29 April 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

The Australian Academy of Science's National Committee for Mathematical Sciences is conducting a mid-term review of the decadal plan for the mathematical sciences. The decadal plan ("The mathematical sciences in Australia: vision for 2025") was launched in 2016, and the National Committee is interested in assessing whether this plan remains aligned with the priorities of the mathematical and statistical sciences community in Australia. Much has changed in the landscape of mathematical sciences over the last five years!

SSA members are invited to contribute to this review here. Consultation will close on May 31 2021. I encourage our members to take a look at the decadal plan and contribute to the review: contributions will not only help to shape the next decadal plan, but also provide a snapshot into the state of statistics in Australia right now. 

Jessica Kasza
SSA President

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ECSSC is calling for Abstracts.

Ever wish someone told you how to navigate how to get the most out of your education and first career out of Uni? Feel you could help someone not make the same mistakes you did? The Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference 2021 is calling for diversity of abstracts for the conference.  This is to accommodate ECSS's at all stages of their career. Abstracts can range from some lessons learnt, highs and lows, as well as the creation of novel techniques and application of existing methods to tricky problems. The deadline is 31st May 2021 at 11:59 PM AEST with notifications of acceptance sent out by mid-June 2021.

To submit an abstract, click here.

Maximising the user value of statistics: lessons from globalisation and the pandemic 

In his speech at the virtual European Statistical Forum Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, explained that economic and financial statistics play a central role in guiding monetary policy decisions: central banks constitute an important user group for the output of statistical agencies, while also helping to collect the data underpinning many macro-financial statistical series.  He addressed two main topics in his speech: the first topic is the globalisation-related measurement challenges for macroeconomic statistics, with a focus on external and national accounts; the second topic is the data needs exposed by the pandemic crisis. 

Read the full speech here

CPD Survey - Deadline Approaching!

Thank you to everyone who has already completed this year's CPD survey. For everyone else this is just a gentle reminder that CPD Committee of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) is conducting a survey to understand the courses or workshops or mentorships our members are interested in. Information on three aspects are sought:

  • the topics on which courses and workshops you would be interested to attend
  • the topics you would be interested to present as courses and workshops on behalf of the SSA
  • any mentorship program you will be interested in

The survey will take between 5 to 10 minutes. The link to the survey is below. 

We invite you to complete the survey, if you are yet to do so, and we appreciate your time and feedback. It would be great if you would please complete the survey by 15 May 2021

Kind regards, 

CPD Committee of the SSA

Start the survey

SSA Vic Branch: Trivia!

12 May 2021

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM AEST Online

Come and join us for a virtual Trivia hosted by the SSA Vic!

We have put together 5 rounds of questions based on Movies and TV, Tokyo and the Olympics, (vaguely-)Statistically themed, Music, and Majority rules.

May 12th is also the International Women in Mathematics Day so expect some questions about great contributions women have made in the past and present!

Registration for teams: if you already have a group (between 2-4 people) then the team captain can register for everyone, entering the emails of their teammate during the registration process.

Registration for individuals: don't have a team? No sweat! Register as an individual and we will put together teams on the night!

Making use of the breakout rooms in Zoom, you will have the opportunity to chat about each round with your teammates!

For more information click here

SSA Workshop: Convex Optimization for Statistical and Machine Learning with CVXR
24 Jul 2021, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom 

This is an ECSSC 2021 satellite workshop.

Optimization plays an important role in fitting many statistical models. Some examples include least squares, ridge and lasso regression, Huber regression, and support vector machines. CVXR is an R package that provides an object-oriented modeling language for convex optimization. It allows the user to formulate convex optimization problems in a natural mathematical syntax rather than the standard form required by most solvers. Moreover, problems can be easily modified and re-solved, making the package ideal for prototyping new statistical methods. First, the user specifies an objective and set of constraints by combining constants, variables, and parameters using a library of functions with known mathematical properties. CVXR then applies disciplined convex programming (DCP) to verify the problem's convexity. Once verified, the problem is automatically converted into quadratic or conic form and passed to a solver like OSQP, MOSEK, or GUROBI. In the workshop, we will demonstrate CVXR's modeling framework with several applications in statistics and machine learning, and will have a segment for potential developers in which we go over the nuts and bolts of adding new functions to CVXR's library.

Workshop presenter: Anqi Fu, Stanford University. 

Please click here for more information and to register.

"The Road Ahead for Women in STEM" - virtual panel discussion for International Women in Mathematics Day

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) would like to invite you to join us for an engaging panel discussion that brings together some top leaders in education in Australia.

The aim of the discussion is to be forward-looking and to explore how we can get more women in higher-level positions in universities, as well as more women in STEM and, specifically, the mathematical sciences. The panelists will examine why this is so important and look at the benefits of having more diversity in these different areas.

For more information and to register please click here

Shutdowns And Slow-Downs: Detecting Anomalies In Granular Internet
Activity Data, At Global Scale

 18 May 2021, 6:00 PM AEST, online

SSA Vic is pleased to have A/Prof Simon Angus talk to us about the
internet activity data and what the analysis reveals about human
activity. We hope you join us!

Despite free access to the internet being recognised by the UN as a
human right since 2016, and more than half of humanity now being online,
in many locations, digital freedoms are routinely interrupted by
electricity outages, network failures, congestion, and sovereign
interference. But can these interruptions be detected and documented.

Here, we give an overview of the observatory, its data stream, and the
challenges that face statistical anomaly detection in this context. We
provide examples from Venezuela, Myanmar, and sub-Saharan Africa, and
draw on experiences providing insights for several national and
multi-national organisations.

For more information click here

Victoria Branch Offering Financial Support for Events

Dear SSA Vic members, 

SSA Vic are proud and happy to announce that we will once again be offering financial support to our members for the attendance of statistical workshops, conferences, winter/summer schools and short courses; both national and international, in 2021. This includes for example, the ANZSC 2021 , the ECSSC 2021 and AMSI Winter School.  

Members are invited to apply for funding via one of the two schemes: 

1.     (Conferences 2021) We are offering up to $200 of total funding, per member, for the registration and travel expenses associated with attendance of national and international conferences; or

2.     (Summer & Winter Schools/Short Courses/Workshops 2021) We are offering up to $150 of total funding, per member, for the registration cost of short courses or workshops for their statistical development. 

Members may apply to both schemes, however the total amount of funding available per member is $250 (e.g., if a member has received $150 for a Workshop, and then applies for conference expenses, then they will only be eligible for $100 from the Conference scheme). Members who were funded in 2020 are also eligible for funding in this 2021 round. 

To be eligible for access to funding, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria: 

1.     The applicant must be a member of SSA Vic at the time of application. (Membership is only $20 for students!)

2.     Provide invoices/evidence of registration and expenses that the funding will be used to cover. 

Members seeking more information may email for more information, by including the subject line "SSA Vic Funding Applications 2021". 

Please note that the successful applicants may need to write a small report about their experience. Successful applicants that are presenting at the conference will need to acknowledge support from SSA Vic in their talks or poster. The names of all successful applicants will be publicly shared.  

Please use the following form to apply for either funding schemes: 

We hope that this funding program will help alleviate the financial burden of our members and look forward to receiving your applications.

SIS-ISI virtual event: Women: Statistically Significant

The SIS (Italian Statistical Society) and ISI (International Statistical Institute) are hosting the following virtual event to celebrate the International Year Of Women In Statistics & Data Science on the occasion of Florence Nightingale’s birthday and International Day of Women in Mathematics:

Women: Statistically Significant

12 May 2021, 10:00 – 13:00 (Central European Summer Time) via Zoom.

Fulvia Mecatti, Massimo Attanasio and Fabrizio Ruggeri

For additional info and the program please click here

Previously advertised

Only one space left!

Introduction to Machine Learning for Health Data

8 Jul 2021, 9:00 AM – 9 Jul 2021, 5:00 PM,  Flinders at Victoria Square, Adelaide

If you are interested in detecting patterns associated with diseases and health conditions by studying large amounts of health records, but do not know where to start, SSA and Flinders University are proudly offering this 2 day course with Presenter Dr Oscar Perez-Concha, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney. This workshop introduces the basics for understanding and using machine learning algorithms.

To learn more and to register, click here

SSA’s Early Career and Student Statisticians Network is excited to be hosting a Science Communication Workshop Series in the lead up to ECSSC2021.

Online workshop 1: Science Communication

5 May 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom

SSA’s Early Career and Student Statisticians Network is excited to be hosting a Science Communication Workshop Series in the lead up to ECSSC2021.

The ability to effectively communicate your work to a wide range of audiences is an essential part of being a statistician. Even the most brilliant research is wasted if no one knows it has been done or if your  target audience is unable to understand it. In this workshop, Dr Jen Martin will cover the science communication skills needed to prepare an oral presentation for conferences. We will cover a range of research communication aspects including: Defining a narrative for your research, communicating the importance of your work and some tips on coping with nerves.

If you are registered for ECSSC you can attend this event at no additional cost, but you will need to register.

Register here

Online workshop 2: Visualising Your Data

26 May 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom

Data visualisation is a core component of good statistical communication and we need to consider the presentation mode in considering the design of data visualisations. Effective communication of statistical findings requires the ability to produce both production-ready and presentation-ready graphics. This workshop will focus on the key aspects of creating high quality graphics suitable for conference presentations. Associate Professor Sue Finch will discuss the principles of graphical excellence, and how we can use these to produce engaging and easily interpretable graphics.

If you are registered for ECSSC you can attend this event at no additional cost, but you will need to register.

Register here

Online workshop 3: Honing Your Pitch

16 Jun 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom

Discover techniques to effectively convey your research in a short period of time. In this interactive workshop, Dr Will Grant will cover how to concisely present what you do, how you do it and why without losing the importance of your work.

If you are registered for ECSSC you can attend this event at no additional cost, but you will need to register.

Register here

SSA Canberra "rego grants" for upcoming ANZSC and ECSSC Conferences!

SSA Canberra is inviting student statisticians and data scientists who are student members or join as student members of SSA Canberra branch, and are planning to either:

+ Attend and present a talk or poster at the Australia and New Zealand Statistical Conference on 5-9 July online (ANZSC 2021), or
+ Attend and present a talk or poster at the Early Career and Student Statisticians Conference on 26 July to 1 August 2021 online (ECSSC 2021)

to apply for financial support in the form of a "registration grant".

Application Details:
Please prepare the following documents and a submit a single PDF form containing:

i. A brief resume of up to 4 pages;

ii. A brief statement of which of the above three "grants" you are applying for. Please note you can only apply to be reimbursed for one of the above three grants;

iii. Your submitted talk/poster abstract for ANZSC2021/ECSSC2021;

iv. A short letter describing the anticipated benefits to you that will result from your attendance at the conference/workshop, and declaring any other financial support offered to you for this conference/workshop.

Please send these via email to by 5pm on 31st May 2021

Successful applications will be notified by email 30th June 2021. After receiving a confirmation of your acceptance of talk and your registration receipt/invoice, and after SSA Canberra has confirmed that you are a student member, then SSA Canberra will then look to reimburse your relevant registration/conference fees.

Successful applications should:

+ Acknowledge the financial support of SSA Canberra during their presentation;
+ Contribute a short piece about their experience to the SSA Stats Matters newsletter, to be sent to

2021 Dennis Trewin Prize - Call for nominations

SSA Canberra are calling for nominations for the 2021 Dennis Trewin prize! The prize, named after the former Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin, is awarded annually for outstanding postgraduate research in statistics or data science.

Eligibility criteria:

  • At least 12 months into a postgraduate research degree, or graduated from a postgraduate research degree in the last 36 months (at the time of application).
  • Undertaking/undertook the research degree from a university with a campus within the ACT or regional areas of NSW outside Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong.

If you have innovative research from your research degree that is of interest to statisticians and/or data scientists, we strongly encourage you to apply!

Please submit an abstract of your research work to by Friday 14th May. You will also need to provide proof of enrolment at the university that the research was undertaken in.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to record a 15-20 minute video on their research, and will receive a one-year complimentary SSA student membership following this. A selection committee will then decide the winner of the Dennis Trewin prize, who will additionally receive a $1,000 cash prize and an invitation to present their research as part of SSA Canberra's branch meeting in October. Whilst most recent branch meetings have been held virtually, there is a possibility that this branch meeting will be held physically, in which case the cost of dinner will be covered, as well as travel and one night’s accommodation if required.

If you have any further questions regarding the nature/format/scope of the prize, please contact

SSA ECSSN T-shirt is now available!

The winning SSA ECSSN t-shirt design by Ben Harrap is now available to be purchased. Visit Das T-Shirt Automat to buy your fabulous t-shirt today! The cost is $40 ($30 for students) plus shipping. There are two styles available: the one pictured here, and a more fitted scoop neck version, worn by SSA President Jessica Kasza in the photograph at the top of this newsletter. All proceeds will go towards supporting early career and student statisticians.


Register now:

Early Bird closes

19 May 2021


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