[Cowystats] Chapter Activities plus more

Matt Pocernich pocernic at rap.ucar.edu
Thu Feb 2 10:01:08 MST 2006

## Spring Meeting Moved from from April 14th to April 21.
## CU Denver / Mines Seminar  Statistical Approaches in the NIST World Trade 
   Center Analysis - James J. Filliben
## K-12 Meetings
## Dinners and other ideas

** Spring meeting time change

We just realized that Friday April 14th is Good Friday and may
conflict with some members plans so the date was moved to the
following week - April 21st. 

**  Seminar 
Friday, February 03, 2006
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm  CU-Denver Building, Room 656

Statistical Approaches in the NIST World Trade Center Analysis

James J. Filliben, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Chancellor's Scholar Invited Lecture and First Joint Seminar with the Colorado
School of Mines. 

Keywords: Graphical Data Analysis, Experiment Design, Orthogonality, Time
Series Analysis, Sensitivity Analysis, Problem-Solving Framework, Exploratory
Data Analysis, Inference Feasibility, Statistical Analysis 
(Full Abstract at the end of the note.)

** K-12 Outreach Update

There will be meetings on Monday February 13th and/or  Tuesday
February 21st to discuss topics that might motivate students to be
interested in statistics and be fun to present.  We are trying to take
advantage of some of the materials that has been developed by the
American Statistical Association.  In short, our goal is to choose and
practice a couple talks to be given to students of different levels.
We are placing the following assumptions.  1.) This may be the
students first exposure to statistics and first impressions are very
important.  2.) The talks should support the teachers curriculum - we
know that teachers don't have nearly enough time to achieve everything
that is expected.  3.) Student (particularly high school students)
are different.  While many of us are used to talking to colleagues and
people who are paid to listen, students are not.  Therefore in many
ways, a  presentation to students has more challenges than a
professional talk. 

If this interests you, contact me for additional details.

** Dinners and other events.  

The chapter officers (Deb, Nels, Shahar and I ) met yesterday.  We
hope to plan another evening talk in the next month.   On a different
topic, dinners associated with recent events such as the K-12 meeting,
Dr. Clark and Dr Rubin's talk were very enjoyable.  We will try and
coordinate a couple more.     

Details for the student participation in the spring meeting will be
available soon. 

As always, if you have any suggestions for the chapter, please let us know.



Full Abstract

The Congressionally-mandated NIST Federal Building and Fire Safety
Investigation of the World Trade Center disaster has currently come to
completion. The buildings' degradation immediately prior to collapse was
extremely complicated, with structural, thermal, dynamic, and stochastic
interdependencies existent across both time and space. Four pre-collapse stages
(a simplification of reality) will be discussed: aircraft impact, fire spread,
thermal propagation through insulation, and structural deformation. Engineering
issues and the statistical methodologies to address these issues will be

A major challenge in the statistical analysis of the World Trade Center was the
relatively meager amount of data--little physical evidence existed on important
events in the core of the WTC buildings. In this regard, the study was both
assisted--and complicated--by reliance on computational engineering virtual
data--primarily in the form of NIST's FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator) and
phase-specific FEA (finite element analysis) computational models. As analyses
progress from component to sub-assembly to global, such computational models
require characterization, sensitivity analysis, and validation--it will be
shown how statistically designed experiments played a major role in this
regard. Various other statistical analysis techniques (e.g., complex
demodulation for assessing post-impact building oscillation frequency
and--indirectly--building damage) will also be discussed. 

For the NIST WTC study's detailed engineering conclusions and recommendations,
see the extensive (10,000 page) final report via http://wtc.nist.gov. 

Reception to follow. 

Matt Pocernich
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Research Applications Laboratory
(303) 497-8312

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