9 June 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},  

Over the past week, together with some of my colleagues, I’ve been very lucky to read applications for the SSA’s Top Up Scholarships and Diamond Jubilee Fellowships. SSA’s Top Up Scholarships are designed to support PhD and Masters students who are working on statistical projects, and the Diamond Jubilee Fellowships are designed to celebrate the Society’s 60th anniversary by providing a career boost to some of our early/mid-career members. I have been very impressed by the quality of these applications, as have my fellow assessment panel members. Both of these schemes selected the winning applications randomly: after an initial assessment, eligible applications were put forward to the next round for selection. Given the high quality of applications, and the difficulty associated with ranking them, this random selection helps to ensure that biases are avoided in the selection of the winners.   

In this week’s newsletter we announce the winners of the 2022 PhD Top-up Scholarships: congratulations to them, and commiserations to those who applied but were not so lucky. We anticipate that this Top-Up Scholarship scheme will run again in 2023: if you are a student, please make sure that your membership is up-to-date to give yourself a chance to apply. If you are a supervisor, please encourage your students to join SSA!

Jessica Kasza
SSA President

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Many states and territories, including the ACT, will celebrate the Queen's Birthday public holiday, on Monday, 13 June 2022. The SSA Office will be closed for that day.

2022 Top-Up Scholarship Recipients Announced

The Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) awards up to four top-up scholarships to PhD or Masters students each year. Scholarships are offered as a one year $2,500 award, with one of these being funded by the Partnership Agreement between the SSA and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Just this week, the winners of the 2022 round were selected.  The four lucky recipients of a Top-Up Scholarship are:

Jiaxin Zhang

Development and evaluation of causal inference methods for epidemiological studies with missing data

The overarching aim of the project is to develop and evaluate statistical methods for dealing with missing data in the context of causal inference in epidemiological observational studies.

Design issues for partially clustered trials

Kylie Lange

Partially clustered trials involve the collection of partially clustered data, where some observations are independent and others are dependent, or “clustered”. Sample size methods have recently been developed and validated for specific partiallyclustered settings. Kylie’s project will extend this methodology to cover the broad range of partially clustered trial designs encountered in practice and provide recommendations and tools to facilitate translation into practice.


Developing novel statistical methods for the analysis of multi-omics data

Malindrie’s PhD thesis is being conducted in consultation with Associate Professor Jessica Mar, working on developing novel statistical methods for the analysis of single-cell multi-omics data. As part of her first project Malindrie developed a novel statistical framework for identifying differential distributions in single-cell RNA-sequencing data.

Modelling Complex Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Data


To date, Matt has developed a framework for modelling and predicting with big, non-Gaussian, spatial and spatio-temporal data. His framework is implemented in the R package FRK that is available on CRAN. He is now looking at ways to fuse developments in the field of deep learning with classical approaches to modelling and prediction with spatial and spatio-temporal data.

Congratulations! We look forward to seeing where your excellent research topics will take you!

A list with the names of previous top-up scholarship recipients can be found here.

VIC Branch May Meeting: Presenting the 2021 Di Cook Award

17 May marked the presentation of the Di Cook award for 2021, named in honour of the accomplished Professor Dianne Cook, which celebrates the contribution of software developed by students or recent graduates to statistical practice and the wider community.

Hosted in the Peter Hall building at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus and emceed by Emi Tanaka, attendees were gifted insightful presentations into the open-source software packages (`spotoroo`, `rater` and `gravitas`) from award recipient and current PhD candidate Weihao Li, as well as honourable mentions Jeffrey Pullin and Dr Sayani Gupta.

I most enjoyed understanding what problems motivated their software solutions and the insights their visualisations could provide in various applications ranging from wildfire tracking to cricket run analyses! Between the awardee’s enthused presentations and the equally passionate interrogations from Emi and the audience afterwards, I couldn’t have asked for a more energetic celebration of programmatic talent. Thank you to the SSA and the awardees for a stimulating seminar & ceremony.


By Callum Holmes

News from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA) 

Check out these interesting articles by Professor Chris Matthews, written for Teacher Magazine.

The first article Indigenous perspectives in mathematics education, Chris explores the foundation of mathematics from an Indigenous perspective and discusses the concept of two-ways learning to achieve meaningful education outcomes for Indigenous students.

The second article Indigenous perspectives in maths: Understanding Gurruṯu takes a closer look at Yolŋu mathematics and the interconnected relationships of Gurruṯu.

The third article Mathematics education in North East Arnhem Land shares how mathematics is taught to students at Yirrkala School with a balance of western and Indigenous knowledge. 

Have your say in shaping the ASC2023 program: ASC2023 Survey

The Scientific Programming Committee for the 2023 Australian Statistical Conference is currently working towards securing keynote speakers for the conference program. The conference theme is ‘Statisticians in society’, focussing on the role statisticians play in communication across diverse areas that are key to our society.  

The Scientific Programming Committee is striving to deliver a diverse and inclusive conference programme. As part of this planning, we are seeking recommendations from all SSA members on keynote speakers and pre-conference workshops they would like to see as part of the ASC 2023 program. If you have any suggestions, please complete the following short survey by Monday 13th June. We look forward to seeing your suggestions!

European Statistics Competition video winners announced

The results of the European Statistics Competition (ESC) 2022, held in the school year 2021-2022, were announced last week. Over 17 000 students from 19 countries signed up for the fifth edition of this statistical literacy contest. 

After a tough national phase, the winning teams in each participating country took part in the European final. They were asked to make a two-minute video on the topic of the environment. Contestants had to present their findings on what official statistics tell about the environment in their country/region. The students produced powerful videos, some even in the form of a rap song. Their message is clear: we need to build (statistical) knowledge about environmental issues and take action!

A jury of European experts assessed the 66 submissions to choose the top 5 videos in both the age group 14-16 (32 submissions) and the age group 16-18 (34 submissions). 

Watch the videos here

How to use the World Bank's Poverty and Inequality (PIP) and Statistics Online Platforms (SOL)

In April, the World Bank released its first public version of SOL, a platform that allows the public to conduct their own computations directly on the microdata used for official World Bank poverty and inequality estimates.

This blog is the fourth of a series of blogs showcasing the different features of the Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP).

While entire datasets cannot be viewed or downloaded, SOL allows users to perform summary statistics to explore and understand the dataset, perform calculations and make graphs. In addition to the official World Bank’s welfare aggregates (along with the necessary price deflation variables), individual and household variables are also included, such as age, gender, education, and access to infrastructure services, which will expand the research opportunities for SOL users.

View the blog here

Sports Statistics - This is what researching statistics looks like!

Statistics are what makes sports even more interesting to so many people! In this YouTube video Kate Lorimer, statistician for the HSBC Sevens Series, gives us a glimpse into what it is like researching sports statistics.

Watch the video

Science and Technology Australia (STA): Calling SSA members to join the Policy Committee or Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Are you someone who is passionate about policy? Or excited, driven, and intrigued by equity, diversity and inclusion? If so, then you may be interested in applying to join STA's Policy or Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committees. Find out more here, and let our president, Jess Kasza know if you're keen on applying to join one of these committees. This is a great opportunity for you to help STA achieve its mission, bringing STEM expertise to public policymaking, and championing STEM sector diversity and inclusion. 

SSA Events

Sampling Course -12 October – 7 December 2022, 11:00 AM (AEDT), held online

The Social Research Centre (SRC) and the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) are very proud to offer statistical training from the International Program in Survey and Data Science (IPSDS).

The 8-week online sampling course is aimed at working professionals who are interested in expanding their data collection skills. The course will be available fully online with pre-recorded videos that students are expected to watch on their own time plus weekly 1-hour live interactive sessions with the instructor, Raphael Nishimura, Director of Sampling Operations at the University of Michigan.

For more information and to register please click here.

Perth Biostatistics/Bioinformatics Meetup

This is a joint event supported by the WA Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA), the SSA Biostatistics and Bioinformatics SectionClinical Trials Enablement Platform WA (CTEP-WA).

Tuesday, 14 June 2022, from 5:30pm AWST
McCusker Auditorium, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (North), ), QEII Medical Centre, 6 Verdun Street, Nedlands

The purpose of this event is to bring together those with expertise and/or interest in medical and healthcare statistics in Perth. It is an opportunity to socialise and network, and encourage upcoming professionals to pursue a career in this worthwhile field.

We have invited two speakers to give brief addresses this evening:

  • Dr Julie Marsh (Telethon Kids Institute) who will speak on "Bayesian Approaches to Platform Trials", and
  • Dr Alyce Russell (University of Sydney) who will speak on her recent work.
Click here for more information and to register

NSW Branch Meeting: Bayesian Analysis of Raman Spectroscopy

16 Jun 2022, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM AEST, held at F10A.01.106.Law Building Annex.Law Annex Lecture Theatre 106 and online

Matt Moores from the University of Wollongong will give a talk about Bayesian Analysis of Raman Spectroscopy at Sydney University in June. Raman spectroscopy is a measurement technique that can be used to quantify the chemical composition of a sample. In this talk, he will describe a statistical model for joint estimation of the peaks and baseline. The locations of the peaks depend on the structure of the molecule, so it is often possible to obtain informative, Bayesian priors using computational chemistry. In the absence of such prior information, we can model the peak locations as a point process. We fit this model using a sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) algorithm, which we have implemented in the R package “serrsBayes.”

To register for in-person or online please click here.

Canberra Branch Meeting - Current state and prospects of R-packages for the design of experiments

With Emi Tanaka

29 June 2022, 5:45 PM – 7:00 PM (AEST) in person and online

There is no doubt that without understanding how the data originated, you can draw satisfying answers from the data. In this talk, she will give an overview about the current state and prospects of R-packages for the design of experiments. I also introduce an object-oriented programming system, called the grammar of experimental designs, that is designed to specify experimental designs encapsulated in a cognitive framework and implemented as the edibble R-package.

For more information and the zoom link please click here.

For more information and the zoom link please click here.

Other Events

Advancing data-intensive research in Australia

Don’t miss the next ADSN meeting discussion on the Australian Academy of Science Report on “Advancing data-intensive research in Australia”, held on Zoom. This meeting will focus on the role of Data Science research centres and the ADSN on advancing this initiative. 

QUT Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen will moderate the meeting. This week’s guests are:

  • Professor Joanna Batstone, Director of the Monash Data Futures Institute
  • Professor Scott Sisson, Director of the UNSW Data Science Hub
  • Professor Kerrie Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability Strategy) at QUT

The meeting is from 12pm to 1pm AEST.

Click here for the Zoom link (Passcode is 319455 (if it asks for it). 

If you missed the first meeting, you can see it here.

64th ISI World Statistics Congress 2023 – Ottawa

Invited Paper Sessions – Open for Proposals!

The ISI invites the statistical community to submit proposals for sessions for the Invited Paper Sessions (IPS) programme. The 64th WSC 2023, to be held 16-20 July in Ottawa, Canada, will highlight the developments and contributions of statistics, statistical science, and data science in all aspects of life, particularly the well-being and welfare of people. More information about the IPSs can be found on the dedicated website:

•           Invited Paper Session Proposals

•          Guidelines for Session Organisers, Chairs, Presenters and Discussants

Invited Paper Sessions – Submit your Proposal by 15 July 2022

Find out more

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