2 July 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

If it were not for COVID-19, we would be gathering on the Gold Coast for ANZSC2020 next week. While it is disappointing that the conference had to be postponed, we are very pleased to be able to present a few virtual events instead, specifically organised to fill the gap that the deferral of ANZSC2020 has left. Do not miss the Virtual Poster Pitch, the Virtual Mini-Conference and our first ever Virtual Escape Room.

On another note, I would like to share that the ACT Government has authorised SSA and ASPAI to  hold this year's AGM by virtual means, rather than in person, as required by our Rules and Regulations. This is a unique opportunity for all members of SSA to be able to attend - no travel required. Please save the date: 4 August 2020, late afternoon. The AGMs of SSA and ASPAI will be followed by a presentation from Professor Deborah Ashby. Professor Ashby is Director of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London where she holds the Chair in Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials, and was Founding Co-Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit. More information about the event will be made available shortly.

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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SA Branch June Meeting

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

The monthly seminar of the SSA in SA was presented by Dr Oscar Perez-Concha, Lecturer at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH), University of New South Wales, Sydney. Over 40 people connected from all over Australia using Zoom. Many people are curious and would like to learn more about Machine Learning and the talk titled ‘Machine Learning: From damned lies to statistics, where does machine learning lie within the field of data science?’ was the perfect opportunity to get started.

Read more here

Did COVID-19 models get it wrong? Professor Sally Cripps explains

Renowned University of Sydney statistician, Professor Sally Cripps, examines the efficacy of COVID-19 modelling as part of an online analysis with colleagues from Stanford University and North-Western University. Did COVID-19 models in the United Kingdom and the United States get it wrong?

As part of an online discussion between an international group of researchers, including Stanford University Professor of Medicine John P.A. Ioannidis and Northwestern University statistician, Professor Martin A. Tanner, University of Sydney statistician Professor Sally Cripps discusses the efficacy of the two countries' COVID-19 modelling efforts, with recommendations on how countries – including Australia – can better prepare for uncertainty.

For more information please click here.

Looking for a member who likes photography

To celebrate mathematics and its prominence in science and society, the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Mathematical Sciences is hosting scienceXart: spot the maths, a photographic competition for school students of all ages. A  collaboration with reSolve and supported by the Statistical Society of Australia, this initiative is part of the Academy’s celebration of the International Mathematical Union’s Centennial.

Open for entries from 28 June to 25 September, the competition engages students with the mathematical sciences and highlights the inherent creativity of maths. This is a fantastic opportunity for primary and secondary students to explore and engage with the maths all around us. 

As a proud sponsor of this initiative SSA is entitled to be part of the judging panel. We are therefore looking for a member with an interest in photography or graphic design, willing to be one of the judges of the photography exhibition. If you are interested, please contact SSA’s Executive Officer, Marie-Louise Rankin.

For more information about this event, click here

SSA Online Workshop: Introduction to Julia for Statistics and Data Science

The Vic Branch of SSA is proud to announce the upcoming programming and statistics workshop: Introduction to Julia for Statistics and Data Science, presented by Yoni Nazarathi from The University of Queensland. It will be delivered online, over two half days, on 24 and 27 July. The early bird prices are low – especially for student members.

This workshop is targeted at people who have used a language like R or Python before. Julia has a growing number of statistical libraries. It is fast, easy to use, and open source. Julia aims to solve the two-language-problem. The workshop is closely followed by the free online JuliaCon 2020 conference. So, there’s a great opportunity to link up with the Julia community afterwards.

Click here for full details, instructor bio and registration

Workshop: Machine learning with Python

20 Jul 2020, 9:00 AM - 21 Jul 2020, 12:30 PM

The Vic Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia warmly invites you to a workshop on machine learning with Python, presented by a data scientist from Eliiza (to be announced).

  • Day 1: Getting Started with Machine Learning This is a hands-on course for making predictive models using machine learning.
  • Day 2: Introduction to Deep Learning

This workshop will teach you how to use the TensorFlow 2.0 framework to construct neural networks and apply them to tasks such as image recognition.

Click here to find out more

Virtual IBC2020

The organisers of IBC2020 are delighted to invite you to register to participate in the virtual IBC2020. An exciting menu of offerings is being planned, including keynote addresses by Peter Diggle, Di Cook and David Donoho. Most of the planned invited sessions, the Statistics in Practice session, as well as the Young Statistician Showcase, the Biometrics Showcase and the JABES showcase will be offered as well. The conference committee are in the process of engaging with those who were accepted for contributed oral and poster presentations to enable them to participate as well. They are particularly excited about the platform that will be used for the contributed sessions since it allows quite a lot of flexibility in what can be uploaded. As always happens at the in-person IBC, there will be awards for the best posters (Student and Professional Category) as well as for best oral presentation by a student.  

find out more

Workshop: data visualisation with R

28 Jul 2020, 9:00 AM - 29 Jul 2020, 12:30 PM

The Vic Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia warmly invites you to a workshop on data visualisation with R, taught by Prof. Di Cook and Dr. Emi Tanaka

Data visualisation is a key statistical tool for effective communication and to understand aspects of data and models. The statistical language R is used widely for data analysis and visualization, e.g. the BBC Visual and Data Journalism team uses ggplot2 R-package to create production-ready charts. This workshop (on Day 1) will teach you how to create production-ready graphics using the grammar of graphics implemented in ggplot2 R-package. In addition, the workshop (on Day 2) will teach you how to construct more complex plots, including maps, and discuss inference for statistical graphics to understand if what we see in a plot is really there. The workshop will be hands-on with plenty of practical examples.

Click here to find out more

And don't forget the following events - advertised previously


Sick of spending another Friday evening home alone? Craving some social interaction with your peers? Hungry for some fabulous Domino's pizza - for free?

Let us entertain you. Join us for an evening of fun and games. Start planning your escape from our fabulous virtual Escape Room now!

This event is open and free to all student and early career members of SSA. The first 40 registered individuals will get a free pizza voucher.

Find out more and register here

Upcoming ACEMS webinars

The Second Convict Age: Explaining the Return of Mass Imprisonment in Australia

A webinar with Dr Andrew LeighShadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT, Tuesday, 7 July 2020, 12pm AEST

About this Event

Constructing a new series of incarceration rates from 1860 to 2018, Dr Leigh finds that Australia now incarcerates a greater share of the adult population than at any point since the late nineteenth century. Much of this increase has occurred since the mid-1980s. Since 1985, the Australian incarceration rate has risen by 130 percent, and now stands at 0.22 percent of adults (221 prisoners per 100,000 adults).

Recalculating Indigenous incarceration rates so that they are comparable over a long time span, Dr Leigh finds that incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians have risen dramatically. Fully 2.5 percent of Indigenous adults are incarcerated (2481 prisoners per 100,000 adults), a higher share than among African-Americans.

The recent increase in the Australian prison population does not seem to be due to crime rates, which have mostly declined over the past generation. Instead, higher reporting rates, stricter policing practices, tougher sentencing laws, and more stringent bail laws appear to be the main drivers of Australia’s growing prison population.

Find out more and register here

Webinar, exclusively for members of SSA and NZSA:

Writing successful fellowships  Friday, 24 July 2020, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (AEST)

Success rates for fellowship applications are plummeting, but success is not impossible! This interactive panel-style webinar will feature brief presentations from three past/current SSA presidents: Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen (ARC Laureate), Professor Scott Sisson (ARC Future Fellow) and Professor Adrian Barnett (NHMRC Fellow), followed by an extended discussion and question time. Gain knowledge and inspiration to help optimise your chances!

Click here to find out more and to register

We still have places left in our SSA+NZSA virtual mini-conference!

Are you an SSA or NZSA member who was looking forward to presenting your work at ANZSC2020 in July? Disappointed that you won’t get to share your work until the new conference date in 2021?

To alleviate that disappointment, SSA and NZSA will host a virtual conference session on July 9, from 1pm to 2:30pm AEST (starting 11am AWST; 12:30pm ACST; 3pm NZST). SSA or NZSA members who were going to give a talk or present a poster at ANZSC2020 are welcome to sign up for our virtual conference session, which will take place via Zoom. Each speaker will have 10 minutes to talk, followed by 5 minutes for questions and discussion.

If you want to present your work, email the title and abstract of your accepted talk or poster to by June 30, with “SSA+NZSA virtual mini-conference” in the subject line. The zoom link and further instructions for speakers will be sent closer to the date.

Virtual Poster Pitch -  What are you working on? Deadline  extended until 6 July, 8pm AEST!

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.

Find out how you can participate

Tired of surveys but eager to leave feedback? Tell us what you are missing from your SSA membership. Or let us know what we do well. We will listen. 

Contact us

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

02 6251 3647 |