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Is Africa Ready for a New Regional IASC Section? - Results and Student Experiences from a Web-Scraping Assignment

EasyChair Preprint no. 5217

10 pagesDate: March 24, 2021


In 2019, members of the Executive Committee (EC) of the International Association for Statistical Computing (IASC) were contacted by some of the African IASC members with the question whether it would be feasible to establish a new regional IASC section in Africa. Currently, the IASC has three regional sections in Europe (IASC-ERS), in Asia (IASC-ARS), and in Latin America (IASC-LARS) that was founded in 2017. To establish a new regional section, there must be a minimum number of IASC members in that geographic region. Moreover, the IASC General Assembly (GA) must approve a new regional section. That approval likely depends on the question whether the new section has the potential to conduct typical section activities, such as organizing regional conferences, workshops, and short courses where most presenters and attendees come from this geographic region. This leads to the question whether there is currently enough high-level activity in African countries with respect to computational statistics. To answer this question, we looked at author affiliations of articles published in Springer's Computational Statistics (COST) and Elsevier's Computational Statistics & Data Analysis (CSDA) in the years 2015 to 2019 and used these data as a proxy to compare author productivity for authors with an affiliation in Africa in 2018 & 2019, compared to authors with an affiliation in Latin America in 2015 & 2016 (i.e., immediately before the foundation of IASC-LARS).

In this presentation, we will (i) look at quantitative results, based on the web-scraped author affiliations from COST and CSDA, obtained in an assignment from students in Utah State University's Stat 5080, "Data Technologies", Fall 2019, course; and (ii) report observations, feedback, and student experiences related to such a non-traditional group assignment.

Keyphrases: African Authorship, Computational Statistics, Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Data Science, Data technologies, group project, teaching

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Jhonatan Medri and Joanna Coltrin and Adelyn Fleming and Cody Hilyard and Rigoberto Tellez and Juergen Symanzik},
  title = {Is Africa Ready for a New Regional IASC Section? - Results and Student Experiences from a Web-Scraping Assignment},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 5217},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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