Jana Asher

Associate ProfessorData Science

Jana Asher is Associate Professor of Data Science at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. Prior to arriving at Goucher in 2023, she taught at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and Montgomery College. Asher majored in anthropology and Japanese studies at Wellesley College, graduating in 1991. She earned a master's degree (1999) and Ph.D. (2016) in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. Asher is active in statistics professional societies, serving a 2023-2025 term on the American Statistical Association's (ASA) Board of Directors and as Chair of the Committee on the History of Statistics of the International Statistics Institute (ISI).

Asher is an internationally recognized statistician for her work on human rights and sexual violence. As well as authoring or coauthoring over 65 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and manuscripts, she was the lead editor for the book Statistical Methods for Human Rights. Asher was elected as a Fellow of the ASA in 2009 "for excellence in the application of statistical methodology to human rights and humanitarian measurement problems; for leadership toward placing human rights violations research on a sound statistical basis; and for service to the profession". In 2010 she became an elected member of the ISI. In 2022 she received the Caucus for Women in Statistics Societal Impact Award for "her work combating societal injustice through accurate and ethical quantitative measurement, and for her commitment toward teaching civic responsibility and JEDI principles through statistical practice."

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Invited Talks

Asher, J. (2023). “Tom Jabine and Human Rights.” Invited Presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings, August 9, 2023.

Asher, J. (2023). “Statistics is the Heart of Democracy.” Invited Presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings, August 6, 2023.

Rathlef, J., Asher, J., Strahler, D. and Hilliard, A. (2023). “Promoting Public Purpose in Community-Engaged Learning: A Model for Assessing Civic Learning & Engagement Outcomes at Slippery Rock University.” Presentation at Beyond the Classroom: Community-Engaged Teaching and Research Conference, Gannon University, June 2, 2023.

Asher, J. (2023). “Eugenics and Statistics.” Invited Presentation at the AAAS Annual Meetings, March 2023.

Asher, J. (2022). “From Human Rights to Social Justice Education in Statistics.” Special Invited Presentation at the Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference, October 7, 2022.

Asher, J. (2022). “Teaching Concepts of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Responsibility through Elementary Statistics.” Refereed paper presented at the 11th International Conference on Teaching Statistics, September 16, 2022.

Asher, J. (2022). “DEI through Community-Engaged Learning.” Invited presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings, August 9, 2022.

Asher, J. (2022). “Recreating My Elementary Statistics Course for DEI Designation.” Breakout session at the 2022 Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics, May 23, 2022.

Asher, J. (2022). “Inverse Probability and the 200 Year Journey to Team Bayesian.” Invited presentation for the History of Statistics Interest Group of the American Statistical Association, February 23, 2022.

Asher, J. (2022). “The Nine Deadly Sins of Data Visualization and How to be a Data Display Saint!” Invited presentation for the University of Georgia Student Chapter of the American Statistical Association, February 8, 2022.

Musyt, J. and Asher, J. (2022). “Exploring Pedagogy around Math Trauma.” Invited presentation for the 2022 PASSHE Virtual Conference on Teaching and Learning, January 11, 2022.

Asher, J. (2021). “R.A. Fisher and Eugenics: A Historical Overview.” Invited presentation at the Departmental Seminar Series of the Department of Biostatistics, Emory University, November 19, 2021.

Asher, J. (2021). “Case Study: Using COVID-19 Data in a Community-Engaged Elementary Statistics Class.” Refereed presentation at the 12th Satellite Conference of the International Association for Statistical Education, September 4, 2021.

Asher, J. (2021). “R.A. Fisher and Eugenics.” Invited presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings, August 9, 2021.

Asher, J. (2021). “Equality in Numbers but Not in Rank: A Report on Female Faculty in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Between 2005 and 2020.” Plenary Presentation at the PASSHE Women's Consortium 11th Annual Conference: Wellness, Agency and Advocacy in an Intersectional Context, March 27, 2021.

Academic or Professional Associations

American Statistical Association (1999-)

International Statistics Institute (2010-)

Caucus for Women in Statistics (lifetime membership)

Union of Concerned Scientists (2017-)

Other Professional or Scholarly Activity

Referee for American Journal of Epidemiology; American Statistician; Emerging Themes in Epidemiology; Harvard Data Science Review; Human Rights Review; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; International Journal of Epidemiology; International Journal of Transitional Justice; Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association; Journal of Statistics Education; Journal of Official Statistics; and Statistics, Politics, and Policy / Statistics and Public Policy