9 September 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

How are you? Today is R U OK day, and I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you: Are you ok, {Contact_First_Name}?  With the stress of continuous COVID alerts, lock downs and break-outs taking its toll, it’s more important than ever to look after each other. While keeping an eye out for family, friends and colleagues who may not be coping so well with the pressures that the pandemic brought upon us, we also need to make sure that we manage our own mind and thoughts, fears, worries and anxiety in a healthy manner. There are resources out there that offer help. Please reach out if you or someone you know is struggling.

September is significant in many ways. Those of us who were near a TV or radio in September 2001 will never forget what we did or felt on September 11th  that year. The 20th anniversary of this horrendous occasion brings with it many articles and television specials, reawakening those feelings of shock and disbelief, usually buried beneath the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. This is again an opportunity for starting a conversation with those around you, asking: “Are you ok?”, or letting them know if you are not.

September is also Lymphoma Awareness Month. We read a lot about cancer statistics, but did you know that lymphoma is Australia's number one blood cancer? It is the most common cancer in the adolescent and young adult age group. Tragically 1,700 people die from lymphoma each year. This year my family was touched by Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and I am using this platform today to help raise awareness of this disease. If you are looking for a worthy cause to support, or an interesting research topic to sink your teeth into, why not check out the website of Lymphoma Australia?

September is here and winter is well and truly officially over. It won’t be long before the beautiful aroma of mangoes will hit us again when we enter our local supermarket. Now that’s what I call a silver lining.

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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ECSSC2021- A memorable experience

The Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference 2021 (ECSSC 2021) was an enjoyable and memorable experience for me. The event took place virtually for the first time ever due to the pandemic and it was the first statistics conference I attended since I became a PhD student early this year. At the conference I met some passionate young statistics researchers and learnt a lot throughout the whole event.

A large varieties of topics were discussed from the presenters in the fields of Data Science, Biostatistics and Economics, for instance. Lots of PhD students and early career researchers showed their fantastic work and this gave me some ideas to try for improving my own projects which I would have never thought of before! All the posters were well designed and had a high level of detail.

The keynote presentations were instructive and useful. I enjoyed the one by Prof. Tran from USYD the most. He gave a clear comparison between Variational Bayes (VB) and MCMC approaches, and explained why he thinks VB can be preferred to MCMC in certain situations. The career panel sharpened my view about what statisticians can do in the future and described career pathways alternative to academia.

I would like to thank the Statistical Society of Australia and all the sponsors for organising ECSSC 2021. Despite the fact that the event took place online, some social events such as the Trivia Night and Bingo still ran and were successful. The organisers definitely put a lot of effort in the organising and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to SSA for sponsoring my attendance at ECSSC 2021.

Hanwen Xuan

NSW Branch September Meeting: Sieve bootstrap memory parameter in long-range dependent stationary functional time series 

presented by Prof. Hanlin Shang

19th September 2021, on Zoom from 6pm AEST.

Sieve bootstrap memory parameter in long-range dependent stationary functional time series

We apply a sieve bootstrap procedure to quantify estimation uncertainty of long-memory parameter in stationary functional time series. To estimate the long-memory parameter, we use a semiparametric local Whittle estimator, where discrete Fourier transform and periodogram are constructed from the first set of principal component scores, via a functional principal component analysis. The sieve bootstrap procedure uses a general vector autoregressive representation of the estimated principal component scores. It generates bootstrap replicates that adequately mimic the dependence structure of the underlying stationary process. For each bootstrap replicate, we first compute the estimated first set of principal component scores and then apply the semiparametric local Whittle estimator to estimate the memory parameter. By taking quantiles of the estimated memory parameters from these bootstrap replicates, we can construct confidence intervals of the long-memory parameter. As measured by coverage probability differences between the empirical and nominal coverage probabilities at three levels of significance, we demonstrate the advantage of using the sieve bootstrap in comparison to the asymptotic confidence intervals based on normality.

Register here

"Indigenising University Mathematics": a virtual symposium

20-21 September 2021

SSA members are invited to attend a virtual symposium on Indigenising University Mathematics, taking place from September 20 to 21. There'll be an introductory talk by Chris Matthews, a session on Decolonisation by Rowena Ball, and sessions on various themes, on which there will be presentations by theme-leaders, followed by "bits of yarn", in which we all talk together.  In addition to the bits of yarn throughout the meeting, there is an opportunity for some short formal presentations (or videos or posters etc.) by community members. Contributed talks will be in the "Community Contributions" session 1-2:30pm on the Tuesday afternoon of the meeting. The exact length of the presentations in this session will depend on how many proposals we get, as we will do our best to fit in as many who ask as we reasonably can.  

The program and link to the registration page is available here.

September Environmental-Statistics Seminar (Jenny Wadsworth, Lancaster)

NIASRA and the SSA Environmental Statistics section present the following seminar:

Towards higher-dimensional spatial and spatio-temporal extremes

with Dr Jenny Wadsworth (Lancaster University)

Date: 24 September 2021 Friday, Time: 4 - 5 pm AEST via Zoom 

Get the Zoom link here

The NSW Branch of SSA is pleased to offer the following two-day online workshop:

An Introduction to Bayesian Modelling Using Greta

presented by Professor Nick Golding

on 16 Nov 2021 – 17 Nov 2021.

Nick Golding is an infectious disease modeller with a focus on globally-important pathogens. Nick's work combines mathematical and statistical modelling, ecology, public health, and research software engineering.

After this course you will be able to:

  • Fit and predict from Bayesian generalised linear models in greta
  • Check model convergence and fit (including prior and posterior predictive checks)
  • Summarise MCMC outputs
  • Be able to fit more advanced models including mixture and hierarchical models
  • Create visualisations and tables of the model outputs for use in understanding model fit and for publication.
For more information and to register click here.

Fellowship Funding Support

The SSA is once again offering Fellowship Funding Support for our members applying for ARC DECRA and Future Fellowships (Level 1): $3000 to complement your Fellowship activities.

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2021. 

For more information and the application form, see the website here.

AMSI-AustMS Workshop Funding

Are you interested in organising a mathematical sciences workshop to take place between 1 November 2021 – 30 June 2022? AMSI invite you to apply for funding, promotional support and more.

PhD students, early-career researchers and first-time organisers are highly encouraged to apply.

Applications open 8 September – 20 October

Events must take place 1 November 2021 – 30 June 2022 

Apply Now

Latest News of the Australian Data Science Network

Call for Papers: Australasian Data Mining Conference (AusDM’21) | Deadline extended: Full papers due 7 September | Queensland University of Technology

AusDM’21 is a leading national conference that will facilitate the cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas, experience and potential research directions in machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence. We are calling for papers, both research and applications, and from both academia and industry, for publication and presentation at the conference. All papers will go through a double-blind, peer-review by a panel of international experts. Submit a paper now

The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Academia’s Role in Getting it Right by Prof. Huw Price | 9 September, 4pm-5pm | Monash Data Futures Institute

As academics contemplate the future of artificial intelligence from their own vantage point, what they face is an engineering challenge. As he explores the future of AI via his role as an academic, distinguished philosopher Professor Huw Price will share his thoughts on ‘How can we build the most effective academic collaborations, to do our part in 'getting AI right'?’ Register now

ADSN Focused Workshop: Synthetic Data | 10 September, 1pm-3pm | ADSN & QUT Centre for Data Science

We’ve had recent interest from industry about simulating realistic data from complex systems. There are many situations where sensitivities of real data make synthetic data safer to handle. We (QUT) would like to convene a workshop to engage researchers with capabilities and interests in synthetic data and open up possibilities for further connection and collaboration. An calendar invitation has been sent out with details on each talk. Please forward the invitation onto any interested colleagues, or please contact us.

Join Queensland's Chief Scientist Celebrating Citizen Scientists and (Data) Scientists Joining Forces to Help our Great Barrier Reef | 10 September, 5pm-6pm | ACEMS & QUT

Guest speakers include:  Queensland's Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham, who will share some of his impactful work related to the Great Barrier Reef, combined with a future focus around reef protection with scientists and citizen scientists working together; Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen, highlighting the value of data science to improve environmental outcomes; and National Science Week citizen scientist challenge participants, including the student winner of the 1st prize ultimate science holiday adventure to the Great Barrier Reef, with a Master Reef Guide and filmmaker collaborator to co-create a Reef Today film. Register now

ACEMS Virtual Public Lecture - Hypocrisy ++ | 15 September, 12pm-1pm | ACEMS

There are two popular, but competing, philosophical theories which attempt to answer this question, usually referred to as the 'subjective' and the 'frequency' approaches. These theories are often claimed to form the foundations, respectively, of the Bayesian and frequentist interpretations of statistics. In this public lecture, Professor Burdzy will explain why this is not actually the case, and will outline logical contradictions with both these philosophical theories. Register now

Check out the current job advertisements in SSA's Career Centre

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Undertake research into tuberculosis epidemiology ...

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