26 November 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

You may have seen the recent announcement that ANZSC2021, our 2021 conference (originally slated to occur earlier this year on the Gold Coast), will now be an online event. I am sure that you will agree that it is disappointing that we will not be able to gather together in one place to celebrate our work and see old and new friends. However, given the uncertainty that this virus brings with it, the SSA and NZSA executive committees and the ANZSC2021 organising committees felt that an online event was the best choice for 2021. I know that the Local Organising and Scientific Program Committees are working hard to ensure that ANZSC2021 is the best that it can be!

I for one am looking forward to seeing what they come up with, and to  interacting with you online. If local restrictions allow, we also hope to offer small in-person events to accompany the online program. Keep your eye on for more announcements!

Jessica Kasza
SSA President

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The SSA Office will be closed from Friday, 27 November until Monday, 7 December 2020, while the Executive Officer is on leave.

WA Young Statisticians Workshop 2020

On 30th September and 1st October 2020, the Western Australia branch held its 11th Western Australian Young Statisticians Workshop online. The event included seven invited speakers and eight Young Statistician presentations.

Read more on our website!

Announcing the winners of the commendable
Young Statistician Presentations
 of the WA Young Statisticians Workshop 2020

First place

 Mr Shi Ching Fu from Curtin University

Using Bayesian Networks to Identify Significant Crime Events in WA

Second Place

Mr Connor Duffin from the University of Western Australia

A Statistical Finite Element Method for Nonlinear PDEs

Third Place

Mr George Malone from Murdoch University

The L2 Method for Robust Estimation of Mixtures: An Application in Diagnosis

of Equine PPID

Poster Presentation Winner

Kenyon Ng from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; and Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA.

Predicting Oats Cutting (Flowering) Time with Semiparametric Additive Models

Congratulations to the all the Young Statistician Prize winners!

SA Branch October meeting 2020

Instrumental variables: a review of the rationale for their use, assumptions and validation methods with application to estimating the impact of health spending on health outcomes

Laura Edney, Research Fellow in Health Economics at Flinders University, spoke to our October meeting on her work about the motivation for the use of Instrumental variables (IVs), the assumptions they make and how these can be appropriately tested either directly or through sensitivity analyses by examining the impact of assumption violation. This is the topic of her current research, following on from many years of work on various fields on health economics. To illustrate the key concepts of IVs, Laura reviewed the application of IVs to estimating the impact of health spending on health outcomes focusing on eight publications that have estimated this relationship nationally. 

Read the full article here

Kerrie Mengersen elected Vice President of the ISI

The latest ISI newsletter announces outcomes of elections for ISI Executive for 2021 (office bearers from ISI Annual General Meeting held in association with the next World Statistics Conference in July 2021), including the election of Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen to one of the 2 Vice-President posts, 2021-2025.

This means SSA has a former president among the small group steering the International Statistics Institute through the first half of the coming decade; a position the Society has been in at least three times in the recent past with similar stints by Nick Fisher (Vice President),  Dennis
Trewin (ISI President 2001-2003), and Helen MacGilivray (ISI President 2017-2019).
Stephen Horn

NSW Branch: 21st J.B. Douglas Awards - Tuesday 8 December, 1:15pm-6pm AEDT

  • Anne Soerensen, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Macquarie University & Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen
  • Desalegn Markos Shifti, School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
  • Fiona Kim, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New South Wales
  • Laura Cartwright, School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong
  • Nghia Nyugen, Discipline of Business Analytics, University of Sydney Business School
  • Ra'ed Al-Surdeh, School of Computer, Data, and Mathematical Sciences, Western Sydney University
  • Torri Callan, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
  • Yingxin Lin, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Sydney

Details of the programme, a list of our generous sponsors and the titles of talks will be available here. This event will be followed by the NSW Branch's

Annual Lecture

The new normal: distributional regression

Professor Gillian Heller, Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney

Tuesday 8 December, 6pm-7pm AEDT

Regression analysis has evolved almost beyond recognition in the last 40 years. Vastly increased flexibility has been gained at the cost of an increase in mathematical and interpretational complexity, enabled by the exponential increase in computational power over the same period. I will share my personal experiences in this area, and attempt to evaluate what we have lost and gained in the journey from the classical linear model to distributional regression.

Register here

Study Biostatistics with the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA)

The BCA is a consortium of Australian Universities offering an accredited national program of postgraduate courses in Biostatistics. Take this exciting step to develop your professional career in biostatistics! 

"The knowledge and skills I've developed through my study with the BCA have made me competitive in the industry and have increased my confidence as a biostatistician.

I have felt overwhelmingly supported as a student undertaking my Masters while maintaining full-time work and caring for a young family. "

Nikki Fozzard

ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical & Statistical Frontiers

In the race for gold, athletes are always looking for a competitive edge. But could that edge now come from the mathematical sciences? In this week's episode of "The Random Sample" podcast, we explore the ever increasing role of data and statistics in athletic performance and sports. Our guests are Dr Lachlan Mitchell from the

Queensland Academy of Sport

and Dr Paul Wu from ACEMS at

QUT Science and Engineering.

Our host is Dr Jacinta Holloway-Brown from ACEMS at QUT. Just search for The Random Sample wherever you get your podcasts, or head to:

Melbourne Centre for Data Science is pleased to host Ciprian Crainiceanu, Professor of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University, for an online  seminar entitled “Objective physical activity monitoring using wearable devices".

When: Friday 4 December, 10:00am - 11:00am AEDT

The seminar will show that physical activity summaries derived from accelerometers: (1) substantially outperform traditional risk factors of mortality; and (2) provide strong complementary information about the health status of the individual in addition to traditional risk factors. It will also discuss methodological problems and some potential solutions raised by new type of data generated by wearable accelerometers.

Register here


There are only four days left to apply for Summer School 2021! Join over 100 students from around Australia taking a subject for credit, making friends, expanding their knowledge and finding out where maths can take them after uni life.

We encourage women to apply.

Applications will close at midnight, Sunday 29 November.

Apply here

Previously advertised


Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics Editor – call for nominations now open

The International Biometric Society and the American Statistical Association have invited nominations for the position of editor of the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (JABES).

JABES publishes articles of immediate and practical value to applied researchers and statistical consultants in the agricultural sciences, the biological sciences (including biotechnology), and the environmental sciences (including those dealing with natural resources).

Nominations should be sent to no later than Friday January 15th, 2021.  Once received, nominations will be presented to the Chair of the JABES Management Committee for further consideration. Interested individuals are encouraged to nominate themselves.

More details are available here

If you have news from the Australian statistical community to share in Stats Matters and Events, please get in touch with us!

Please join us for tomorrow's 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

In 2020, AMSI BioInfoSummer is going virtual! Hosted by The Australian National University (ANU), attendees will participate online over the four-day program to develop their bioinformatics skills, national networks and employability.

Featuring presentations, workshops and program extras from the best in the bioinformatics field from Australia and abroad, the AMSI BioInfoSummer 2020 program is jam packed. Start each morning with a mix of computational and biology focused lectures and research talks. Then develop your skills during the hands-on workshops. Round out your week with an interactive careers session, ePoster competition and public lecture.

Full four-day conference registrations start from $60! 

Find out more

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 |