20 January 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Happy new year! I hope you had a good break. Perhaps you are lucky enough to still be on holiday?

At SSA we are getting ready for another year filled with events, perhaps a conference for our early career statisticians, interesting journals and the weekly newsletter, of course.

If you have anything newsworthy to share with your fellow members, please do not hesitate to send me your newsletter contribution. Maybe you came across an interesting article elsewhere, that you wish to share? Perhaps you recently read a book that your colleagues might be interested in? Going forward, I’d love to include regular book reviews in our newsletters. I meant to kick-start a series of reviews with the book “Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Perez, but I had too many distractions during my leave and have not yet finished it. I’m enjoying it though. Watch this space.

Finally, with so many people touched by the Omicron wave, I’d like to use this opportunity to wish you good health and a safe and wonderful year ahead.

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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Sir David Cox FRS 

The SSA is sad to advise that Sir David Cox passed away yesterday at the age of 97. Sir David was a British statistician who significantly advanced statistical analysis and its application. His paper introducing his proportional hazards model had some tens of thousands of citations. 

Amongst his many awards, Sir David received the Copley Medal, the Guy Medal in Gold of the Royal Statistical Society and the Kettering Prize for Cancer Research. He was Editor of the journal Biometrika from 1966 to 1991. He served as President of the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability, the Royal Statistical Society and the International Statistical Institute. He was knighted in 1985.

Sir David’s passing is an immense loss to the statistical community.

“Statistician” rated 8th of the 100 best jobs of 2022

Good news - “Statistician” was rated number 8 of the 100 best jobs of 2022, according to a list published on the US News & World Report website this week. Given the current climate, it will be no surprise that three of the leading professions outranking that of “statistician” are in health. “Data Scientist” scored even better than “statistician”, making it to sixth place. Both beat “lawyer”, which made it only to place nine.

See the full list here

2022 IAOS Young Statisticians Prize (YSP)

The International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) is organizing the 2022 Young Statisticians Prize (YSP). The IAOS YSP competition is a great opportunity for young official statisticians, as well as for statistical offices to showcase their work in official statistics. In addition to the monetary prizes, the first-place winner(s) receive travel funds to present their paper at an international conference. Details of the conference will be decided in conjunction with the winner and may include the 2022 IAOS Conference being held in Krakow, Poland in April 2022.

Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third-place participants.

Entries for the YSP close on February 11, 2022.

More information can be found here

Call for nominations: Rousseeuw Prize for Statistics

Statistics is a cornerstone of science, health, industry, economics, government and more, and benefits society as a whole. Nevertheless, research in statistics does not yet receive the same level of recognition as in related fields such as mathematics, physics, and computer science.

To help remedy this gap, a new biennial prize has been created by the King Baudouin Foundation, a large public utility foundation in Belgium. The prize is named after its sponsor, the statistician Peter J. Rousseeuw.

The Rousseeuw Prize for Statistics will award pioneering work in statistical methodology. The prize recognizes a statistical innovation, that is, an outstanding contribution or tool that has had significant impact and found wide application in statistical practice, with relevance to society. One of the goals is to promote awareness of the important role and intellectual content of statistics and its profound impact on human endeavors.

The prize will be awarded in even years, starting in 2022. The award amount is one million US dollars per prize, to be split over awardees if there are several, which it is hoped will typically be the case. The first award ceremony is scheduled for November 2022 at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Nominations, including letters of recommendation, are to be submitted by 31 March 2022 on the website which contains all information about the prize and nomination procedure. 

We’ve become obsessed with statistical probabilities

In his opinion piece “We’ve become obsessed with statistical probabilities”, Richard Zoglin, The Washington Post, 17 January 2022, describes a new world where people are obsessed with statistics. The media are happy to oblige, feeding this thirst for numbers, often putting their own spin on the figures. Richard Zoglin’s article is worth a read. He describes how various figures related to COVID-19 can be interpreted in different ways, and how the 2016 US election outcome took everyone who had been following the polling statistics by surprise. Don’t forget to read the comments section as well. You may wish to add your own professional view.

Read the article here

Making inferences from non-probability samples through data integration

The International Association for Survey Statisticians invites you to participate in its webinar "Making inferences from non-probability samples through data integration" to be held on 26 January 2022, 2:00 – 3:30 pm (CET).

For several decades, national statistical agencies around the world have been using probability surveys as their preferred tool to meet information needs about a population of interest. In the last few years, there has been a wind of change and other data sources are being increasingly explored. Five key factors are behind this trend: the decline in response rates in probability surveys, the high cost of data collection, the increased burden on respondents, the desire for access to “real-time” statistics, and the proliferation of non-probability data sources. In this presentation, the speaker, Jean-François Beaumont, reviews some data integration approaches that take advantage of both probability and non-probability data sources such as the dual frame weighting, calibration, statistical matching, inverse probability weighting and small area estimation. He discusses the characteristics of each approach, including their benefits and limitations, and present a few empirical results.

Speaker: Jean-François Beaumont

Jean-François Beaumont is Senior Statistical Advisor at Statistics Canada, where he has been working for over 25 years. He is currently the Editor of Survey Methodology. His recent research projects and applications have mainly focused on data integration and small area estimation.

This event will be recorded, so if you do not wish to get up in the middle of the night to watch this webinar, please register and you will be provided with a link to the recording afterwards.

Register here

Public Lecture

When Mathematics Becomes Art… The Unexpected Beauty of Self-Evolving Mathematical Functions

Professor Kate Smith-Miles (The University of Melbourne & OPTIMA) describes her research quest to generate mathematical functions that are challenging and “stress-test” optimisation algorithms. She now has a large collection of intricate and beautiful 2D images, arising as contour plots of mathematical functions that have been mathematically generated to create challenging landscapes.

Date: Thursday 27 January

Time: 6:15pm – 7:30pm AEDT (check your local time zone)

Location: Zoom link will be sent to registrants 24 hours prior to event

Register now

Computational and Applied Statistics at ICCSA 2022 - First call for papers

You are invited to submit a contribution for the Computational and Applied Statistics Workshop of the 22st International Conference on Computational Science and Applications to be held 4-7 July 2022 in Malaga, Spain.

News from ACSPRI (Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated)

If you are interested in some professional development early in the year, there is still time to enrol in ACSPRI's Online Summer Program.

You can find all upcoming courses, including master-classes and workshops, on ACSPRI's Events page. ACSPRI will be adding courses throughout the year.

4th International Conference on Statistical Distributions and Applications (ICOSDA 2022)

13 – 15 October 2022, DoubleTree by Hilton, Huntington, West Virginia, USA.

This international conference is being organized to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to share and discuss recent advancements on statistical distributions and their applications, and to provide opportunities for collaborative work.

The scopes of ICOSDA 2022 include, but not limited to statistical distributions and applications; statistical modeling; inference (frequentist or Bayesian) on statistical distributions; analysis of high dimensional data; generalized linear models; and statistical distributions in the era of global pandemic.

Find out more

2022 ViCBiostat Summer School 

8-18 February, half-day sessions, online 

The annual ViCBiostat Summer School will once again be held online in 2022. You are invited to join the team and international guest presenter Stijn Vansteelandt, for 2 weeks of half-day courses. Full details can be found on the Courses page.

Australian Perspectives

A free teacher professional learning program on First Nations, gender and migration

24 January 2022, 10am

You are invited to a 60-minute premiere screening of Australian Perspectives: First Nations, Gender, Migration.

Hear Steph Tisdell, Professor Clare Wright and Saroo Brierley share their personal stories and reflect on the defining moments that have shaped them.

Gain access to full video content on demand, where special guests, teachers, students and curators delve deeper into each theme and their relevance to the Australian Curriculum. Australian Perspectives will give you tools to incorporate diverse stories in your classroom. These stories will encourage students to feel a sense of belonging and pride in their own identities and build intercultural understanding and respect for different viewpoints.

Find out more

Other upcoming events

ADSN Data Ethics Workshop #1 - Prof. Rachel Thomas
28 January at 1 pm AEDT (12 pm AEST)

The first ADSN data ethics workshop is happening on Friday, January 28.  We will hear a series of lightning talks on topics including data validity, Indigenous-led AI, the false hope of explainability, and value alignment in AI.  Half the time will be spent in discussion with all participants. The aim of this series is to share open questions, spark discussion, and facilitate collaborations.  The workshop will be led by Professor Rachel Thomas, Professor of Practice at the QUT Centre for Data Science and Co-founder of Our speakers this month come from CSIRO, Google Sydney, The University of Adelaide, and QUT.  Stay tuned for future data ethics workshops as well!  Zoom details. 

AI4Pandemics Lecture Series – Fahad Ahmed, Yale University
2 February at 11 am AEDT (10 am AEST)
Title: Actionable outcomes prediction: Mortality prediction in COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Previously advertised

Introduction to Machine Learning, 12-13 May 2022, Adelaide

Check out current job vacancies in SSA's Career Centre here

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Business Analytics

Monash University

Job No.: 627158 Location: Caulfield campus ...

Mid-Career Transition to Teaching Program

NSW Department of Education

The OpportunityAre you considering a career change? ...

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