SSA July 2019 eNews

Welcome to the July edition of the SSA newsletter

Our branches and sections have absolutely outdone themselves over recent months putting on a variety of events, even trying out a new style of events. The workshop “Gaining Skills in Biostatistical Consultancy“ drew much interest and the feedback received afterwards was excellent. The Victorian Branch ventured out to try a “Mentoring Breakfast” which proved hugely popular. The Canberra Branch is hosting a pre-conference trivia night just before YSC2019, where contestants can prove their knowledge while being able to indulge in delicious food – how good is that?  On top of all of this, new workshops are being added to our events page regularly, ensuring an exciting second half of the year.
Hope to see you at one of the many events!

Marie-Louise Rankin, 
 Executive Officer


Don't miss out on great discounts for YSC2019

The Early Bird Deadline for our Young Statisticians conference is approaching fast. Register  before  tomorrow to take advantage of the Early Bird discount! For more information about YSC2019 please click here.


Question of the month:

What one thing would youlike to change about SSA? Have your say here.


Reflecting on the opinion polls

After last month’s call for volunteers to write a publicly available expert report on the recent problems with opinion polls, we were contacted by some of our members about the ongoing inquiry by the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO). Rather than duplicating any effort, we have decided to join forces with AMSRO to produce one in-depth report. You can see the board members and terms of reference for the inquiry here. We look forward to seeing the results of this important work and thank our members who have agreed to give their expertise.

Adrian Barnett
SSA President


South Australia Branch June Meeting

Polling for the recentfederal election and the role of statisticians

Owing to the cancellation of the scheduled speaker, the June meeting of the SA Branch was an informal discussion of polling problems in the May federal election. Lan Kelly presented a few slides showing the final poll predictions compared with the actual results. The recent Conversation article written by SSA members Adrian Barnett and Scott Sisson was highlighted. Topics of discussion in a lively meeting included possible sources of error, anecdotal experiences of polling and the potential role of statisticians in reducing bias, including a proposed review of polling problems.

Lan Kelly, SA Branch


NSW Branch's  Dunsmuirfest (June 2019)

   William Dunsmuir Retires

On 6th June the New South Wales branch was very pleased to be part of a milestone event held at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New South Wales (UNSW). The event was to celebrate the career of Professor William Dunsmuir, who just retired after around 25 years at UNSW. William has also been a great contributor to the society and served as national president during the late 2000s. Read all about this special event here.


Vic Branch June Meeting

Melbourne Mentoring Breakfast

On 25 June, our members gathered for breakfast.  This was an event to connect young and old, share ideas about where statistics can take you, and also provide advice and career guidance.  Breaking with tradition for our branch, attendance was members-only and the event was held in the morning.  How did it go?  Read more here


QLD Branch June Meeting

Tutorial on Sequential Monte Carlo methods

This month, SSA-QLD and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) hosted Dr Anthony Lee, from the University of Bristol. Dr Lee gave a tutorial on his work on Sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) methods, at the Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point Campus. He discussed the basic algorithm and properties of SMCs, and innovations to this technique, that has helped improve its performance and impact. Further details are available here. A video recording of the tutorial will be released at a later date.

SSA-QLD Newsletter correspondent
Jeeva Kanesarajah, PhD Candidate
The University of Queensland, School of Public Health


AGM 2019 Notice

The 2019 Annual General Meetings of the Statistical Society of Australia, Inc and the Australian Statistical Publishing Association Inc will be held on Tuesday, 27 August 2019 from 5:15pm, preceded by light refreshments and followed by the Foreman lecture and dinner at a venue in Canberra to be confirmed.

The constitution of the SSA requires that the AGMs take place within five months of the close of the financial year of the society and usually the AGMs are scheduled to coincide with the society’s conference. For 2019 this timing was inappropriate.

The meeting agendas and other documents relevant to the AGMs will be published here as they become available. If you wish to read these in hard-copy, would you please print them yourself, since only limited copies will be available at the meeting.

A quorum of 20 members is required to legitimise any decisions made at the AGMs.

It would be wonderful to see you there.


Help AFemale Mathematician Inspire Girls To Pursue a Career in Maths

Please lend your support to our member Patricia Menéndez' endeavour in the homeward bound program to connect with other #WomenInSTEM. Patricia wants to tell her story and share her journey to inspire females to pursue careers in STEMM and in particular in mathematics and statistics. You can read more about Patricia's work and the program here. Or check out Patricia's videointerview. We wish you all the best, Patricia!


Member Publication!

Our member Brenton Clarke, a preeminent expert in the field, explores new and exciting methodologies in the ever-growing field of robust statistics. Used to develop data analytical methods which are resistant to outlying observations in the data, while capable of detecting outliers robust statistics is extremely useful for solving an array of common problems, such as estimating location, scale, and regression parameters. This book addresses a range of well-established techniques while exploring, in depth, new and exciting methodologies.  For more information and to purchase this book, please click here.  See more of our members' publications here.


SSA Member raises $50,000 on the Millionaire Hot Seat!

Congratulations  to SSA Member Mark Donoghoe for rocking episode 65 of the Millionaire Hot Seat on Channel 9, helping to raise $50,000 in support of the vital work of the SCHFoundation. Mark, you were sensational and the SSA is very proud of you!


Canberra Branch Pre-Conference Trivia Night

How are those trivia skills of yours? Perhaps it's time to brush up on them, because the Canberra Branch is hosting a fabulous Trivia Night on the eve of the Young Statisticians Conference and attendance is free for attendees of YSC2019! Join us for some yummy food and delightful company and show us what you know. The cost is $10 for members of SSA not attending the conference and $30 for non-members, but everyone has to register, even those attending at no cost. Click here for more information and to register.


OceaniaStata Conference 2019

The Oceania Stata Conference is the premier Stata conference in the Oceania region and will provide Stata users from across Oceania and the world the opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences, and information on new applications of thes oftware. This is the opportunity to meet leading Stata users and learn how they create reproducible research with Stata. The 2019 Oceania Stata Conference will be held at the Park Royal Parramatta 20 August 2019 with optional workshops (panel data and social statistics) on 19 August 2019. The Oceania Stata Conference Scientific Committee is pleased to announce the conference program:

Monday 18 August:
Panel Data Using Stata by Professor Bob Breunig of the Crawford School of Business at ANU
Social Statistics Using Stata by Dr Con Menictas of Strategic Precision

Tuesday 20 August: Panel-data extended regression models by Charles Lindsey of StataCorp
Data visualisation using Stata from first principles by Dr Demetris Christodoulou of University of Sydney
Non-linear regression using Stata and Sigmaplot by Steve Quinn of Swinburne University

Andmore.. see for the full program and details and to register.


Have youseen SSA's Career Centre?

Here arejust  some of the great tips for employers that you can find there:

Job Postings: Put the most attractive information first. Do you have a sign-on bonus or do you cover relocation costs? Move that to the top of your job posting.
Company Culture: Your company culture could help sway a candidate’s decision about applying to a job at your company. Include information about your company’s mission and values, industry position, facilities, and location.
Company Brand: First impressions are everything. Job seekers are more likely to look further into a company whose employer profile is complete.


SSA events you can look forward to:

Minitab Insights Event Australia**
18 July 2019, Melbourne

Statistical Tools for the Pharmaceutical Industry**
17 July 2019, Melbourne

Oceania Stata Conference 2019
18-20 August 2019, Sydney***

Communicating with R Markdown
- with Alison Hill
30 September 2019, Canberra

Maximising the Use of Australian Bureau of Statistics Data Products and Analysis Tools*
30 September 2019, Canberra

1-2 October 2019, Canberra

Propensity Score Methods for Estimating Causal Effects inNon-experimental Studies: The Why, What, and How
21 October 2019, Sydney 2019

Network meta-analysis and population adjustment fordecision-making
4 November 2019, Sydney

Bayes on the Beach 2019
25-26 November 2019,  Surfers Paradise

6-10 July 2020, Gold Coast

See more events listed here.

*The Australian Bureau of Statistics is the Platinum sponsor of YSC2019 and a proud sponsor of this workshop.

**Minitab is a Gold Sponsor of YSC2019

***Survey Design is a Sponsor of YSC2019

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The environmental stats section is now on Twitter. Their twitter handle is @EnviroStatsSSA

Are you AStat accredited? Is your accreditation up to date? Find out all about SSA's accreditation program here.


See our events listing to see what's coming up!