20 October 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

We're sending out the newsletter a little bit early this week, in honour of World Statistics Day, and to let you know that there is still time to register for the great events being run by the Queensland, Victorian, and NSW Branches to celebrate the day. Today is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the amazing contributions that statisticians and data scientists have made to the world, and on how varied the contributions we can make are. Data is everywhere, and thinking statistically has never been more important. I know that I'll be celebrating today, and I hope that you will too! If you do, please send us some pictures and write-ups of how you spent this special day.

Kind regards

Jessica Kasza
SSA President

Read newsletter in your browser

More about our events celebrating World Statistics Day

The QLD Branch of SSA will celebrate World Statistics day today at 4pm AEDT 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

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.

Register here

Vic Branch event: Belz Lecture and World Statistics Day - today, 5.30-7:00pm AEDT

The Belz Lecturer for this year, Deputy Australian Statistician Teresa Dickinson, will explore the theme of World Statistics Day "Connecting the world with data we can trust" 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.

Register 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.

Register here

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

Register here

CPD mentoring sub-committee – MEMBERS WANTED!

Statisticians frequently find themselves in fairly unique work positions, often the only statistician or one of few statisticians working within multidisciplinary teams. This can lead to less experienced statisticians feeling isolated and unaware of how to grow and develop within the profession. One way to support emerging professional statisticians in developing the personal and professional skillset needed to be successful in the workplace is via mentoring.

The Continuous Professional Development committee is seeking new members to help support the development of a SSA mentoring program based on the program piloted by the Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Section in 2020. This program will be launched in 2021 and CPD mentoring sub-committee members are required to help support the expansion of the program, reaching out to other SSA Sections and Branches to build a mentor list and work closely with the Early Career & Student Statisticians Network to link mentors with mentees. We encourage people from all backgrounds, employment sectors and experience levels to reach out and are committed to having a team that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities. We actively encourage those of you who may not have been actively involved in the SSA in the past to reach out to help expand and diversify our SSA community. If you are interested in becoming involved, please send an email including a couple of paragraphs about yourself and why you want to be involved in the program to Karen Lamb at by November 13th. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you want any further information.

Are you a Statistician by day and a Renaissance Artist by night?

We need your help in designing our new and official SSA t-shirt. Submit a t-shirt design to the online SSA T-shirt Competition. The winner will receive a $100 gift card and eternal bragging rights! All SSA members are welcome to submit an entry. Click here for more information.

Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences elects new Fellows

28 of the nation’s top medical and health researchers have been elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the health and medical research landscape in Australia, including 13 women.

Congratulations to SSA members

Melanie Bahlo and Andrew Forbes

who are among the new cohort.

These professionals are elected at a time when health and medical science is making a crucial contribution to the nation’s future, as the community works to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have been pivotal in this response in Australia and overseas.

Read the full media release

Congratulations as well to SSA member David Price and SSA member and Chair of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Section, Sabine Braat, on their promotion to Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Looking for an Event Coordinator

This is a paid role, 6-8 hours a week, to help the SSA office manage the many online events that are currently being hosted. If you can think of someone who might be interested, please pass on this position description to them.

Previously advertised

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

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

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

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

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

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 |