Computing Science and Statistics Symposium on the Interface
with the theme of
"Mining and Modeling Massive Data Sets In
 Science, Engineering, and Business"

==Symposium Summary==

The 1997 Symposium on the Interface of Computing Science and
Statistics will be held May 14-17, 1997 at the Houston Medical
Center Holiday Inn Hotel in Houston, Texas.  The Symposium is being
organized around the theme of ``Mining and Modeling Massive Data Sets In
Science, Engineering, and Business,'' with a sub-theme of
the environment and quantitative environmental science.
The conference is sponsored by the Interface Foundation of
North America, a non-profit educational corporation. The Statistics
Department at Rice University is hosting the meeting with David W. Scott
as chair.

==General Information===

This document describes support for the 1997 Interface Symposium. It is
a unique opportunity for professionals in statistics, computer
science, and various applications areas to interact on issues at the
interface of these disciplines. The Symposium fills a critical gap
between the activities of our large professional societies.

The theme for the 1997 meeting will be ``Mining and Modeling Massive
Data Sets In Science, Engineering, and Business,'' with sub-themes of
multimedia education and quantitative environmental science.
We are working toward attracting eminent leaders from
computer science, statistics, engineering, numerical analysis,
computational biochemistry, and business.  At this
intermediate stage the program, the program committee reports great
response to the invited paper program by prospective speakers.  The
combination of data mining with statistical thinking is attractive
to primary as well as secondary sources.  Given the enormous
investments in the data collection phase as well as the potential
payoff for meaningful analyses and data exploration, we expect
a diverse and enthusiastic audience.

The preliminary program includes the following:  Jerry Friedman,
keynote address.  The invited program includes some thirty
sessions on topics including virtual reality, marketing applications,
multimedia education, numerical methods, pattern recognition,
visualization, mapping, environmental statistics, wavelets,
dimension reduction, computational biochemistry, Bayesian
methods, networks and clusters of workstations, virtual departments,
and information retrieval for massive data sets.  A partial
list of invited speakers includes Russell Almond (ETS),
Mike Berry (UT), Adrian Bowman (Glasgow), Syd Burrus (Rice),
Dan Carr (GMU), Sid Chib (UW-SL), Bill Cleveland (ATT), Di Cook (ISU),
Dennis Cox (Rice), Jan DeLeeuw (UCLA), Bill Eddy (CMU),
John Elder (Consultant), Kathy Ensor (Rice), David Findley (Census),
Peter Guttorp (UW), Trevor Hastie (Stanford), Lasse Holmstrom (Finland),
Samuel Kaski (Finland), Jon Kettenring (Bellcore), Vicki Lancaster (KSU),
Al Liebetrau (Battelle), Mike Locke (BD), David Madigan (ETS),
David Marchette (NSWC), Mark Marson (DOD), Cleve Moler (Matlab),
Marlene Mueller (Berlin), Bala Narasimham (Stanford),
Guy Nason (Bristol), Sallie McNulty (KSU), Michael O'Connell (BD),
Wayne Oldford (UW), Art Owen (Stanford), Jan Pedersen (Verity),
George Phillips (Rice), Wendy Poston (NSWC), Carey Priebe (JHU),
Brian Ripley (Oxford), Peter Rousseeuw (Belgium), John Sall (SAS),
Bill Sallas (Sandoz), Michael Schimek (Austria), Juregen Symanzik (ISU),
Bill Symes (Rice), Terry Therneau (Mayo), Ed Wegman (GMU),
Sandy Weisberg (UM), Jerry Whittaker (USDA), Leland Wilkinson (SPSS),
and Russell Wolfinger (BD).

Our aim is to bring a number of new faces
to the Interface Symposium and thereby enrich both
computational statistics and the applications areas
of massive data sets.

==The Interface Foundation of North America, Inc.==

The Interface series has grown almost by accident. An informally
organized Board of Governors has existed since the Fourth Symposium
consisting of all past program chairs. Thus the Board of Governors has
grown by one with each passing year. With this structure, the
corporate planning experience has been able to be passed on to new
program chairs. However, the sole administrative responsibility of the
Board has been to choose the next Program Chair. Once this has been
done, the total responsibility for program, publication, finances,
advertising, and local arrangements has been in the hands of this
newly elected Program Chair. As the scale of the Symposia increased,
this became a burdensome responsibility.

In addition, because there had been no corporate entity underpinning
the Symposium series, all funding for each Symposium has been
funneled through the university or corporate host with essentially no
mechanism for passing on seed money to the subsequent Program
Chairs. In several cases, this has meant that Program Chairs have had
to take loans out to do initial financing of their Symposia. In all
cases, contracts signed with the hotels have been the personal
liability of the Program Chair. More significantly for the funding
agencies, this lack of corporate underpinning has meant that the
Symposium series could not be self-sustaining since there was no legal
entity to perpetuate the funding.

Finally, the unique interdisciplinary character of the Interface
series had been threatened as more disciplinary oriented societies
offered in essence to take over the Interface series. It was felt by
the Board of Governors that this would be a serious threat to the
integrity of the series as a true interdisciplinary forum.

For all of these reasons, in 1986 the Board of Governors established a
committee chaired by Lynne Billard and including Bill Eddy, Bill
Kennedy, Jim Gentle, and Ed Wegman to investigate the possibility of
incorporating as a non-profit educational foundation. Ed Wegman
spearheaded this investigation and proposed a set of bylaws at the
Nineteenth Interface Symposium held in Philadelphia. The Board of
Governors voted unanimously to incorporate and the Interface
Foundation of North America, Inc. was established as a Virginia
corporation in late August, 1987.

==The Interface '97 Program==

For many years advances in statistics and particularly statistical
computation have been driven by the general demands of industry.
An early example is Student's t-test, invented by an industrial
statistician to solve a quality control problem.  However, the
explosion of on-line resources and performance-price computer
power has dramatically increased expectations of what computational
and statistical scientists can provide.  Data warehousing is a
new trend in industry which is intended to provide information
support to all segments of a business.  Government is moving to
provide on-line access to many of its databases.  These databases
are approaching terabyte size.  This explosive growth is being
matched in many academic research labs, libraries, among others.
The problems of efficiently and effectively searching and modeling
based on such massive data sets are the focus of the 1997
Interface symposium.  Many traditional statistical and computational
tools have been brought to bear on these types of problems.
Innovative visualization methods, where possible, often shed insight
on underlying structure.  Novel computational
paradigms, such as neural nets and Bayesian methods and artificial
intelligence tools, are required in order to even begin to understand
and model the data.  There are a wealth of ad-hoc techniques developed
by both statisticians and computational scientists.  An active
discussion, between subject matter specialists and statistical and
computational practitioners is sure to lead to a fruitful interchange.
Our intention is to foster such a dialog via the Interface conference.

A conference on massive data sets was hosted by the National
Academy of Sciences July 7-8, 1995.  Jon Kettenring and Daryl
Pregibon chaired the largely applications-oriented meeting
of scientists and users.  Government participants from NASA,
DOD, EPA, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NSF, NSA, and NSWC.
We hope the papers at the Interface will provide an initial indication
of how their problems may be solved, or directions that will lead
to solutions.

We also plan to involve professionals active in environmental modeling
and visualization and will have multiple sessions emphasizing the
environment and the interplay between computer science and statistics
related to massive data sets generated by study of the environment.
Peter Guttorp is organizing one session on collaborate research
technologies that underlie the organization and collection of MDS.

==Participation by Other Societies==

In the past, several professional societies have acted as cooperating
societies. For the Interface `95, we have invited the Institute of
Mathematical Statistics, the American Statistical Association, the
International Association for Statistical Computing, the Society for
Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Operation Research Society
of America to be cooperating societies and jointly sponsor this

This page last maintained on 3/3/97
Problems or suggestions to

Contact Interface '97 via