15 October 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Not long now until World Statistics Day (20 October) and SSA's branches are all set to mark this special day with various events. You will be spoiled for choice!  The celebrations kick off with the webinar "Work on the additional data collection and work that the ABS has done during COVID-19"  on the afternoon of 20 October. Then there is the Belz Lecture presented by Teresa Dickinson of the ABS and organised by the Vic Branch, followed by a fun social event with Simon Pampena and his comedy show, “The Probability Drive”. The events continue the next day with Thomas Fung giving the Lancaster Lecture, hosted by the NSW Branch.

This video put together by SSA Vice President (Communications) Carmen Lim summarises beautifully what's on offer.

Happy World Statistics Day!

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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Young Statisticians Europe announces its YoungStatS blog and webinar project

Young Statisticians Europe (YSE) is an initiative of a group of young professionals in statistics, econometrics and data analysis from 11 European countries. It aims to develop a network of young statisticians at European level to facilitate idea and best practice exchange as well as better collaboration, both in research and teaching.

The group is about to implement a major international blog, YoungStatS, inspired by the famous economics website VoxEU. The YoungStatS project will consist of a blog and webinar (the name YoungStatS alludes to the umbrella organization within which we operate, Federation of European National Statistical Societies, FENStatS). The blog posts will consist of short presentations of recently published statistical literature, written by the authors of the articles themselves.

The official launch of the project is scheduled on October 20th, 2020, to coincide with World Statistics Day. It will be accompanied by an online press conference. First contributors to the blog will be Prof. Peter J. Diggle, Prof. Edgar Dobriban, and Prof. Dominik Liebl.

Find out more

The Statistical Society of Australia warmly invites you to a workshop on

Data Wrangling with R, taught by Dr. Emi Tanaka

1-2 December 2020, 1:30pm-5:00pm(AEDT).

Data wrangling is one of the first key steps necessary before downstream analysis such as visualization or modelling. This workshop will teach you how to wrangle data in the statistical language R using the tidyverse suite of packages, i.e. dplyr, tidyr, stringr, lubridate and forcats. This will include learning about the concept of tidy data and learning the new verbs in dplyr v1.0.0 released early this year. The workshop will be hands-on with plenty of practical examples and time for participants to work through exercises to put what they learnt into practice.

Find out more and register here

Don’t miss the 2020 H. O. Lancaster Lecture, hosted by the NSW Branch of SSA on

21 October 2020, 6pm-7pm AEDT

Count on someone who can count! Presented by Dr Thomas Fung, Macquarie University

Count data occurs naturally in many different fields, but they typically exhibit deviations, such as overdispersion, underdispersion, and zero-inflation, from the basic Poisson model. This means the Poisson distribution is often inadequate for modelling them. Incorrectly modelling such deviations leads to inefficient estimation and biased inferences on model parameters, resulting in invalid conclusions. In this talk, I will discuss some recent work in utilising the Conway-Maxwell-Poisson to handle over- and underdispersion and a new distribution generating mechanism to handle zero-inflation to obtain simpler and more easily-interpretable models.

Find out more and register here

The Canberra Branch warmly invites you to the following online branch meeting

Bayesian Modelling of Non-Linear Sensor Arrays, presented by Basim S.O. Alsaedi, formerly University of New England

on 27 October 2020, 6pm - 7pm AEDT

The Zoom meeting will be open from around 5:30pm if people wish to mingle.

Non-linear multivariate calibration methods are increasingly used to extract information from different types of sensors. As the complexity of the data increases, new methods are required to estimate parameters and to provide realistic estimates of uncertainty. This talk is focused on the study of establishing a meaningful limit of detection for sensors and sensor arrays with non-linear response.  We propose a new limit of detection (LOD) definition for ion selective electrodes for sensors and sensor arrays. The Bayesian infostructure is used to calculate the uncertainty associated with the estimates. Furthermore, a comprehensive study of modularisation in sensors and sensor arrays is conducted, motivated by practical limitations of the “cut” function in Bayesian graphical models as implemented by BUGS. Alternative algorithms, based on Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), for sensors and sensor arrays are also proposed and evaluated.

Register here

The QLD Branch of SSA will celebrate World Statistics day with a special online event

Work on the additional data collection and work that the ABS has done during COVID-19

with Marcel van Kints

on 20 October 2020, 4pm AEDT.

Marcel van Kints joined the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1996. His career has focused on macroeconomic statistics, at both the national and international level, with expertise in price statistics. Marcel has complemented his ABS experience with international experience at the United Nations in New York; and applied his statistical knowledge and experience to source and develop empirical evidence to support the Henry Tax Review at The Treasury. Marcel currently leads the ABS Data Integration Division to shape ABS data strategy and provide data services, particularly in support of the Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA) program. Marcel has tertiary qualifications in economics and statistics, and has completed a Masters of Public Administration from the Australian National University. Marcel has authored several conference and academic articles.

Registration will be available shortly here.

Not many places left for our workshop on

Data Visualisation with R, taught by Professor Di Cook and Dr Emi Tanaka

on 11-12 November 2020, 1:30 PM - 5:00 AEDT

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 visualisation, e.g. theBBC 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.

Find out more and register

Please join us for the webinar

The Advent of "Grammar": Bridging Statistics and Data Science for the Design of Experiments 

presented by Dr Emi Tanaka

on 27 November 2020, 1pm AEDT via Zoom. 

Statistics is a valuable tool for almost all scientific fields and industry to make sense of their data, yet as a field we lag behind to remain relevant, getting superseded by the so-called data science. What differentiates statistics from data science? And how does the design of experiments fit in with data science? 

In this webinar, Dr Emi Tanaka will talk about the concept of the "grammar" and the momentum it is gaining to make data analysis more accessible to a diverse group. She'll then present her prototype to the "grammar of experimental design" - a framework to construct the design of comparative experiments that cognitively enforces the experimental structure. She’ll explain some principles behind this prototype, showcase how her developmental R-package edibble will work, and how she thinks it helps to bridge the gap between experimental design theory and practice for the wider community.

Register here

Previously advertised - places still available!

The Bayesian Section of the SSA is pleased to announce the following webinar 

Computing Bayes: Bayesian Computation from 1763 to the 21st Century 

with Gael M. Martin on 11 November 2020 at 4:00PM (AEDT).         

About this webinar:

The Bayesian statistical paradigm uses the language of probability to express uncertainty about the phenomena that generate observed data. Probability distributions thus characterize Bayesian inference, with the rules of probability used to transform prior probability distributions for all unknowns - models, parameters, latent variables - into posterior distributions, subsequent to the observation of data. Conducting Bayesian inference requires the evaluation of integrals in which these probability distributions appear. Bayesian computation is all about evaluating such integrals in the typical case where no analytical solution exists. This paper takes the reader on a chronological tour of Bayesian computation over the past two and a half centuries. Beginning with the one-dimensional integral first confronted by Bayes in 1763, through to recent problems in which the unknowns number in the millions, we place all computational problems into a common framework, and describe all computational methods using a common notation. The aim is to help new researchers in particular - and more generally those interested in adopting a Bayesian approach to empirical work - make sense of the plethora of computational techniques that are now on offer; understand when and why different methods are useful; and see the links that do exist, between them all.

To find out more and to register

Don't miss this workshop, hosted by the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Section of SSA:

Essential skills for statistical consultancy - Project management, timelines and communication

22 October 2020 from 10:00 AM - 13:00 PM AEDT via Zoom.

This half day workshop is designed to provide participants with an understanding of some of the key skills involved in biostatistical consultancy, covering a range of topics including how to run consultancy projects from start to finish, managing projects, and communication skills. The course will feature presentations from statisticians experienced in biostatistical consultancy, as well as an interactive panel session to allow participants to pick the brains of our experts!

Find out more and book your place

Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting

held on 7 - 9 December 2020 from 11am-2pm AEDT(each day).

The Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting is a virtual event where statistical consultants can connect, present their ideas, discuss best practice, and more!  The event 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 
Be part of this event - find out more

Statistics in the Capital: Knibbs Lecture with Ray Carroll and Alan Welsh

Save the date! SSA Canberra invites you to attend this year's Knibbs lecture, which will be presented by Prof. Ray Carroll (Texax A&M). The lecture will also celebrate the 60th birthday of Prof. Alan Welsh (ANU), and his contributions to statistics.  

Date and time:  Tuesday 24th November; 12:30pm-1:45pm AEDT.   

More details will be announced closer to the date of the event. In the meantime, please RSVP for the event  to save the date!
RSVP 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

 After Belz Lecture you’ll be entertained by Simon Pampena in his comedy show, “The Probability Drive”. We don't want to give anything away, but we're certain you'll have a good time – there will be laughs, door prizes, and some socialising following the show.

After the show

Following Simon's show we will be using Airmeet to visit the e-pub (the fun kind of e-pub) to chat, have fun, and most importantly, announce the winners of our door prizes. Those who attend have the opportunity to go in the draw to win one of the one of the following door prizes we have on offer:

·         Book vouchers

·         Vouchers for a professional headshot

·         Vouchers to attend a workshop of your choice (valued up to $300)

Find out more and register here

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

02 6251 3647 |