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Finalists announced for Significance-YSS early-career writing award

Articles about political polarisation, Poisson distributions and flying bombs, and a bot’s-eye view of the world are in the running for the 2019 Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing.

Judges from Significance and the Royal Statistical Society’s Young Statisticians Section met last week to review an assortment of entries.

Submissions were from early-career statisticians and data scientists from across Europe, the Americas and Asia. 

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • “A story about a tiny bot”, by Marco Antonio Andrade Barrera (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
  • “The flying bomb and the actuary”, by Liam Shaw (University of Oxford) and Luke Shaw (Office for National Statistics)
  • “Trouble in paradise: polarisation and the popular vote in Switzerland”, by Maximilian Aigner (Université de Lausanne)

The winning article will be announced on 11 July at the RSS Statistical Excellence Awards ceremony. The article will then be published in the October 2019 issue of Significance.

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Statisticians on Tour to the Liverpool Early Career Researchers Conference 2019

By Sarah Nevitt (RSS Medical Section and Young Statisticians Section (YSS))

The University of Liverpool was the host of the inaugural Early Career Researchers Conference 2019 bringing together early career researchers in Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) were sponsors of the conference, and three Liverpool based volunteers who are active volunteers with the RSS, as well as statistical and STEM ambassadors coordinated a special afternoon showcasing the RSS and ‘Hands on Statistics’ outreach activities.

Sarah Nevitt (RSS Medical Section and Young Statisticians Section (YSS)) firstly introduced the ‘Who, What, When, Where and Why?’ of the RSS; including the work of the RSS promoting the importance of data and statistics for the public good, getting involved with the RSS by becoming a member, attending section and local group events, the professional accreditations and training courses offered by the RSS as well as volunteering opportunities. Especially relevant for this conference of Early Career researchers in Data Science, Sarah also highlighted the work of the YSS including careers events, young statistician conferences, the RSS Statistical Excellence Award for Early Career Writingand how to keep in touch with YSS, especially on social media.

Laura Bonnett (RSS Education and Statistical Literacy committee and Teaching Statistics Special Interest Group), then lead an interactive afternoon of ‘Hands on Statistics’ demonstrating a range of different activities developed by the RSS Education and Statistical Literacy committee. These activities demonstrate a range of statistical concepts including probability, distributions, populations, sampling, means, standard errors, confidence intervals, as well as some more complex concepts such as simulation studies, random walks, Kruskals counts, Pollard’s Kangaroo and Capture-Recapture in a fun and interactive way using playing cards, dice, meerkats, penguins, ducks and Usain Bolt. The conference attendees then had a chance to develop and demonstrate some ‘Hands on Statistics activities’ of their own using our bank of statistical resources. Some excellent animal themed activities were developed including ‘Elephant Scales’ demonstrating Bayesian methods, distributions and iteration using stuffed elephants and ‘Count the poo, find the wombat’s blue,’ building on the concepts of populations and samples and also demonstrating the importance of sample size. The winning ‘Hands on Statistics activity’ of the afternoon was ‘Can you guess the colour?’, ademonstration and clear explanation of Bayesian methods and probability with playing cards. We shall certainly be taking some of these excellent ideas with us to careers fairs in the future!

Maria Sudell (RSS Merseyside Local Group) rounded up a great afternoon by sharing her experiences of being a STEM ambassador for the last four years, as well as some great tips for running outreach activities and details of how to sign up as a STEM ambassador.

We hope to have inspired many new RSS members and STEM ambassadors to try out some of our ‘Hands on Statistics’ activities and provided the encouragement to develop some outreach activities of their own!

Writing Competition Webinar (2:30pm 10th April)

If you are thinking of submitting an entry for the 2019 Statistical Excellence Award for Early Career Writing, we invite you to join our upcoming webinar for tips and advice on crafting an award-worthy article.

Our two speakers are:

  • Significance editor Brian Tarran, who will give an overview of the competition and offer guidance on writing an article that meets the expectations of the 2019 judging panel; and
  • 2018 award winner Letisha Smith, who will share her personal experience of the competition, from idea generation, to researching and writing her article, to presenting at the 2018 RSS International Conference.

Talks will be followed by a Q&A session, hosted by Sarah Nevitt of the Royal Statistical Society’s Young Statisticians Section.

The webinar takes place at 2.30pm (UK time) on Wednesday, 10 April 2019.

To join the webinar, either connect through Skype for Business (web or desktop app), or dial-in using the details below:
From UK: +44 (0)20 3321 5256
From overseas: Find local number
Conference ID: 5341 3870 #

We hope you are able to join us. If you have any questions about the webinar, or would like to ask a question for the webinar in advance, please email Significance.

Catch-up with the YSS Bulletin!

We’ve just released the first YSS Bulletin of 2019 – a quick guide to the activities the Young Statisticians Section are planning and promoting this year!

For example, did you know that the 2019 RSS Award for Early Career Writing Competition – organised jointly with Significance Magazine – is open for applications?

Or that we’re hosting an event to celebrate women in statistics and data science on International Womens Day 2019?

Check out the Bulletin to find out more!

RSS Travel Grant for “Women in Statistics” event

Click on our Poster for more information

The Royal Statistical Society will fund the travel costs of an early career statistician or data scientist to attend the “Women in Statistics: Past, Present, & Future” event held on Friday 8th March in London.

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • be within the first 10 years of their career.
  • identify as female, non-binary, or trans.
  • be travelling from within the UK & Ireland.

Please note this grant is intended to cover the costs of travel only. Applicants should not apply for subsistence or accommodation expenses. Expenses must be claimed in line with the RSS Guidelines for Claiming Expenses. Only one entry per applicant will be accepted.

How to Apply

Please complete the survey in the link below before 12:00 on Tuesday 5th March 2019.
https://goo.gl/forms/Fp9anmVcvKyJP5SR2
The winner will be decided by a random draw and will be announced at 16:00 on Tuesday 5th March 2019.

Event registration

Registration for the Women in statistics: Past, Present, & Future event FREE but pre-registration is required, please register using the link below:

https://events.rss.org.uk/rss/315/register

Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing Competition

WritingCompAd

Are you an early-career statistician with a statistical story to tell? If so, we invite you to enter the 2019 Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing. The competition is jointly organised by Significance and the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and forms part of the RSS Statistical Excellence Awards programme.

The competition is open to:
1. Students currently studying for a first degree, Master’s or PhD in statistics or related subjects.
2. Graduates whose last qualification in statistics or related subjects (whether first degree, Master’s or PhD) was not more than five years ago.

The rules of entry are simple: send us your best statistical writing in the form of a magazine article (1,500 to 2,500 words) on any subject you like.

What should you write about?

Successful submissions from past years were based on original analyses, produced specifically for the competition. This does take work, but it often results in a unique and compelling article. A list of published articles from previous years’ competitions can be found on the Significance website.
You might also write about work you have done as part of your studies or during your career.
You can also write about the work of others, but this must be in the form of a critique or wider overview of a subject area.

Whatever you choose to write about, articles must be engaging and easy to read. Significance is published for a broad audience, so accessibility is key. This means technical terms and mathematics must be kept to a minimum and explained clearly where used.

The competition is open until 27 May 2019.

Three finalists will be selected in June, with the winner announced in July at the RSS Statistical Excellence Awards ceremony. The winning article will be published in the October issue of Significance and online at significancemagazine.com. Runners-up may also be published online or in print at the editor’s discretion. Finalists will be invited to give presentations based on their articles at a special session of the RSS International Conference (2–5 September 2019 in Belfast).

How to enter:

Email your submissions as a text/Word file, or as a PDF, to significance@rss.org.uk. Make sure to include our competition entry form.

Please help promote the competition in your statistics department or workplace. Download the official poster.

The competition rules and guidelines can be found on Significance Magazine website.

Women in Statistics: Past, Present, & Future

WIS_Poster
Click on our Poster for more information

Join us to celebrate Women in Statistics & Data Science
on International Women’s Day 2019!

Friday 8th March: 17:00 to 20:00
Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol St, London, EC1Y 8LX

FREE EVENT – REGISTER NOW!

This event, jointly organised by the Young Statisticians and History of Statistics Sections of the RSS, will feature talks from a number of statisticians and data scientists celebrating and supporting women in statistics.

16:30 to 17:00:
Registration with refreshments

17:00 to 17:30: Past

Dr Linda Wijlaars (University College London) will present the life and accomplishments of epidemiological pioneer Dr Janet Elizabeth Lane-Claypon.

17:30 to 18:00: Present

Professor Deborah Ashby (Imperial College London and President of the RSS) will discuss women in statistics at present.

18:00 to 19:00: Future

Our panel Dr Susan Lovick (Phastar), Dr Lauren Rodgers (University of Exeter, Women in Mathematics Committee), Fatima Batool (University College London, Women in Data Science), and Maria Skoularidou (University of Cambridge, RSS Women in Statistics Special Interest Group) will share their experiences and engage in an audience discussion on the future of women in statistics and data science.

Registration is FREE but pre-registration is required, please register using the link below:

https://events.rss.org.uk/rss/315/register

19:00 to 20:00: Wine Reception
This event will be followed by a Drinks Reception sponsored by Phastar