4 June 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

As another day of protests unfolds in many US states, our thoughts are with our American members, friends, and counterparts. Future history book will have a few chapters to dedicate to the year 2020, with so many events having shaken up our lives this year – and we’re not even halfway through! While I am looking forward to things being normal again, let's hope that our new “normal” will be a better world for everyone.

Many of you are disappointed that ANZSC2020 had to be postponed until next year. Rest assured though that we still hope to entertain you that second week of July 2020, when you were meant to be on the Gold Coast. We are currently busy arranging a variety of virtual events, including a games night with free pizza, a poster pitch session, a panel session and much more. Keep your eyes peeled and make sure you keep reading our weekly newsletter with all the latest event announcements.

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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 2020 SSA Awards

The Statistical Society of Australia offers several awards to its members, honouring their contributions to the statistical community. Honorary Life Membership honours outstanding contribution to the profession and the Society. A Society Service Award may be awarded to a Society member in recognition of sustained and significant service to the Society.

The SSA is pleased to announce the following awards for 2020:

Alison Harcourt - Honorary Life Membership

Annette Dobson - Honorary Life Membership

Scott Sisson - Society Service Award

Ian Gordon -  Society Service Award

Congratulations to these outstanding members of the Statistical Society of Australia, who, through their tireless work, have helped to steer and shape the Society into the vibrant community that it is.

Read the complete media release here

Members-only webinar

Inquiry into the performance of the opinion polls at the 2019 Australian Federal Election – Update of progress 

The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) and Statistical Society of Australia warmly invite you to this webinar organised for 10 June 2020, 1pm AEST, with presenters Darren Pennay and Dennis Trewin. 

The purpose of this presentation is two-fold:

  • to provide members of the Statistical Society with an update of progress made by the Inquiry; and
  • to invite Statistical Society members to provide comments in relation to recently released discussion paper on the implementation of polling standards in Australia.

The consultation period on the discussion paper is open until June 12, 2020.

Click here to learn more and to register

The South Australian Branch of the Statistical Society would like to invite you the June Branch meeting on 17 June 2020 (6:00-7:00PM), with presenter

Dr Oscar Perez-Concha, UNSW, speaking about

Machine Learning: From damned lies to statistics, where does machine learning lie within the field of data science?

Mark Twain's quote, "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", shows how even over 100 years ago, people were concerned about the power of numbers they did not understand. I think you will agree that machine learning and artificial intelligence have become ubiquitous terms for concepts that promise to change our lives. Many believe that we can apply machine learning to solve any problem related to data; and what is more, that machines can learn without any human intervention. Could such things be true? Coming from a computer science background, my world was always and only machine learning oriented. It was only when I started working in the area of health that i started to be exposed to other statistical techniques. It took me a while to put together the puzzle of where machine learning fits within the broader areas of data science and classical statistical analysis. When I did, I understood the connections and possibilities of them all better.

This presentation tries to take participants along the same journey to an understanding of where machine learning techniques and other techniques lie within data science frameworks.

Click here to find out more and to register

Webinar “Getting to know our “cell mates”: A practical approach to microbiome analysis through a biostatistician’s lens”, organised by the SSA Biostatistics Section.

19 June 2020 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (AEST) via Zoom

This webinar will be a walk-through of stages of extracting insights from microbiome data. This is a free event, but you will need to register. 

Click here to find out more and to save your place.

P-values and the normal assumption in scientific research

An online course with presenter Professor Adrian Barnett, 26 June 2020, 2pm AEST.

P-values are widely used in scientific papers, but are frequently misused and misunderstood. A p-value is not the probability that the null or alternative hypothesis is true, nor are they a useful decision rule for was is “significant” or not. We will cover what p-values mean and what they can be used for, and look at confidence intervals as an  alternative to p-values. We will consider practical significance, also known as clinical significance or public health significance.

Many scientists wrongly believe that their data need to be normally distributed in order to use parametric tests like the t-test or linear regression. This leads scientists to use non-parametric tests (such as the Mann-Whitney test), which are useful but are limited in their inference and flexibility. We will learn why “lumpy” and not normally distributed data should be celebrated, and how the central limit theorem allows us to use parametric tests for most experiments with a sample size over 100.

P-values and the normal assumption are both widely misunderstood in scientific research. This short-course will improve your understanding of their use, which will help you produce better statistical analyses.

To learn more and to register, click here

Virtual Poster Pitch -  What are you working on?

The SSA wants to know what our student and early career members are working on. To find out, SSA’s Young Statisticians Network (YSN) is running a virtual Poster Pitch event via Zoom on Friday July 10 at 3pm. If you are one of our student or early career members, we want you to present your work to the world! Share your work and practice your communication skills, while describing your contribution to scientific knowledge.

Participants will be required to submit their pitches in video format by July 1 at 8pm AEST. Pre-recorded videos will be aired on event day. The audience and a panel of experts will judge the pitches and prizes will be awarded to the best pitches of the day.

Find out how you can participate

2020 Dennis Trewin Award

Are you/do you know a young statistician or data scientist from the ACT or regional NSW interested in presenting their recent research and winning some prize money?

Then luckily for you, SSA Canberra has extended nominations for the 2020 Dennis Trewin prize until 19th June

For full details, please read here!

Statistical Society of Australia |  PO Box 213 Belconnen ACT 2616 Australia 

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