ACAS is the successor to the Conference on the Design of Experiments in Army Research, Development, and Testing. Professor Samuel S. Wilks, of Princeton University, proposed the formation of a conference focusing on the design of experiments in Army research, development, and testing after a survey by the Army Mathematics Steering Committee found that Army scientists in over 30 Army facilities perceived a need in this area. Wilks, a member of that committee, proposed the idea to COL Leslie E. Simon (later to become Major General), who was Assistant Chief of Ordnance for Research and Development, U.S. Army, and a personal friend of Wilks. Months later, on 19-21 October, 1955, the first conference was held at the Diamond Ordnance Fuze Laboratories (now part of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory) and the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute for Standards and Technology) with organization responsibility falling to the Office of Ordnance Research (now the U.S. Army Research Office). Wilks chaired the conference each year until his death in 1964. The conference formally concluded in 1994.
ACAS continues the traditions of the Design of Experiments Conference, while broadening the statistical scope with a more aggressive pursuit of emerging methodologies and expanding the application area to all military services and generally to all defense and security issues. Today's services face challenges that are far ranging and encompass many topics, in addition to experimental design, in which probability and statistics have a contribution to make.
The 2010 ACAS is the sixteenth in the series, marking 56 years of meetings of statistics in defense. This year focuses on the design of experiments roots of ACAS. Motivated by renewed interest in experimental design in the DoD acquisition cycle, the program committee structured this year's meeting to highlight design and analysis topics.
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