Five NSASAG Problems with Discussion

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The Department of Statistics has participated in the NSASAG Mathematical Problems Project for over twenty years, originally under the direction of Werner Stuetzle. Each summer a visiting panel of NSA mathematician/statisticians presents a collection of 12-14 problems to the department’s participants, including faculty and graduate students, who in turn try to make useful comments. These comments may include simple clarifications of the problem statements, relation to work in the literature including lists of relevant references, ideas for solutions, and sometimes complete solutions including detailed computational algorithms and investigation of their numerical properties. The NSA problems are usually interesting and challenging, indeed several publications1 2 have arisen from the department’s contributions. Hopefully this collaboration will continue far into the future, with the present participants eventually replaced by younger ones. For this reason I have collected together five problems and the discussions that I have prepared as examples of our contributions to the project. Other faculty members such as Steve Gillispie, Peter Hoff, and Marina Meila, as well as our graduate students, also have made substantial contributions, some of which go into greater depth, including computational algorithms and simulation studies. Some of these may be found on the departmental wiki page amg81/nsawg.


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