on driving to school. Felix and I then investigated the sidewalk situation as seen in the video above.…

Fixed-cost vs. Fixed-risk post-election audits in Iowa

09/12/2010 at 10:31 pm

Jonathan Hobbs, Luke Fostvedt, Adam Pintar, David Rockoff, Eunice Kim, and Randy Griffiths

Electoral integrity has been a forefront issue during the past decade. Policy developments such as voter-verified paper records and post-election audits bolster transparency and voter confidence.

paper: pdf

Post Election Audits in Iowa

09/12/2009 at 10:17 pm

Abstract: During the summer of 2008, several statisticians in Iowa learned of developing post-election audit legislation for the state, a collective effort of state legislators, county auditors and active citizens. Since then, faculty and students at three Iowa universities have worked with audit advocates around the state and election audit experts from around the country to promote risk-limiting audit legislation in Iowa. The input from a number of statisticians with experience and expertise in post-election audits has helped shape our strategy, which is focused on developing a dialogue between statisticians and election officials. Our initial contacts with local officials have underscored the critical importance of communication in promoting risk-limiting audits. Our efforts in 2009 will include additional student involvement and exploring pilot audits for Iowa’s next general election.

Slides: Post Election Audits Presentation

The Pros of Pro Bono Statistical Consulting

08/01/2009 at 10:00 pm

Abstract: Students involved in pro bono statistical work, while acquiring hands-on skills that contribute to their own professional development, also embrace a spirit of volunteerism that will likely stay with them throughout their careers. In recent years, an increasing number of student statisticians have become actively engaged in pro bono work and have helped contribute to an expansion of volunteerism in the profession. The panel includes statisticians who have volunteered their time during graduate school and beyond, and have been invited to reflect on their experiences.

Slides: JSM 2009 StatCom Slides