24 September 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Thanks to modern technology you are receiving a newsletter despite me not actually being in the office this week. I put this issue together before I went on leave, because now that we found such a good routine, I did not want you to miss out on the weekly update from SSA.

If you have followed the newsletter over the last few weeks, you will be aware that SSA recently introduced an award for those of you applying for fellowship funding this year. The application deadline is just around the corner (30 September), so please get your application in at your earliest convenience to throw your hat in the ring! If successful you may have $3,000 coming your way! To find out more, please click here.

And another deadline is looming: This is your last chance to submit your abstract for the Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting, 7- 9 December 2020.  Abstract submission closes midday (AEST) 30 September 2020.Registrations are now open for this popular event, with early bird registrations closing at the end of October. 

Still on the subject of abstract deadlines: Students and early career professionals and researchers are encouraged to submit their abstracts for the WA Young Statisticians’ Workshop 2020 by 10 am (AWST) Monday 28th September. 

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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New ABS Website launched on 21 September 2020!

This week the ABS made the switch to a new website, hoping that from now on will be easier to navigate.

The ABS is committed to improving your user experience by making it easier for you to source and access our information. It made a number of changes to improve user experience. Here are some changes you will notice:

· Prominent key statistics
· Clear and easy pathways to statistics
· Interactive graphs and tables
· Definitions for lesser known terms
· Summary of survey methods
· Content that is accessible to all
· Improved search functionality

Check out the new website here!

Science is getting harder to read

From obscure acronyms to unnecessary jargon, research papers are increasingly impenetrable – even for scientists.

Science is becoming more difficult to understand due to the sheer number of acronyms, long sentences, and impenetrable jargon in academic writing.

Not only does such overcomplicated language alienate non-scientists and the media, it can also make life difficult for junior researchers and those transitioning to new fields.

Adrian Barnett, Vice-President of SSA and a statistician at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, describes the amount of new and obscure acronyms used in scientific papers today as “exhausting” – and it’s only getting worse.

Read Dalmeet Singh Chawla’s complete article here

AMSI 2020-21 Annual 'MathsADDS' careers guide available now

The annual 'MathsADDS' careers guide published by AMSI in collaboration with La Trobe University informs and inspires students with maths-based career successes, and insights into the breadth of professions and industry sectors that can be entered with an undergraduate mathematics-based degree.

The 23rd (2020-21) edition of MathsADDS is available to download here

Previously advertised - places still available!

The Business Analytics Section of the SSA is pleased to announce the following webinar:

Its Alive! Frankenstein for President

to be presented by James J. Cochran on 6 October 2020 at 12 pm AEDT via Zoom.

History is littered with egregious failures of political polls to call the winner of an election (President Thomas Dewey?). In each of the four most recent U.S. Presidential elections, national polls have generally agreed on the outcome immediately prior to the casting of the ballots; the general consensus of the polls was wrong in half of those elections (2004 and 2016). There are many possible reasons for these failures, perhaps most notably of which is the unwillingness or inability of respondents to tell pollsters for whom they intend to vote. In this talk, I will describe an approach that addresses this problem for U.S. Presidential elections through i) estimating of the relative value each respondent associates with each possible position on each salient attribute, ii) asking each respondent what position she or he believes each candidate holds on each of these issues, and iii) using these results to estimate the number of votes each candidate will take in the electoral college.  

To find out more and to register please click here

Social Event: Slide Slam, SSA-Style! 

Interested in a relaxed evening of social fun and non-statistics mayhem with fellow SSA members?

SSA NSW + Canberra are hosting a joint social event on 7 October where we have invited some of the best statisticians/data scientists around Australia to present a set of lightning talks. The catch? It won't be on statistics, in fact, they won't even know what topic they will be presenting on until shortly beforehand! Think of it like poetry-slam but with slides (slide slam!), or for those who remember, the show "Thank God you're here.

Some of the awesome speakers we have lined up: Janan Arslan (Melb), Alan Huang (UQ), Jessica Kazsa (Monash), Hien Nguyen (La Trobe), Jake Olivier (UNSW), Alice Richardson (ANU), Louise Ryan (UTS), Georgy Sofronov (MQ). 

Find out more

WA Young Statisticians’ Workshop 2020

This free workshop will take place online over two half-days on Wednesday 30th September and Thursday 1st October. Invited speakers will give advice to help you on your statistical career, including breakout sessions for small group conversations. All time zones, ages and skill-levels are welcome!

Students and early career professionals and researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts (due 10 am (AWST) Monday 28th September) for PDF posters, 5-minute videos, interactive web apps or almost anything suitable for distribution online. Please see for the abstract template, guidelines and some examples.

For more information click below or contact

For more information click here

Statistics in the Capital...Foreman Lecture

The next SSA Canberra e-meeting will take place on Tuesday 29th September, where Dr Anders Holmberg from ABS will be giving the Foreman lecture on “What is the difference and does it matter? Reflections on how the methodology work in official statistics relates among countries and on the Australian opportunities therein”. Anders is the current Chief Methodologist and General Manager of the Methodology Division at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

More details, including how to RSVP, can be found here

Belz Lecture and World Statistics Day - 20 October 2020, 5.30-7:00pm AEDT

The Vic Branch is delighted to announce details of the Victorian Branch's premier annual event, the Belz Lecture. 

This year's Belz Lecture is extra special because we will also be celebrating World Statistics Day 2020, an initiative from the United Nations Statistical Division with the goal of celebrating and promoting official statistics to policymakers and the general public. The theme of this year's World Statistics Day is "Connecting the world with data we can trust".

The Belz Lecturer for this year, Deputy Australian Statistician Teresa Dickinson, will explore this theme in her lecture titled “To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved”: a maxim for official statistics?

For more information and to register, please click below.

Click here

Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting, 7- 9 December 2020

Submit an abstract!

Don't miss the Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting, a virtual event where statistical consultants can connect, present their ideas, discuss best practice, and more!  The event will be held 7-9 December 2020 in three-hour sessions (11am-2pm AEDT), and will feature:

·        A keynote talk by Doug Zahn (Florida State)

·        Contributed talks

·        Lunchtime discussions on topical issues in consulting

·        A virtual display hall to view contributed speed talks and posters

This will be a low cost event, registration for SSA/NZSA members will be $60 or less.

Abstract submission closes midday (AEST) 30 September 2020.

Registrations are now open!

Find out more and register here

Did you know the SSA Biostatistics and Bioinformatics section has a quarterly newsletter?

To subscribe to our mailing list, please use the link on this web page.

 Past newsletters can also be found there.

Please join us for the following online workshop

Semiparametric Regression with R

to be held from 30 September – 2 October 2020 (11am-1pm AEST each day)

with Professor Matt P. Wand.

Semiparametric regression methods build on parametric regression models by allowing more flexible relationships between the predictors and the response variables. The presenter's goal is to provide an easy-to-follow applied course on semiparametric regression methods using R. This course is intended for applied statistical analysts who have some familiarity with R.

Matt P. Wand is a Distinguished Professor of Statistics at the University of Technology Sydney. 

For more information and to register, click here.

Join us for the following webinar:

Random Effects Inference in Linear Mixed Models: The good, the bad, and the misspecified

held on Friday, 25 September 2020 at 12:00PM AEST via Zoom, exclusively for members of SSA and NZSA.

This event is presented by Francis K.C. Hui and Alan H. Welsh (Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies & Statistics, Australian National University) and their talk is a culmination of two projects on the topic of random effects inference in linear mixed models.

For the abstract, for additional information and to register click on the button below.

Click here

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 |