History of the Statistics Division
The following excerpt is taken from the Spring 1998 Statistics Division Newsletter (Vol 17 No 2), as written by then Editor, Ralph St John:
Since the Statistics Division is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, I thought it would be interesting to go back to the first newsletter to read about the founding of the Statistics Division. Thanks to Barbara Ferraro, the first newsletter editor, that issue has lots of historical information worth recounting.
Prior to the founding of the Statistics Division, most people in ASQC with a statistics interest belonged to the Chemical Division (now Chemical and Process Industries Division). At that time the only formal 'statistics' group within ASQC was the Statistics Technical Committee (STC), which primarily concerned itself with statistical standards such as MIL-STD, ANSI, etc. As early as 1974 (at the ASQC national meeting in San Diego) Richard Freund saw the need for a broader and more visible role for statisticians within ASQC and he 'campaigned' for the formation of the SD, beginning at the 1975 Fall Technical Conference in Richmond. By 1977 (at the ASQC national meetings in Philadelphia) Wendell Paulson, then chair of the STC, had begun circulating petitions and had written bylaws and other documents which lead to the formation of the Statistics Division. Was Philadelphia (home of the 1998 AQC) the birthplace of the Stat Division? Finally, the last necessary signatures were obtained at the ASQC national meeting in Houston in 1979, and the Statistics Technical Committee officially became the Statistics Division.
The first meeting of the Statistics Division was held at the 1979 FTC. Bill Hunter chaired it, with 27 people in attendance. Topics discussed included:
1. A review of the history of the founding of the SD, by Bill Mead.
2. The role of the SD, and its relationship with the Chemical Division.
3. A Reference Series was begun, which evolved into the 'How To' series. The first booklet in this series, written by Wayne Nelson, appeared in early 1979. It was titled "How to Analyze Data with Simple Plots".
4. The Statistics Division took ownership of the Glossary, which we continue to edit today.
5. Statistics Division sessions for the 1980 national meeting in Atlanta were ready. Our first short course would be presented by Ken Stephens, on the topic "How to perform continuous sampling." This would later become Volume 2 in the "How To" series.
7. Acknowledgement was made of Chem Division's many years of support for the formation of SD, and of the $2,000 donation of 'seed money' from the Biomedical Division.
The first newsletter also carried a congratulatory message from Phil Crosby, then ASQC president. He especially emphasized SD's commitment to the "How To" series, and the statistical service that members of SD perform for the entire quality profession.
Officers of the Statistics Division:
William G. Hunter, Chairman
Otto Dykstra, Jr., Chairman-Elect
Wendell F. Paulson, Treasurer
Duane Dietrich, Secretary
Members of the Advisory Board: George Box, A.J. Duncan, Dick Freund, H.O. Hartley, John Hromi, Stu Hunter, Norman Johnson, Bill Lawton, Fred Leone and Lloyd Nelson. Talk about an all-star lineup!!!
Regional Councilors during the first year included Jim King, Bovas Abraham, Frank Alt, Peter Nelson, Ron Askin, Harry Wadsworth and Greg Gruska, who has been region 10 councilor continuously since the inception of the Stat Division.
Mission and Vision of ASQ Statistics Division
Mission Statement of the Statistics Division
- Promote Statistical Thinking for quality and productivity improvement.
- Serve ASQ, business, industry, academia, and government as a resource for effective use of Statistical Thinking for quality and productivity improvement.
- Our primary customers are Statistics Division members.
- Other key customers are:
- Users and potential users of Statistical Thinking
- Educators of the above customers
- Provide a focal point within ASQ for application-driven development and effective use of new statistical methods.
- Support the growth and development of ASQ Statistics Division members.
ASQ Statistics Division Vision - Statistical Thinking Everywhere
Desired End State
- Our members will be proud to be part of the Statistics Division
- Our Division’s operations will be a model for other organizations.
- We will be a widely influential authority on scientific approaches to quality and productivity improvement.
ASQ Statistics Division Vision - Principles and Mission
Principles and Strategy of the ASQ Statistics Division
Principles of the Statistics
- Our customers’ needs will be continuously anticipated and met (i.e., Customer focused rather than customer driven).
- Our market focus for products and services is weighted as follows:
- Greatest weight on intermediate level
- Nearly as much weight on basic level
- Much less weight on advanced level.
- Focus on a few key things.
- Balance short-term and long-term efforts.
- Value diversity (including geographical and occupational) of our membership.
- Be proactive.
- Recognize we exist for our customers.
- View statistics from the broad perspective of quality management.
- Apply Statistical Thinking ourselves; that is, practice what we preach.
- Uphold professional ethics.
- Continuously improve.
Strategy of the Statistics
- Improve our organizational effectiveness.
- Educate statistical practitioners for business.
- Expand our influence.