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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics
Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics
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Committee On Applied & Theoretical Statistics
Math Frontiers Webinar Series
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BMSA Impacts


Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century

The mathematical sciences play a vital role in science, engineering, medicine, industry, and national security. Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century is written for a general audience and provides an overview of how our societies, industries, and technologies are advancing as a result of continued innovation in the mathematical sciences. Since its release in July 2012, this report has been downloaded over 9,000 times in 150 countries. Fueling Innovation and Discovery has helped both 2- and 4-year academic institutions across the United States set new standards, revise curricular offerings, enhance assessment, and present new degree programs in both mathematics and physical sciences; introduced advanced placement high school students to new mathematical applications; inspired elementary, middle, and high school faculty, as well as local administrators, school boards, and state education departments, to strengthen STEM courses; enhanced grant proposals; suggested new content both for pre-service teacher training and staff professional development programs; and encouraged cross-disciplinary ventures. The report has been used to provide evidence of needed policy and/or curricular reforms in documents such as A Common Vision for the Undergraduate Mathematics Program in 2025 (2015), Indiana’s Math Pathways Recommendations (2015), Mathematical Sciences Driving the UK Economy (2015), Rethinking Postsecondary Mathematics: Final Report of the Ohio Mathematics Steering Committee (2014), and Proceedings of the International Institute of Industrial Engineering Conference (2013). The report has also been consulted by diverse educators, policy makers, academic institutions, and organizations, including the Transforming Postsecondary Education in Mathematics (TPSEMath) Advisory Group, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the European Service Network of Mathematics for Industry and Innovation, and by participants of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. Fueling Innovation and Discovery was part of a 2-year National Academies’ study supported by the National Science Foundation.

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Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis

With the onset of large, complex data sets, new tools, skills, and analytical techniques are needed. Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis, published in July 2013 and supported by the National Security Agency, describes these innovations and explores cross-disciplinary research opportunities for making inferences from massive data. Since its release, the report has been downloaded over 25,000 times in 159 countries, making it the 26th most downloaded report of the National Academies Press as of June 2017.  The report continues to be consulted by various government agencies, health care policy analysts, and university educators, students, and researchers across the United States. The report is also included in the reading lists for various big data analytics courses and often cited at conferences and in publications in a variety of fields, including statistics, computer science, data science, information technology, artificial intelligence, biology, healthcare, neuroscience, forecasting, child psychology and psychiatry, computational social science, veterinary medicine, materials science, geoscience, innovation, public policy, water management, political science, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering.

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Statistical Challenges in Assessing and Fostering the Reproducibility of Scientific Results

A lack of reproducibility of scientific research may be due to failures in experimental design, data management, data analysis, and statistical expertise. Researchers can also be swayed by publication incentives and the need to manipulate results for a better outcome. This lack of reproducibility creates a distrust of the scientific community, yet there is no consensus on how to best alleviate this problem. Supported by the National Science Foundation, Statistical Challenges in Assessing and Fostering the Reproducibility of Scientific Results discusses the extent of irreproducibility, the causes of reproducibility failures, and the potential remedies for these failures. Since the workshop summary’s release in March 2016, it has been downloaded nearly 4,000 times in 122 countries.   Described as the “Analytical Bible” for reproducibility by the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School, the workshop summary shows how statistics impacts a broad community. It has been consulted by various state and federal government agencies and private institutions as they develop reproducible research frameworks, evaluate research findings, and help researchers improve upon the ways they communicate their results. The workshop summary has been useful for educators in the physical sciences, statistics, and elsewhere who wish to introduce their students to important scientific issues as well as for administrators who wish to offer professional development to their faculty. Journal editors have also found the text useful in facilitating the guidelines for reproducibility and repeatability of published research. The workshop summary has been used as a resource for other workshops and activities examining reproducibility challenges.

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