Press Release:

Statistical issues relevant to significance of discovery claims

The Banff International Research Station will host the "Statistical issues relevant to significance of discovery claims" workshop from July 11 - 16, 2010.

Particle Physics studies the structure of matter at the very smallest scale. Its basic units are quarks and leptons, and the way that these interact with each other depends on various bosons. Astrophysics and Cosmology are concerned with the origin and subsequent development of the Universe at the largest scale. These scientists discover and study galaxies, supernovae, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, etc. Both subject areas have recently acquired new machines -- the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN Lab in Geneva for Particle Physics, and the GLAST observatory in space for Astrophysics/Cosmology. These facilities will collect data which will hopefully result in exciting new discoveries. It will be most important to ensure that claimed discoveries really do correspond to real new phenomena, rather than being due to random fluctuations in the data. Our Workshop will deal with such issues, in order to quantify the extent to which the data validates the new discoveries.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologí­a (CONACYT).

BIRS Scientific Director, Nassif Ghoussoub
E-mail: birs-director[@]