In early September, the YSS committee were out in force at the RSS 2014 conference in Sheffield, with last year’s harrowing pink t-shirts being replaced by an altogether more credible shade of red. In keeping with previous years, our programme of activities blended the familiar with the innovative, as illustrated by our packed flyer of events (see image above),
Our classic opening session, “The Young Statistician’s Guide to the Conference”, was more popular than ever, with Dr Jenny Freeman kindly taking the stage to furnish the audience with advice on how to get the most out of conference. Our Tuesday lunchtime mixer also attracted a record-breaking 60+ attendees, with a speed-dating icebreaker ensuring the mingling continued throughout the hour. On Tuesday evening, the traditional night of YSS revelry began with an unusually cerebral twist at the Bessemer pub, with more than 70 competitors eagerly battling it out for the inaugural YSS quiz crown, and an array of glittering (and not so glittering) prizes. After we were treated to some impromptu a-capella singing by a local men’s choir, the night swiftly took a cultural downturn, with a short bar crawl around central Sheffield finally culminating in a visit to eyeopening local nightclub “Pop World”.
Wednesday’s YSS activities centred around two special sessions featuring presentations by the winners of the YSS/Significance Writing Competition, and the inaugural Statistical Analytics Challenge, a new contest set up collaboratively by the YSS and the RSS Research Section which will hopefully become a regular item on the YSS calendar. The day also featured sessions showcasing the prizewinning presentations delivered by young statisticians at the YSM 2014 and RSC 2014 conferences earlier in the year, and a snappy 30-minute AGM, during which Matt gave a brief review of the year, and the 2015 YSS committee were voted in. The day concluded with an excellent conference dinner, followed by another short trip around the watering holes of Sheffield.
Finally, on Thursday, the YSS ran a joint session with the Professional Affairs Committee in which statisticians at different points along their career trajoectories spoke about the professional development opportunities they had encountered along the way. The session was well received, and may be a format worth revisiting at future conferences.
All in all, the annual conference was once again an extremely successful three days for the YSS, with lots of positive ideas to build on for the future. Roll on RSS 2015 in Exeter!