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SSA WA: Early Career & Student Statisticians Evening

  • 10 May 2022
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (AWST)
  • Cheryl Praeger Lecture Room, The University of Western Australia


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Announcing the May meeting of the WA Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia dedicated to Early Career and Student Statisticians. All visitors are welcome to attend this event, especially anyone studying or interested in pursuing a career in statistics.

The winner of the 2022 Honours Scholarship will be announced this evening.

Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2022
Time: 6:00PM
Location: Cheryl Praeger Lecture Room, The University of Western Australia

The two invited speakers are the joint winners of the 2021 Honours Scholarship: Michael Gerrard and Tinula Kariyawasam. Michael will present via Zoom from Canberra and Tinula in-person at UWA.


Elastic Registration of NMR spectra from patients with autism spectrum disorder

Michael Gerrard

Functional data involves observations that are real-valued functions of a continuous variable such as time, mass or frequency. When observing functional data, there are two forms of variation present called amplitude variation and phase variation, which describe vertical and horizontal variation. We must correct for any horizontal discrepancies caused by phase variation in order for the true patterns in the data to be discovered. Such a process is known as curve registration. We describe the framework of elastic registration of Srivastava et al. [1] and apply this approach to register nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of urine samples from subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

[1] Srivastava, A., Wu, W., Kurtek, S., Klassen, E. and Marron, J. S. (2011). Registration of functional data using Fisher-Rao metric. arXiv preprint arXiv:1103.3817.

Clustering wheat grain yield responses to develop new maturity types

Tinula Kariyawasam

Based on current agronomic recommendations, flowering response to sowing date forms the maturity description of wheat varieties, not grain yield; yet yield response to sowing date is most important to the industry. This project presents the outputs of various statistical clustering approaches for yield response curves to sowing date. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development have provided us with four years of trial data where 165 unique wheat varieties sown over eight sowing times at Western Australia.

To develop a new maturity definition that involves yield responses we use a k-means clustering to group raw data values. Different cluster sizes, distance measures and data wrangling techniques were utilised to develop distinct maturity groups. Based on its grain yield response to sowing date, a variety’s maturity group, formulated by existing statistical approaches, transpires to form better
agronomic recommendations for the grains industry than flowering.

Refreshments and Dinner

Members, visitors, and guests are invited to mingle over wine, beer, cider, soft drinks and pizza from 5:30PM. Following the meeting you are invited to dine with fellow attendees at a nearby restaurant. Early career and student statisticians will receive $20 off their meal.

Meeting directions

The Cheryl Praeger Lecture Room is located on the ground floor of the Mathematics building at The University of Western Australia. Its entrance is on the northern side of the building. See: UWA Maps, Google Maps.

Parking is free on the UWA Crawley campus after 5:00PM. A convenient place to park is Car Park 18 accessible from Fairway Entry 1.

COVID-19 Restrictions

The UWA COVID-19 Premises Access Direction will end on Friday 6 May. This means that from Saturday 7 May there will no longer be a requirement for staff, students or visitors to show proof of full vaccination to enter indoor University premises.

Remote Viewing Option

For those that cannot attend in-person, the presentation will be streamed live over Zoom. Please register on this page to get the connection details.

For further information please contact the WA Branch Secretary (

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