International Year of Statistics

Statistics — the science of learning from data and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty — has powerful and far-reaching effects on everyone, yet most people are unaware of how it improves their lives.

2013 is the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013). NCSES is participating in Statistics2013 to help highlight the contributions of the statistics field. By joining with more than 1,400 organizations in 111 countries in this awareness campaign, NCSES hopes to increase the public’s understanding of the impact statistics has on all aspects of society and to promote statistics as a profession.

NCSES is a federal statistical agency providing data and information on the nation’s research and development activities, its science and engineering workforce, and U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering, technology, and R&D. For more information on the International Year of Statistics, visit

Statistics at NCSES

Higher Education Research and Development Survey

How much do universities spend on research and development, and what do they spend it on? Answers to these questions can be found through NSF's Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey, the primary source of information on R&D expenditures at higher education institutions in the United States. Learn More

Prior Features


How does the United States stack up against its global counterparts in science and engineering? The Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT) is a unique source of information that helps to measure U.S. competitiveness. Learn More

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

Women, persons with disabilities, and three racial and ethnic groups—blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians—are underrepresented in science and engineering. Underrepresentation may vary by field of study or occupation. Learn More

Events at NSF

July 10, 2013, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, NSF Atrium

NSF Statistics Showcased in Poster Presentations by Science Assistants

Statistical activities at NSF were highlighted during an open house celebrating the International Year of Statistics that was hosted by NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and the Division of Mathematical Sciences on July 10, 2013.


At the well-attended event, visitors had the opportunity to see how to access a large variety of data on scientists and engineers and U.S. research and development activities, and science assistants featured their research and analysis of NSF data through poster presentations. Presentation topics ranged from an examination of how interdisciplinarity in STEM graduate education informs innovation to the use of NCSES data to enhance the outreach efforts of the Small Business Innovation Research Program. Click here to see copies of the science assistants' poster presentations listed below.

  • How Does Interdisciplinarity in STEM Graduate Education Shape Innovation? (Leila Afshar, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Graduate Education)
  • The NSF GRFP vs. National Trends in STEM Fields (Tamara L. Battle, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Graduate Education)
  • Mapping the Innovation Ecosystem (Lindsay D'Ambrosio, Directorate for Engineering, Industrial Innovation and Partnerships)
  • Relationship between PhDs Earned and PI Disciplines Applying to Select NSF S&E Directorates Over the Last Decade in the United States (Kurtis Haro, Directorate for Engineering, Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems)
  • How Scientific Are the Sciences: A Perspective from the Survey of Public Attitudes Toward and Understanding of Science and Technology (Heena Lakhani, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Office of the Assistant Director)
  • Before and After: A Look at Bachelor Completions at Institutions with STEP Awards (Matt Lettrich, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education)
  • The Underrepresentation of African Americans Earning STEM Degrees and Employed in STEM Careers (Alonso A. Thelem, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Human Resource Development)
  • Reviewer Matching Using Topic Modeling (Elliott Tibor, Directorate for Engineering, Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation)

Prior Events

April 30, 2013, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, Stafford I, Room 375
Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
"Expanding Participation of Underrepresented Groups in Mathematics and Statistics: The Importance of Academic Innovation and Institutional Culture Change" Details

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), chaired the National Academies' committee that produced the 2011 report, "Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads." He will discuss the results of the report and focus on the innovative strategies used by his university in educating students both from underrepresented groups and from around the world in mathematics, statistics, and other scientific and technical fields. Special attention will be given to innovative initiatives involving course redesign, inclusive excellence, and institutional culture change.

January 25, 2013, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Stafford I, Room 375
Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Polytechnic Institute of New York, Oxford University, advisor of IMF), author of The Black Swan (3 million copies in 32 languages) Details

Everything in life has nonlinear responses, from medical treatments to project management, for both benefits and harm (medical and economic iatrogenics). The talk introduces the concept of fragility and antifragility and maps them to nonlinearities in life and decision making. We propose methods of detection of fragility and antifragility based on either a) the convexity of the response or b) the shape of the probability distribution of outcomes (asymmetry between gains and harm). The presentation is adapted from Taleb's recent book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.

Can't find what you're looking for? Search NCSES or Browse the Publication IndexLast Updated: October 31, 2013