young statisticians section

Home » 2013

Yearly Archives: 2013


REVIEW – Statistical Showcase: Exploring Careers in Statistics on 15 Nov 2013


[Reviewed by Robert Brown, an attendee.]

I really enjoyed the Young Statisticians’ Statistical Showcase event on Friday afternoon. It captured the broad array of options on offer to career-young statisticians and the skills that are involved – ranging from the focus on quantitative accuracy and programming within finance, to the careful technique required for academic research, through to the statistical communication vital to consultancy and governmental jobs. For some of us, the skill will be in finding simple ways to explain complex relationships to senior managers. For others, there will be a need to develop detailed models to extract signal from the noisy variations in the financial world.

Anybody that had to sneak out early missed the keynote speech from RSS President John Pullinger. This was the highlight of the event – and not just because it signalled that it was nearly time for wine and canapés! We are in tremendous company as statisticians: John pulled out some highlights of previous presidents and their impact on society. The idea that ‘it is our turn to make a difference’ may be a cliché, but as data becomes an increasingly important part of modern life, we have an unprecedented opportunity to be at the forefront of change. John explained that we should do this by:

1. Being proactive in making ourselves useful;

2. Being realistic about the constraints we work under and adapting our approach accordingly;

3. Investing in ourselves and playing to our strengths by developing what we are good at.

I’ve come away from the showcase with plenty of ideas and inspiration, but the thing that stood out was the importance of collaboration: wherever we end up, the networks we build now will be vital in the years to come.


ANNOUNCEMENT – Statistical Showcase: Exploring Careers in Statistics on 15 Nov 2013


Statistical Showcase: Exploring Careers in Statistics

Organised by the RSS Young Statisticians Section

Friday 15 November 2013, 11:15am – 6:00pm

Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

Join us for this special careers event to gain an insight into different areas of the statistical profession! During the course of the day, there will be speakers from the areas of Finance, Government, Management, Medicine, Academia and Environment.

A booking form can be downloaded here.



10.45 – 11.15: Registration

11.15 – 11.30: Welcome

11.30 – 13.00: Parallel sessions 1 – Finance/Government

13.00 – 14.00: Lunch

14.00 – 15.30: Parallel sessions 2 – Management/Medical

15.30 – 16.00: Break

16.00 – 17.30: Parallel sessions 3 – Academia/Environment

17.30 – 18.00: Keynote speaker: John Pullinger (President, Royal Statistical Society)

18.00 – 19.00: Wine reception


Finance – Kieran Payne (Senior Credit Risk Analyst, Ulster Bank), Yoav Git (AHL), TBC (Accenture)

Government – Alison Cousley (DWP), Pippa Gibson (Defra), Heather Brown (BIS)

Management – Tony Bendell (Anti-fragility Academy & Services Ltd), Roland Caulcutt (Caulcutt Associates), Tony Brown (ABA-associates Ltd, formerly Director of Quality at BAE Systems)

Medical – Robert Price (PSI), Aiden Flynn, TBC

Academia – Jen Rogers (LSHTM), Orlaith Burke (University of Oxford), Trevor Lewis (RSS Council)

Environment and Industry – Stefania Lovo (Green Growth Research Officer, Gratham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE), TBC (Economics for the Environment Consultancy), Elina Rolph (Technical Manager, Scoring and Verification, Carbon Disclosure Project)

Registration fees (includes lunch, refreshments and wine reception):

RSS Student Fellows £25
RSS GradStats £27
RSS Fellows £30
RSS Student/Section members £38
None of the above £50

REVIEW – YSS at the RSS 2013 Conference on 2-5 Sep 2013


[Review by Tim.]

Despite our t-shirts being a somewhat upsetting shade of pink, the RSS 2013 conference in September was another resounding success for the YSS. Not only were there nearly 100 young statisticians among the 420 attendees, but the YSS committee were out in force, with Dan, Elizabeth, Jen, Matt, Orlaith, Rob, Simon and Tim all flying the flag for the section.

Jen and Rob’s introductory session – “The Young Statistician’s Guide to the Conference” – went down a storm, with young statisticians from almost every field of statistics packing the room. After a brief introduction to the YSS, and some helpful words of advice on getting the most out of conference, the mic was passed over to the distinguished James Carpenter, who gave an illuminating and entertaining talk on his previous conference experiences. The session rounded off with an opportunity for attendees to plug their talks, including a memorable pitch from one enterprising chap who challenged us to come along and spot the rabbit hidden in his slides.

Our Tuesday lunchtime social (powered by delicious free wine, courtesy of Atass Sports) brought together over 40 young statisticians, along with a drizzling of not-so-young ones for good measure. Tim’s icebreaker activity ran even more smoothly than in 2012 (partly due to a sturdy whistle taking the place of last year’s embarrassing makeshift gong), and over the course of the hour, each person got chance to mingle with almost everybody else in the room. All in all, a very promising start to our social programme.

After enjoying an afternoon of heavy conference brainwork and the evening’s RSS Awards Ceremony, we descended on Pacific House (just down the road from the conference) to enjoy a buffet dinner and begin the festivities proper. Unsurprisingly, Newcastle offered a vastly superior nightlife to that of Telford the previous year, with some venues even choosing to remain open after 11pm. A small number of attendees (mentioning no names) took advantage of this fact perhaps a little too zealously, and awoke the next morning to a heady mix of euphoria and regret. Tut tut.

Wednesday was officially our day off from YSS activities, though with such a packed conference schedule there was plenty to see throughout the day – including some top-notch presentations from the young statisticians who’d scooped prizes at the YSM and RSC conferences earlier in the year. After an excellent conference dinner over in the Great North Museum, the evening saw another YSS pilgrimage into the depths of Newcastle, much to the distress of those who’d prematurely pushed the envelope the previous night.

Finally, to wrap up the YSS activities, on Thursday afternoon Tim unleashed his new “Room 101: Use and abuse of statistics” panel session, which drew a crowd of over 100 people. Having assembled a prestigious panel consisting of John Pullinger, Peter Diggle, Sheila Bird, and Sharon Bertsch-McGrayne, Tim thought it would be a neat idea to give them all light-up buzzers designed for preschool kids and ask them questions about bad stats. And by all accounts, he got away with it. Watch out in 2015 – it’ll be back…

Thanks to everyone on the committee for all their hard work before and during the conference, and to the RSS for organising such a cracking event. Roll on 2014!

Note: For further reviews of the sessions at RSS 2013, please visit the official conference site at

ANNOUNCEMENT – Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers Conference (SAfJR 2014) on 3-4 Apr 2014


The third annual Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers conference (SAfJR 2014)

The University of Warwick is proudly hosting the third annual Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers conference, an event aimed at career-young researchers with an interest in the statistical analysis of time-to-event data and related topics. It is the ideal opportunity for statisticians and PhD or post-graduate students to present and discuss their work with likeminded researchers in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The conference will take place 3rd – 4th April 2014 in Coventry (UK).

The event features lectures from two keynote speakers, Hein Putter (“Dynamic Prediction in Clinical Survival Analysis”) and Dimitris Rizopoulos (“Joint Models for Longitudinal and Time-to-Event Data”), as well as poster sessions and an evening social. Presentation sessions will be attended by statisticians and lecturers from the University of Warwick, experienced in the application and theory of survival analysis, to aid constructive and lively discussion.

To our knowledge, this will be the biggest gathering of survival analysis researchers in 2014 in the UK. In Europe, it will probably be eclipsed by the XXVII International Biometric Conference. So if you want to hear and talk about survival analysis in 2014, this is the (second) best place to be!

You can find more information about the conference on our homepage (, send an e-mail ( or find us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Registration and abstract submission are now open. The registration fee of £200 includes residential accommodation for one night, all meals and the evening programme.

REVIEW – Parliamentary Links Day on 25 Jun 2013


Three members of the YSS Committee – David, Simon and Elizabeth – attended the Parliamentary Links Day on Tuesday 25th June on Science and Diversity.  The day was hosted by Dr Julian Huppert MP, Andrew Miller MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP representing the three main political parties, highlighting the across-the-board understanding of the importance of Science.

Representatives from the many learned societies were present and formed panels that gave their views and took questions on aspects of diversity within Science. Shabana Mahmood MP spoke as the Shadow Minister for the Universities and Science, highlighting the poor retention rates of both women and BME groups in Science.

The session was concluded by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, the Minister for Universities and Science giving his view of the importance of focusing on diversity within science, highlighted by the poor current statistics he quoted.

Elizabeth then attended lunch at the House of Lords with Hetan Shah and John Pullinger where many representatives from learned Societies praised the work of the YSS.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Boggis

REVIEW – Bayesian Young Statisticians Meeting (BAYSM) on 5-6 June 2013


BAYSM 2013 showcased the talents of MSc students, PhD students, and early career post-doctoral researchers.  The talks were wide reaching and very varied, ranging from ice-core dating, to ecology, to theoretical Bayes, to biostatistics, and the posters on display were equally diverse.

This was the first BAYSM conference; in September 2014, the second BAYSM conference will be held at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria. For any young Bayesian, this is an ideal conference to showcase your work in a friendly environment, while also leaning about publishing and presenting from well-seasoned experts.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Boggis



YSS Committee member Jen Rogers will be playing a starring role in the BBC1 programme “Long Live Britain” tonight (Monday 22 July 2013, 9pm). Don’t miss it!

For more details, please see: