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20 October 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

I frequently receive requests to add job advertisements to the segment at the very bottom of this newsletter.  My answer is always the same: to feature in the newsletter, the ad has to have been placed in SSA’s Career Centre. There is a fee for posting ads there, so as an additional service I copy them into this newsletter once a week.

We are very lucky that we have the job board on our website. It was implemented by “Your Membership” at no cost to the Society almost ten years ago and provides a service for employers and job seekers. Employers can post job ads there for a fee, which is significantly lower than posting a job ad on Seek for example, and more likely to be viewed by statisticians. Members can not only go for a job hunt in the Career Centre, but they can post their resumes there anonymously. If a potential employer likes what they see, they will contact the member through the Career Centre. You have nothing to lose putting your resume out there – who knows who may approach you?

Our Career Centre also offers career advice. This is generic advice, not necessarily aimed at the career of statisticians, but it is certainly worth having a look. 

There is advice on writing resumes & cover letters, interviewing skills, networking and career growth. How would you answer the question: “Tell me about yourself?” or “Why are you looking for a new job?” If you need inspiration to answer these questions, check out SSA’s Career Centre today.

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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SSA 60th anniversary slide

NSW Branch: Early Career and Student Statisticians Career Event

In September, the NSW Branch hosted four industry speakers and approximately 50 students at the Courtyard Cafe at the University of Sydney. Despite some drizzles on the day, the event was well-attended and had a vibrant atmosphere. This event was partially sponsored by the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA). 

The President of SUPRA, Yuning Zhang, and the Vice President of NSW Branch Dr Thomas Fung, introduced the audience to their respective organisations and encouraged the students to stay in touch with some upcoming events which will offer great benefits to the students. Councillor of the SSA NSW Branch, Kevin Wang, then introduced the four panellists: Rachel Ragell from Lion, Dr Stanislaus (Stani) Stadlmann from QBE Insurance, Nancy Briggs from UNSW Stats Central consulting unit and Dr Earo Wang from Canva.

After some fascinating talks the event proceeded with a networking session allowing the eager students to chat with the panellists.

Find out more about the talks here

Science Meets Parliament 2023 - Apply Now!

Science and Technology Australia (STA) will hold “Science meets Parliament” (SmP) again next year. This event provides the opportunity for scientists and technologists to interact with the Government's key decision makers. SmP 2023 comes at a time when science, technology, engineering and mathematics are high on the political agenda. SmP 2023 will build on the strong tradition of fostering relationships and understanding between scientists and technologists, MPs and Senators.

As a member of STA, SSA is invited to be represented at SmP. This is a unique development opportunity which we would like to give to one of our "Early Career or Student Statisticians”. Our definition of an "Early Career or Student Statistician” (ECSS) is a person enrolled for a degree who is studying either full-time or part-time without age limit, OR a person who graduated with a Bachelor's degree within the past five years, OR a person awarded a postgraduate degree within the past year. The Society will pay the registration fee and reasonable travel expenses for our representative at SmP.

Find out more

Statistics Across Campuses

A group of us from different institutions (Boris Beranger, Pauline O'Shaughnessy, Linh Nghiem, Sahani Pathiraja, Thomas Fung and Andriy Olenko) are currently managing an initiative called Statistics Across Campuses (SAC).
SAC is an across campus initiative designed to provide a weekly dose of new and interesting statistic research from domestic and international researchers in this current time. Put simply, we are pulling our resources together to offer (departmental-seminar-like) seminars for the wider statistics and data science community. This includes SSA members, who are more than welcome to attend these seminars. 

A list of past and upcoming seminars can be found here, with details about the talks and how to access them. You can also subscribe to the blog in order to be kept in the loop for new posts/seminars. We will do our best to provide slides and video recordings for those who cannot make it (or for those who wish to watch it again!). The blog also offers the possibility to submit speaker suggestions.

Please feel free to email Boris Beranger, or indeed any of those listed above, if you have any questions or want to be involved, including if your statistics department is interested in contributing/being a part of SAC.

Kind regards,
SAC Crew

Could “Citizen Data Scientists” do your work? 

Working in the field of statistics with sophisticated software, you have probably come across the question before: are you still needed as a statistician or data scientist? Surely by now we have computers and software that can do much of your job? For less money too!

In his article “The Limits of Citizen Data Scientists” (Datanami, 7 October 2022), Alex Woodie addresses exactly this question. He explains one school of thought which considers “full-blown” statisticians or data scientists superfluous when there are a multitude of software packages available that could potentially do the work for them – or should I say, “instead” of them. Utilising this software, why not hire a cheaper person who only has some basic training, such as your “Citizen Data Scientist”?

Woodie refers to Victor Thu, the president of Datatron, an MLOps tool vendor, who does not agree. “While the citizen data scientist may find success using low-code AutoML tools to drive data science projects in some fields, Thu says, their lack of statistical mastery tends to lead them straight into a brick wall when it comes to one critical aspect of data science: the data.” He goes on to explain that a substantial part of the work of statisticians and data scientists consists of tidying up the available data to ensure a correct analysis, and AI is not quite there yet.


Read the full article here

Step up as an STA STEM Ambassador

Want to serve Australia’s scientific community and deepen your knowledge of how science can engage effectively with policymakers? Science & Technology Australia’s prestigious STEM Ambassadors program is now open for applications.

The STA STEM Ambassadors program pairs science and technology experts with their local Federal MP or Senator. Ambassadors meet with their Parliamentarian several times each year to discuss STEM topics of interest and enhance Parliamentarians’ access to STEM expertise.

This innovative program was created by STA in 2019, and has since trained 41 STEM Ambassadors matched with MPs and Senators. If you take a look, you may see some familiar SSA faces there!

In this new program intake, another 22 MPs and Senators from across the breadth of the Parliament have asked for a STEM Ambassador for 2023-24.

The STEM Ambassadors are drawn from Science & Technology Australia’s member organisations and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and interests.

STEM sector professionals who are members of STA member organisations are encouraged to apply for the program.

Applications are open now and close 9am AEDT Monday 7 November 2022.

Apply here

Call for Manuscripts

A message from Statistics, Politics and Policy, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by publisher house De Gruyter, Germany:

Statistics, Politics, and Policy studies the ways that statistical analysis drives public policy decisions and economic policies. De Gruyter publish significant research on the application of statistical ideas to problems that relate to society, economy, politics, and policy implementation.

SPP’s is now calling for suitable manuscripts for a Special Issue on Wars and Conflict, to be published in 2023.

The call is ending on 31.03.2023. Details are available here.

SPP exclusively publishes in English and features a high-profile board of editors with diverse international backgrounds and longstanding expertise. SPP is currently indexed and will receive a SCOPUS impact factor in 2023.

All submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed by experts of the related fields and disciplines and only selected for print if they are found to be suitable in quality.

Submissions are accepted without extensive pre-formatting and style adaptation during review process. Papers can be adapted to our production format after acceptance.

Job Seeker Strategies: What's New?

When was the last time you updated your profile on SSA's career centre? Make sure you take some time to update your profile to showcase new promotions, achievements, projects, and skills such as:

  • Moved to a new organization
  • Received a promotion
  • Completed a new project
  • Achieved new results
  • Furthered your education
  • Obtained a new certification
  • Learned a new skill

Recruiters are actively searching SSA's career centre for candidates like you. Let them know about your recent achievements.

Update your profile today

SSA Events

SSA Vic Branch Belz Lecture

20 Oct 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (AEDT)

University House at the Woodward, Level 10, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton

The SSA Vic Branch are delighted to have Dr Dina Neiger, Chief Statistician at Social Research Centre, present this year's Belz Lecture. The lecture will be delivered online and in-person and will be followed by the annual

SSA Vic Branch Belz Dinner

20 Oct 2022, 7:45 PM – 10:00 PM (AEDT) (same venue)

The Vic Branch warmly invites members and guests to the Belz Dinner, held at University House at the Woodward from 7:45PM.

Join us for the three-course dinner and beautiful views.

To register for the lecture, please click here.

To register for the dinner, please click here.

Introduction to Linear Regression (Basic Statistics Stream)-25 Oct 2022, 2:00 PM AEST, online and

Designing Data Visualization To Make a Real Impact On Your Audience (Data Visualization Stream)-24 Nov 2022, 2:00 PM AEST, online

Dr Mark Griffin, presents a free monthly webinar series introducing various methods used in Business Analytics (where these webinars are categorized into the themes of Analytics Strategy, Survey Design, Basic Statistics, Advanced Statistics, Data Mining, and Data Visualization). This webinar series is targeted at a broad audience who seek a better understanding of Business Analytics, and is open both to SSA members and non-members. These webinars are being jointly organized by the Statistical Society of Australia (Section for Business Analytics), the International Institute of Business Analysis (Special Interest Group for Business Analytics), and Insight Research Services Associated.

To register click here

Canberra Branch -- Dennis Trewin prize 2022

25 October 2022, 5:15pm - 7:15 pm Hybrid - in person and online 

SSA Canberra invites you to the 2022 Dennis Trewin prize! The Dennis Trewin Prize, named after the former Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin AO, is awarded annually by the Canberra Branch for outstanding research in statistics or data science by a current or recently graduated postgraduate student from a ACT or regional NSW (excluding Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong) university.

This year we have changed the method of evaluation of candidates for the Dennis Trewin Prize. We have formed a short-list of three candidates to each present their work and be judged on the day. Each candidate will have 20-25 minutes for their presentation and 5 minutes for audience questions. In partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, monetary prizes totalling $1,000 or more will be on offer and distributed at the discretion of the selection panel.

After the presentations the panel will be given time to deliberate in a zoom breakout room, while those attending in-person will be asked to move outside and will have the opportunity to mingle with the candidates. After judging has been completed, all will be invited back in after which the winners and runners-up will be announced.

For a line-up of speakers and details about their talks, and to get additional information, such as the Zoom link, please click here. You do not need to register for the talks, but please rsvp for the dinner.

SSA NSW Branch: October Event - Brian Cullis - Optimal Design of Comparative Experiments and the odw R Package

26 Oct 2022, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM (AEDT) F10A.01.106.Law Building, Annex.Law Annex Lecture Theatre 106 

Brian Cullis (University of Wollongong) will speak about the optimal design of comparative experiments and the odw R package that formalises design construction through the explicit specification of the respective linear (mixed) model. Some illustrations of its use are drawn from novel design applications, including designs which use various forms of correlated treatment effects, reduced animal models for generating designs with large numbers of treatments where the focus is optimality for additive effects of treatments and multi-phase experiments.

For more information and to register click here.

Canberra Branch Workshop:Time series analysis and forecasting using R

9 Nov 2022, 9:00 AM (AEDT) – 10 Nov 2022, 5:00 PM (AEDT)

Room 5.02, Marie Reay Teaching Building, The Australian National University

The SSA Canberra Branch warmly invites you to an in-person workshop on Time series analysis and forecasting using R, taught by Professor Rob J Hyndman (Monash University) and Associate Professor Bahman Rostami-Tabar (Cardiff University, UK).  It is becoming increasingly common for organizations to collect huge amounts of data over time, and existing time series analysis tools are not always suitable to handle the scale, frequency and structure of the data collected. In this workshop, we will look at some packages and methods that have been developed to handle the analysis of large collections of time series.

For more information and to register click here.

SSA and NZSA ECSS Miniconference 2022

15 -17 Nov 2022, online + In-person (Perth)

We are pleased to be holding a National “Miniconference” jointly hosted by the Early Career and Student Statisticians Network (ECSSN) of the SSA, the Student and Early Career Statisticians Network (SECS) of the New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA), and the WA Branch. This event is a “hybrid” event that includes two days of online-only presentations followed by one day of in-person presentations in WA. The latter shall also be streamed online.

Find out more

We'd like to thank the sponsors of the ECSSN Mini-Conference 2022:

Save the date: ASC and OZCOTS 2023

10-15 December 2023, University of Wollongong, NSW

Find out more

Other Events

Early Career  Bayes Seminar Series: Quan Vu (University of Wollongong)

20 Oct 2022, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (AEST), online

Bayesian inference with many exponential-family models, such as the Potts model, is often challenging because of the intractable normalizing constants that appear in the likelihood functions. Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods to deal with these types of models, such as the exchange algorithm, require simulations at every iteration of the Markov chain, thus rendering inference computationally expensive. Surrogate models for the likelihood, often using Gaussian processes, have been developed to make inference computationally tractable. In this talk, we propose the use of a warped, gradient-enhanced Gaussian process surrogate model for the sufficient statistics, which jointly models the sample means and variances of the sufficient statistics and which uses warping functions to capture covariance nonstationarity in the input parameter space. We show that both the consideration of nonstationarity and the inclusion of gradient information can be leveraged to obtain a surrogate model that is better, in a mean-squared error sense, than the stationary Gaussian process, particularly in regions where the likelihood function exhibits a phase transition. We show that the surrogate model can be used to improve the effective sample size per unit time when embedded in exact inferential algorithms, such as importance sampling and delayed-acceptance MCMC.

To register please click here

ADSN Inaugural Conference

21-22 November 2022, Brisbane

The Australian Data Science Network is pleased to announce its inaugural conference. The QUT Centre for Data Science will be the host organisation for the first conference to be held at QUT in Brisbane over two days on Monday and Tuesday, 21-22 November. 

For more information about the conference and to register click here

AMSI BioInfoSummer 2022

21-24 November, The University of Melbourne

Join other students, ECRs and professionals in Melbourne (or online) to explore the latest research and developments in bioinformatics at this four-day conference. Travel grants are available to assist interstate students attend in Melbourne.

Click here for more information and to register:

Time Series and Forecasting Symposium

1-2 December 2022, 9am – 5pm

The University of Sydney CBD Campus, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 

Keynote speakers:
Prof Gael Martin (Monash University) and Prof Rodney Strachan (University of Queensland)

All registrations include symposium material, refreshments, lunches and symposium dinner

Registration Fees: A$250 ($300 after 15 November) for academic and industry participants and A$125 ($150 after 15 November) for full-time students.

Please register at the symposium webpage here on or before 15 November to enjoy the early bird rate. 

Abstract Submission:

To submit an abstract (up to 250 words) for oral or poster presentation, please send it to on or before  31 October.

Best student paper competition:

TSF2022 will have a special session in the afternoon of 2 December for student oral presentations and a Best Student Paper award will be given. Up to six abstracts submitted by students will be selected by a panel to present in this session. If you want your paper to be considered for presentation in this session, please indicate in your email.  

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