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2015-2016 Projects

American Society of Engineering Education, Stanford Chapter

Contact: ASEE Stanford Officers,

The Stanford Student Chapter of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) aims to promote awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education research and best practices. We host monthly ASEE Breakfast Chats (ABCs), which are open to the public and entire Stanford Community. The ABCs involve a short presentation by an invited speaker followed by a discussion with attendees, all over breakfast. This set-up encourages discussion between attendees and speakers both before and after the formal ABC event. Each spring we also host a colloquium focusing on different areas of STEM education. We plan to expand the colloquium this coming year by inviting speakers from outside the Bay Area, which will allow us to attract a larger audience and hopefully a broader audience as well. The goals of both our ABC and colloquium are to (1) bring people together to talk about specific aspects of STEM education and (2) facilitate networking between Stanford graduate students and faculty as well as between Stanford affiliates and non-affiliates.

AMO Physics Journal Club - through the Graduate Students of Applied Physics & Physics (GSAPP)

Contact: Rajiv Krishnakumar,

The AMO Physics Journal Club is a student-only forum where a variety of things (e.g. current research, journal articles, tech talks etc.) from the subfield are presented and discussed in a comfortable and stress-free environment. This journal club will meet on a biweekly basis.

Classical Theater: Translation and Performance

Contact: Ted Kelting; Stephen Sansom,;

The purpose of Stanford Classics in Theater (SCIT) is to promote understanding of and engagement with classical theater through original research, rehearsal, and production. SCIT aims to bring together students from various academic backgrounds and interests, primarily among the graduate students of the Department of Classics, but also including undergraduates, faculty and others from the broader Stanford community.

Condensed Matter Physics Journal Club

Contact: Menyoung Lee,

The Condensed Matter Physics Journal Club is a student-only forum where journal articles from the subfield are presented and discussed in a comfortable and stress-free environment. This journal club meets on a biweekly basis.

Connecting Ocean Interests

Contact: Ginny Selz,

We aim to bring graduate students interested in ocean-related questions from diverse departments and our Distant campus (Hopkins) together quarterly to engage with faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students. To build cross campus connectivity, we plan to hold a Summer Research Review at the beginning of the Fall quarter where graduate students will highlight potential areas for collaboration or mentor development. Expanding on these conversations, more frequent lunch discussions will increase peer to peer contact among multiple departments, allow graduate students to develop skills in facilitating technical and philosophical discussions, and give them experience communicating across disciplines. These conversations will drive the selection of the topics for following quarterly panels.

Cross-Disciplinary Healthcare Innovation Partnership at Stanford (CHIPS)

Contact: Joseph Charalel,

CHIPS aims to spur growth of new technologies and ideas in healthcare at Stanford. We do this through number of related activities. 1) We connect interested graduate students with key resources within Stanford and Silicon Valley. 2) We foster collaboration between students across all Stanford graduate schools through project based activities and social events. 3) We educate graduate students through informative seminars and direct contact with successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders in healthcare.

Current Research in Sociology and Psychology (CRISP)

Contact: Gregg Sparkman,

An integral part of pursuing and advanced degree is being well-informed about the latest work being published in peer reviewed journals. However, most students find this task daunting since the journals one should be reading can easily exceed two dozen in number and can span many disciplines. Moreover, since graduate seminars tend to focus on well-established findings, many grad students lack a place where they can come together with their peers to critically evaluate the most recent research in their field. The Current Research in Sociology / Psychology (CRiSP) group aims to fill this gap. With membership from students at all different phases of the graduate career, from 1st years to post docs, this organization allows students to work together to keep up to date with the most cutting edge research in their area. Each of the members submits the most important areas of interest to them, and then is assigned two to four journals to be responsible for. At each meeting, members get together and discuss articles that were relevant to the research interests of anyone in the group. Not only will the group compile relevant articles, members will also critically engage with each other to scrutinize the methods and findings in order to push ourselves as developing researchers. By combing our effort and discussing the latest research in monthly meetings, the group members will be able to stay on top of the latest findings in dozens of the top journals in our field while also participating in a vibrant intellectual community.

Development and Innovation in Chemical Engineering

Contact: Mengfei Yang,

Development and Innovation in Chemical Engineering (DICE) is a program aimed at creating a more cohesive, collaborative, and innovative environment in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford. While our department produces world-class research, there has been little funding available for programs that bring students from different research groups and different years together to share ideas and advice about research or graduate life. The DICE program will bring students together to share ideas and form new collaborations through three components: A) a mentoring program for first year PhD students, B) a Chemical Engineering Research Symposium, and C) professional development events such as career workshops and an alumni speaker series.


Contact: Shu Fen Ong,

emPower is a team of students who believe that the developing world can leapfrog the centralized model of energy, just as it leapfrogged fixed line telecoms and went straight to mobile phone, and move towards a system of distributed, sustainable power sources. This however, requires heaps of innovation, some of which we hope may engender from Stanford. Our goal is to assist that by educating, engaging and inspiring the graduate community and fostering an active dialogue in this field. We aim to do so by organizing a series of seminars and possibly company visits. We envision like-minded graduate students from different backgrounds coming together to bounce ideas off one another and hopefully create solutions that can help alleviate energy poverty.

First-Years Teaching First-Years Neuroscience Seminar (FTF)

Contact: John Peters,

First-Years Teaching First-Years, or FTF, is a weekly seminar series in which first-year students in the Neurosciences PhD Program will present on the topics and techniques of their previous research to other first-year neuroscience students. Each week will feature a presenter with particular expertise in a novel technique or understudied topic of neuroscience, and he/she will provide the other students with the relevant background and the advantages/disadvantages of the technique. The low-pressure atmosphere of a student-led seminar series will encourage in-depth discussion of the chosen topics and eventual collaboration between students with different skills.

Goggles Optional Podcast

Contact: Diego Calderon,

Goggles Optional is a podcast where scientists from Stanford University provide their professional yet humorous takes from the world of science. Join us as our hosts explore the significant news and discoveries of the week using a combination of wit, analogies, and words with less than four syllables. Goggles Optional has been featured as a New and Noteworthy science podcast on iTunes and by the Stanford School of Medicine blog. Don't worry, you don't need to be a scientist to listen. The Goggles are Optional!

kWh – "the kilowatt-hour"

Contact: Aryeh Gold-Parker,

Energy GRID is an energy reading group for Stanford graduate students. Every week, we gather for the "kW-hour," an informal discussion grounded in contemporary journal articles, news stories, and policy papers. Energy GRID draws students from across disciplines to explore topics in energy economics, policy, and technology.

LEEP speaker series

Contact: Eduardo Munoz-Munoz,

In the context of the annual speakers series hosted by the Language, Equity and Educational Policy research group (LEEP, SGSE), we are planning on inviting diverse-background professors in national and international universities that will present both their research on diversity and how it intersects with their identities in their current and past institutions.The talks are planned and advertised with this dual perspective so as to attract multiple audiences.

MASALA - Musicians, Artists, and Scientists Advancing (novel) Leagues and Amalgams

Contact: Madeline Huberth,

The interests spanning the Stanford music department are diverse. MASALA proposes a suite of activities that both encourage Stanford graduate students to pursue deeper understanding of scientific content in art and music in order to foster discussion and collaboration among students. Activities include a journal club, a writing club, and two venues for graduate students to present their research and projects. Firstly, we will host biweekly conference-style presentations for students (and faculty) to present matured work. Secondly, to further facilitate knowledge of projects going on in the department and ignite collaborations, we also hold ‘rapid-fire' talk sessions, in which students briefly present topics of recent interest to them. Cumulatively, through this suite of activities MASALA aims to fulfill the music department's need for an intellectual community that transcends traditional boundaries.

Networking Outreach Meals for Science

Contact: Sonya Mollinger,

The main purpose of the Networking Outreach Meals for Science project is to bring together various sectors of the scientific community to interact in an informal environment to exchange ideas and advice. The project focuses on bringing together scientists and engineers at different stages in their careers and on creating a forum where those early in their career can reach out and network with those in later stages. Because the setting is a talk followed by a meal rather than a formal workshop, panel, or colloquium setting, the conversations are one-on-one and more organic. The talks will be in the general categories of 1) AP/physics alumni talks on their diverse non-academic career paths; 2) local faculty speakers both from Stanford and non-research universities; 3) local physicists working at physical science companies in the area.

NeuWrite West

Contact: Samata Katta,

NeuWrite-West is a growing community of scientists and writers who are passionate about engaging with the public to enhance the communication of scientific ideas and convey the practice of science as a process of discovery rather than just an accumulation of facts. We seek to improve our skills through a biweekly writers workshop, chats with science communication professionals, and public science events similar to NerdNite. You can check out the fruits of our work at the NeuWrite West blog (, or on either of our podcasts (NeuroTalk and Brains & Bourbon).

Psychological Interventions in Educational Settings (PIES)

Contact: Shannon Brady,

Psychological Interventions in Educational Settings (PIES) brings together graduate students to collaborate and discuss research on psychological interventions that take place in authentic educational contexts. Meetings provide opportunities for graduate students in a variety of departments to learn about recent research in general psychology, educational psychology, and classroom instruction. The group invites faculty and researchers from Stanford and other institutions to present on their work and discuss how particular disciplines can inform the design of educational intervention research. In addition, graduate students at various stages of their careers will also present their research and receive feedback from their peers.

QMV (Qualitative Methods Workshop)

Contact: Jeff Sheng,

The Qualitative Methods Workshop (QMW) creates a community of students in the sociology department who support each other as we develop ideas and encounter methodological challenges. QMW provides a forum for students who do qualitative research to present their work, give and receive feedback, enhance their writing and analytical skills, share expertise developed in the field, and discuss issues related to the practice and status of qualitative research in the discipline. While QMW values collaboration with other qualitative methods communities on campus and intends to host inter-departmental events, the group is distinct in its emphasis on student leadership and peer mentorship and is uniquely tailored to the needs of sociology researchers across sub-fields and years of study.

Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration (REI)

Contact: Juan Pedroza,

The mission of the Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration (REI) reading and mentorship group is to support graduate students across different programs and years who do work in the subfields of race, ethnicity, and immigration. REI originated in sociology as a space to cultivate constructive and supportive mentoring relationships among graduate student peers and it aims to continue to augment the few institutional channels for such supportive mentoring as we expand our reach to other departments with shared intellectual interests. REI will help students: 1) get to know other students with similar academic and research interests; 2) create an environment where students can openly discuss ideas and challenge each other intellectually without fear of judgment; and 3) institutionalize mentoring relationships among graduate students and across departments.

Research Forum 2016

Contact: Sandra Kjono,

The Research Forum kicks off with an Opening Ceremony that includes a Keynote Speaker over a tasty lunch, 12-1pm on campus. Student presentation sessions are split into hour-long sessions of 10 minute oral presentations in smaller meeting rooms and poster presentations in a larger meeting room during the afternoon, 1-4pm. The purpose of this event is to share student research spanning all Schools and careers, while providing feedback to presenters through interactive 5 minute question sessions and a confidential 5 question evaluation form that, when submitted, will earn presentation attendees and evaluators a Raffle ticket. Previous Raffle prizes have included gift cards from campus favorites such as Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and CoHo/Treehouse/Rays. All Stanford student scholars are encouraged and welcome to present and/or attend.

SAFFRON - Stanford Advance Fellows For Research, Outreach, and Networking

Contact: Theresa Logan-Garbisch,

SAFFRON is designed to help facilitate engagement, mentorship, and community both within the group of ADVANCE fellows and the larger Stanford graduate student community, with a particular focus on under-represented minorities in STEM fields. We aim to have community-building activities as well as outreach to local community colleges and low-income high schools.

Science Teaching through Art (STAr)

Contact: Matthew Ware,

The Science Teaching through Art (STAr) program encourages the intersection of art and science by teaching Stanford researchers to use art and visual aids in communicating their work to a general audience. The use of visual aids, from highly literal schematics to interpretive, abstract pieces, helps to grab audiences' attention, distill complicated concepts to their essence, and open more lines of communication between the researcher and the public. Through a series of interactive workshops, participants of the STAr program design and create effective visual aids and learn how to communicate their research to a variety of audiences. The program culminates in a series of poster exhibitions at Stanford, local high schools, and community colleges, where participants use their research and experiences to hone their presentations and to inspire the next generation of researchers. Now entering its third year, the STAr program strives to increase the artistic element of the program by further focusing the Graphic Design workshops on translating research into art and opening the program to arts and humanities graduate students.

Shriram Centre "Happy-to-talk-Science" Biweekly Seminar Series

Contact: Haripriya Mukundarajan & Vivek Nagendra Prakash, ;

The "Happy-to-talk-science" seminar series is a biweekly event involving graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty from the Shriram Centre for Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering. We have two speakers every session giving 20 minute presentations on their current research, with an additional 10 minute discussion after the talk. These are informal talks about work in progress, with the goal of promoting discussion and encouraging constructive feedback among members of this community. Rather than polished "conference style" talks, the format of informal talks creates the atmosphere of a group meeting. However, the audience involves a much wider community from a multitude of labs, each focusing on different areas of expertise. The aim of such a multidisciplinary interaction is to provide immediate feedback to students on their ongoing work from a variety of perspectives, increasing the breadth of students' exposure and allowing for cross-pollination of ideas between groups. We hope that this will be a valuable exercise in community building, where students in the Shriram Centre get to know each other through the work they do.

Sociology and Education Network (SAEN)

Contact: Julia Lerch and Natassia Rodriguez,,

The Stanford Sociology and Education Network (SAEN) is a growing community of sociologists of education at Stanford, bridging the otherwise disconnected Department of Sociology and Graduate School of Education (GSE). Although Stanford is home to a number of sociologists of education, students have recognized that there are limited opportunities to interact and share ideas with those outside of our own departments. To this aim, we have formed SAEN, a group that consists of graduate students and faculty studying the sociology of education. As a group that has matured vastly over the last few years, we now meet 1-2 times per quarter to workshop research, discuss relevant issues in the field, and provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary networking. This group gives students and faculty who are working in related areas an opportunity to discuss their work and collaborate on a diverse set of research projects and intellectual advancements. Building on the strong momentum of previous years, out network continues to mature and grow into a heterogeneous and productive community with generous support from the SPICE grant.

Stanford Archaeology Lunch Forum

Contact: Hannah Moots,

The Stanford Archaeology Forum brings together graduate, undergraduate, faculty and post-doctoral scholars from across campus on a weekly basis to discuss topics across the field of archaeology. Discussion topics include cutting-edge and multidisciplinary issues concerning archaeological methods, archaeological theory, heritage management and ethics. The Forum, which meets every Wednesday at noon, will feature the recent work of an invited speaker. Speakers include undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral scholars, and Stanford and non-Stanford faculty/professionals. Over lunch, which is provided for participants, speakers present their current work and then engaged with participants in a discussion on the topic. The presentations and discussion provide opportunities for both speakers and participants alike to network, debate, and workshop ideas that could benefit their future research and intellectual growth.

Stanford Biotechnology Group

Contact: Melina Mathur,

Stanford Biotechnology Group (SBG) is a community of Stanford graduate students and affiliates interested in careers in biotechnology and business. SBG facilitates opportunities for experiential education, hosts invited speakers, and provides relevant online content for our members to survey the biotechnology business landscape.

Stanford Complexity Group

Contact: Marshall Kuypers,

The mission of the Stanford Complexity Group (SCG) is to serve as an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the findings, tools, and philosophical and cultural implications associated with the study of complex systems. This forum will include a centralized website, mailing list, invited speaker series, regular discussion sessions, and courses offered through Stanford University. Unlike similar organizations, such as The Santa Fe Institute, the purview of this group will not be limited to the sciences (or to cultures of knowledge striving to be science-like) but will traverse the bridges of complex systems thought to all fields touched by the systems view, including the arts and humanities. From a broader perspective, the recent focus on complexity in the sciences is only one manifestation of a general conceptual shift in which distributed control, contingency, and pluralism have been increasingly recognized as fundamental to fields as diverse as history, philosophy, and literature, among many others. The Stanford Complexity Group will offer a rare opportunity to expand beyond our disciplinary boundaries and talk with one another in a common language of general principles related to complex systems, thus stimulating both innovative approaches to research and novel ways of understanding of our world.

Stanford Environment and Behavior (SEB) student group

Contact: Jennifer Wang,

The Stanford Environment and Behavior (SEB) Student Group serves to facilitate learning, collaboration, and networking across disciplines among future leaders in environmental behavior research. SEB serves two main roles: first, to facilitate interdisciplinary forums and organize events that bring students and scholars together (e.g. connecting students with environmental content expertise to students with disciplinary and methodological expertise); and secondly, to act as a hub of information, resources and contacts relevant to students and scholars with interests in environment and behavior topics. In doing so, we aspire to increase awareness of current trends and research, provide an organized outlet for integrating knowledge and skills across disciplines, and spark collaborations and friendships that will lead to the development of innovative approaches towards positive social and environmental change.

Stanford Higher Education Exchange of Research (SHEER)

Contact: Oded Gurantz,

The Stanford Higher Education Exchange of Research (SHEER) brings together students from different disciplines within the Stanford Graduate School of Education and offers them a place to develop and share ideas regarding the theory and function of higher education. Our group has evolved into a monthy student-led research workshop. We hope to make higher education research relevant and accessible to all Stanford graduate students.

Stanford/Hopkins Marine Station Alumni Discussion Panel: Opportunities for all ocean-interested Stanford students

Contact: Julia Mason,

This is a monthly lunchtime discussion panel at Hopkins Marine Station, lead by Hopkins/Stanford alumni of diverse fields, who will discuss their current work and career path with equally diverse students. This will bolster interdepartmental collaboration and intellectual exchange of both students and alumni.

Stanford Network Forum

Contact: Jacob Reidhead,

Social and semantic networks have enormous potential for exploration, modeling, and visualization in the social sciences and humanities. However, researchers in these disciplines often struggle to link network methods and concepts to their substantial questions. Bridging the gap between empirics, methods and theory, The Stanford Network Forum fosters an open, approachable intellectual community where graduate students workshop their research, self-teach methods tutorials, and engage with top network researchers from around the world.

Stanford NeuroTech

Contact: Eddy Albarran,

The goal of Stanford NeuroTech is to give Stanford’s neuroscience community an effective way to learn about and develop technologies for studying the brain. Stanford is at the forefront of science and engineering, and NeuroTech will serve as a platform on which Stanford scientists and engineers who share a common interest in neuroscience can work together to enhance their own research and advance the field of brain science as a whole. We plan to accomplish this through the implementation of a seminar series, workshops, and a summer journal club, all of which will span across neuroscience disciplines and include students and post-doctoral fellows from various departments. Through this, Stanford NeuroTech will make a profound and lasting impact on the intellectual development of Stanford's neuroscience community.

Stanford Photonics Retreat

Contact: Stephen Wolf,

The purpose of SUPR is to promote greater cross-disciplinary interaction within the Stanford photonics community. Building upon the success of the previous six retreats, the event will consist of three days and two nights of programming (Friday-Sunday) that combines technical sessions, professional development, and social activities. Approximately 75 people will attend the retreat, including 55-60 graduate students and a number of postdocs, faculty, panelists, and distinguished invited speakers.

Stanford Polymer Collective

Contact: Jeff Lopez,

The goal of the Stanford Polymer Collective (SPC) is to foster a synergistic environment that will improve the research capability of the Stanford polymer community. This goal is achieved through the creation of an interdisciplinary supportive network that shares knowledge and expertise, raises awareness of research techniques and equipment available on campus, facilitates the dissemination and communication of novel, cutting-edge research within Stanford and beyond, and promotes collaboration between researchers of varying expertise. This is accomplished through a continual interdisciplinary, campus-wide membership recruitment effort for SPC events which include regular meetings, invited speakers, student presentations and poster symposium, and industry and laboratory tours. Additionally we work to provide members with professional development activities and to engage in public education through K-12 STEM outreach activities.

Stanford Prison Forum

Contact: Jeremy Jimenez,

For the fifth year in a row, our group is organizing and leading a graduate-level seminar at San Quentin state prison in coordination with the Prison University Project (PUP). Each year a team of Stanford graduate students collaborates in the fall to develop a new interdisciplinary course, which is then taught in the winter and spring at San Quentin. Stanford participants each teach one or two lessons and serve as active participants in the other seminar meetings. This year's course, entitled "Mind the gap: Exploring selected areas of American inequality, a policy practicum," includes eight Stanford participants and 18 incarcerated students. The syllabus is divided into three thematic units that represent the interdisciplinary backgrounds and interests of the Stanford students (Unit 1: Educational inequality; Unit 2: Adult disparity; Unit 3: Language, inequality, and persuasion). By offering Stanford graduate students an opportunity to develop and co-teach an interdisciplinary course, the Stanford Prison forum embodies VPGE's commitment to promoting intellectual community across academic disciplinary boundaries. Additionally, it provides an advanced interdisciplinary course to San Quentin students that is unique in the curriculum offered by the prison university project, and it provides Stanford students with an opportunity that cannot be found at Stanford, to deepen our understanding of our own fields through listening to rarely heard voices of the incarcerated.

Stanford Science Fiction Studies Workshop

Contact: Gabriel Rodriguez,

This workshop seeks to promote interdepartmental and interdisciplinary communication among graduate students and faculty in the Stanford community who share research and teaching interests in science fiction studies. In particular, the workshop aims to foster stronger ties among scholars working across different area studies, as well as exchange across disciplines among scholars working in humanities and social science disciplines such as (but not limited to) literature, history, philosophy, religion, sociology, political science, and film studies. Another important element of this workshop is graduate student professionalization, through both intellectual exchange and the presentation of work by graduate students.

Stanford Space Speaker Series

Contact: Jan Kolmas,

We started the SSI Speaker Series with the goal of helping our members, and by extension the Stanford community, learn what's happening in space outside of campus by bringing in industry experts to share their experiences. Thanks to generous support from the GSC and other institutions, we've helped over 100 speakers, including the President of SpaceX, the Director of NASA Ames, and the Director of DARPA, share their unique personal experiences and opened dialogues with students through Q&A and networking sessions. Past topics have covered everything from entrepreneurship to academic research to international law. We host 5-10 talks a quarter, each with a mix of 30-60 undergraduate, graduate, faculty, and industry attendees from all disciplines. Mixing students from disparate majors and segments of the Stanford community has led to productive and stimulating discussion, which we have found that all attendees enjoy. The Speaker Series has been the biggest draw for graduate students to SSI, as they find that they have experience and knowledge relevant to industry professionals' talks. As a result, graduate students often benefit most from the Speaker Series. They most frequently open personal dialogues with the speakers; many have told us that they gained valuable insight into a project or research idea or found internships and even jobs.

Stanford Unnamed Aerial Vehicle Engineers

Contact: Matthew Pawlicki,

The Stanford Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Enthusiasts, Engineers, and Entrepreneurs (SUAVE) is dedicated to cultivating the UAV community here at Stanford. We provide the forum for students to come together, find and work on projects which align with their interests, as well as discuss and learn about anything and everything having to do with UAVs for civil applications. Our dedicated mentors run UAV 101 courses to teach any interested but inexperienced students what they need to know to design, build, and safely operate a UAV. We regularly hold build days and fly days for students to work on their own UAV projects, as well as also host industry speakers to share there perspective on the state-of-the-art developments in the field. SUAVE's mission is extremely interdisciplinary and our members have backgrounds spanning engineering, business, journalism, law, and medicine.

Student-Faculty Lunches in Electrical Engineering

Contact: David Hsu,

The EE student-faculty lunches are an initiative by the Graduate Students in Electrical Engineering (GSEE) to improve mentoring experiences between graduate students and professors in the EE department. We aim to bring small groups of grad students together with a professor for lunches, and to allow them to interact in an informal and stress-free environment. Preliminary lunches that were held were very well received by both students and professors, and we want to expand the pool of professors and the number of lunches that we offer with the SPICE program.

Student Talks in Applied and Theoretical Statistics (STATS)

Contact: Kri Sankaran,

The Student Talks in Applied and Theoretical Statistics (STATS) are a series of student talks organized by student representatives in the Statistics Department with the goal of fostering creative dialogue in statistics, ranging across probability, methodology, and applied data analysis. Our main events are a weekend student conference at a camp in Santa Cruz, where we invite a pair of faculty members to listen to and give feedback on student presentations, and a biannual joint colloquium with fellow PhD students in statistics at UC Berkeley. These events have been central to promoting the exchange of ideas between statistics students.