6 May 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

Welcome to the first newsletter of the month of May. The first months of 2021 have just flown by and not long now until the Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference is upon us. You are probably already aware that SSA’s first ever online Statistical Conference will be held from 5-9 July 2021? Have you got your ticket yet? The Early Bird deadline closes on 20 May.

After this conference you have a couple of weeks to catch your breath (and catch up on any work not done during ANZSC2021) before attending the Early Career and Student Statisticians Conference 2021, also held online from 26 July until 1 August. The early bird deadline for ECSSC2021 is 26 May 2021, but I would encourage you to not wait too long to register: The first 120 paid registrations will receive one AUD$25 Menulog voucher, proudly sponsored by ACEMS

Whether you are presenting at ANZSC2021 or ECSSC2021, SSA has you covered with its great Science Communications workshop series to help you prepare for either event, helping even inexperienced speakers deliver a polished presentation. Just check out our pre-conference workshops below. And the best thing is: These workshops are free for attendees of ECSSC2021 (and super cheap for everyone else).

Until next week,

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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NSW Branch April Meeting: The NSW Branch Welcomes R Ladies And Hears About Improved Visualisation Of Discrete Data

The April 2021 meeting of the New South Wales branch was co-hosted by the Sydney section of the R Ladies group. Jenny Sloane gave a short presentation about R Ladies, both at the international and local levels, and explained how it promotes gender diversity within the R computing community - and also how it helps her as a researcher and data analyst.

We then had a seminar by Dr Gordana Popovic who is a research fellow and statistical consultant at the University of New South Wales. Gordana's talk was titled "Carrots are good for vision. Models are good for visualising discrete data".

Read Matt Wand's full article here.

University of Newcastle Restructure - Sign the Petition

As many members are aware, the University of Newcastle has proposed a restructure, which will result in the disestablishment of many statistics positions at the University. The National Tertiary Education Union's Newcastle Branch has launched a petition against these cuts. 

You can read more and add your name to the petition here

Get Significance online

As part of your membership of the Statistical Society of Australia you now have online access to Significance through the Wiley Online Library.

Remember, SSA members also get discounted access to print copies of the magazine ($58 for six copies a year for full members, $45 for student members).

Get access to Significance

The Statistical Society is pleased to announce the following online seminar with

Jonathan Rougier (University of Bristol):

Estimating volume from point-referenced thickness measurements

14 May 2021 4:00 PM AEST

About this event:

Accurate sizing of historical volcanic eruptions is challenging, because the deposition process is complicated, and because the remnants of the deposition process are sparse and heavily degraded.  The substantial uncertainty means that point estimates are much less informative than confidence intervals.  I will describe a computationally intensive algorithm for producing a 95% confidence interval for tephra fall volume, using a variety of modern statistical tools.  I will also describe the various R packages and tools that I use.

About the presenter:

Jonathan Rougier is a consulting statistician, formerly Professor of Statistical Science and Head of Statistics in the School of Mathematics, University of Bristol (up to June 2019).  He is a 'full service' statistician, but has worked extensively in Earth and Environmental Science.  He is the 2021 recipient of the Royal Statistical Society Barnett Award for Environmental Statistics.

Learn more

ECSSC and career pathways

Love statistics but do not know exactly what career path is best for you?  

The Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference 2021 keynote speakers will represent various possible career pathways in statistics. There will be:

Paola Oliva-Altamirano - Principal Data Scientist, Innovation Lab, Our Community/SmartyGrants

Kendra Vant - EGM – Data, Xero

Helena Jia - Executive Director, National and International Assessments, Educational Testing Service

Minh-Ngoc Tran - Associate Professor at the Discipline of Business Analytics, University of Sydney Business School

Peter Taylor- Redmond Barry Professor, University of Melbourne

They will be touching on career paths and so much more. To find out more and to register for the online conference, click here.

ECSSC - 26 July - 1 August 2021

NSW Branch - ANZSC 2021 and ECSSC 2021 Registration Grants

The SSA NSW Branch is now accepting registration grant applications for the Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference (ANZSC 2021, 5th – 9th July 2021) and the Early Career and Student Statistician Conference 2021 (ECSSC 2021, 26th July 2021 – 1st August 2021). Applications are open to student members of the SSA NSW Branch who will give an oral or poster presentation at one of the conferences. Limited spots are also available to student members who will attend ECSSC 2021 without giving a presentation, and early career statisticians (up to 5 years post-PhD) that have been members of the SSA NSW Branch for at least 2 years at the application deadline and have no financial support available to present at one of the conferences. Successful applicants will receive a reimbursement for registration fees and workshop costs paid by the applicant. 

A complete application will consist of:

  • 1.    An outline of the importance of attending the conference to the candidate’s research or work (2-3 lines).
  • 2.    Abstract of the presentation, if available.
  • 3.    A list of other funds sought or promised, including those from the candidate’s home institution.
  • 4.    Any other supporting material the candidate considers relevant to the application.
  • 5.    A letter of support signed by the candidate’s supervisor; for early career statisticians, the letter should also state the candidate has no funds available to attend one of the conferences.
  • 6.    The candidate’s up-to-date CV.

Applications can be submitted electronically to the Secretary of the SSA NSW Branch on or before Monday, 14th June 2021.

Recipients of the grant will also need to supply a report of their involvement in the conference to be published in the Society’s newsletter.

Recipients of the grant are asked to acknowledge the SSA’s support in their presentations and in any published version of presented papers. We reserve the right not to reimburse if the recipient did not acknowledge the support of the SSA NSW Branch in their talk or poster.

Previous successful applicants of similar awards from SSA are not eligible to apply.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by email no later than Monday, 21st June 2021.

WA Branch Meeting - Focus on Early Career and Student Statisticians

11 May 2021, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM AWST at the Cheryl Praeger Lecture Theatre, The University of Western Australia

The WA Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia is pleased to announce that our next meeting focuses on Early Career and Student Statisticians. The two invited speakers are Lachlan Robinson, recipient of the 2020 WA Branch Honours Scholarship; and Shih Ching Fu, winner of best presentation at the 2020 Young Statisticians Workshop.

Visitors are welcome to attend this branch meeting. 

For those that cannot attend in-person, the presentations will be streamed live over Zoom.

For further information please contact the WA Branch Secretary 


Modelling Background Water Density Within a Bayesian Hierarchical Framework

Lachlan Robinson, The University of Western Australia

Using Bayesian Networks to identify significant crime events in WA

Shih Ching Fu, Curtin University

Refreshments and Dinner

Members and guests are invited to mingle over wine, beer, cider, soft drinks and pizza from 5:30ᴘᴍ. Following the meeting you are invited to dine with fellow attendees at a nearby restaurant. Early career and student statisticians will receive $20 off their meal should they wish to come.

To register and receive the zoom details or for more information about the presentations, please click here

Interested in Biostatistics or Bioinformatics?

The SSA Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Section are now accepting expressions of interest (EOIs) for new committee members that have a passion for biostatistics and/or bioinformatics, who want to continue to shape the direction of the Section and, ultimately, promote the field within Australia.

To be eligible to apply, you must be or willing to become an SSA member and be working in the field of biostatistics and/or bioinformatics. We welcome both non-academic and academic affiliations. Expected commitment would involve participation in teleconference once every 6 weeks and a few hours between meetings to assist in Section tasks, such as minuting the meeting, organising workshops & events, social media engagement and developing the quarterly newsletter. Please submit an EOI before 31st May 2021 or for more information contact Nicole De La Mata.

WIMSIG Conference 2021: A Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

Mark your diaries for Friday October 1: the WIMSIG 2021 conference will be coming to a local hub near you! This conference will celebrate women in maths and stats across Australia, and feature national and international keynote speakers, beaming into local hubs in capital cities across Australia, in addition to local activities. To help us plan, we’d love an indication of your intent to attend one of the event venues. Please complete this survey to assist the event planning team. 

Also, we would encourage all SSA members to check out the WIMSIG special interest group, which supports women in mathematics and statistics. 

For more information about WIMSIG’s activities (including travel awards) and to learn how to join click here

Have you been to the SSA Career Centre lately? 

Since its implementation in 2014 it has grown steadily, year by year. The Job Board currently features 185 registered employers and 514 registered job seekers. 106 resumes have been uploaded and can be viewed by potential employers. There are currently 2161 live job ads (figures from 3 May 2021).

The Career Centre has everything you need to make your resume stand out, ace the interview, advance your career, and navigate the digital world through social media and digital communication. There are many helpful features, such as tips on how to prepare a resume, what NOT to include in your resume, how to prepare for your interview, how to advance your career and how to manage in a digital world.

Job Seekers can create job alerts so that they get notified when a new ad is listed.

Employers can view the uploaded resumes for free.

Check out the Career Centre here

Previously mentioned....

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.  

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!

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. 

Workshop presenter: Anqi Fu, Stanford University. 

Please click here for more information and to register.

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!

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. 

Learn more

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

ECSSC Science Communication Series

ECSSC Science Communication Series: Visualising Your Data

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

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

ECSSC Science Communication Series: 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".

Deadline: 31 May 2021

Find out more

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.

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.

Learn more


Register now:

Early Bird closes

19 May 2021


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