Due to some personal unavailability of the Editor of the Bernoulli Society,
the contribution of Bernoulli is restricted to this message from the President.
The most important event recently for our Society has been the World Congress
in Singapore. This Congress has been extremely successful, by the number of
participants, the quality of the organization, and the high scientific level of
the lecturers. The next large meeting on our agenda is the SPA Meeting in
Berlin, the 33rd under this name, which will take place 27-31 July
2009. Of course, the next World Congress is scheduled for 2012 and it will take
place in Istanbul.
Now, I would like to point out a problem that we face, just as probably most
other scientific societies are facing right now. Membership is steady, but the
present membership (800) is relatively low compared with the potential
membership in probability and mathematical statistics all over the world. If we
want to continue to play an important role in this area, we should increase the
membership and also rejuvenate it.
To this effect, several measures have and will be taken. An example is free
membership for PhD students and more extensive use of Internet and digital
technology. The first decision will be implemented at the beginning of 2009. The
second question, together with the growing environmental issues, has led us to
decide a change in the distribution of the Bernoulli journal. More precisely,
this journal, as well as SPA, will obviously continue to be free of charge for
the electronic version. However, a relatively small fee will be asked to members
who want to receive the hard copy. This contribution to environmental saving
will hopefully appeal to all members.
European Meeting of Statisticians 2009
EMS 2009 will be the major European international meeting of 2009 covering
mathematical statistics, statistical applications and applied probability. It
will be held 20-24 July in Toulouse at the Université Paul Sabatier. Toulouse is
an occitanian capital at the heart of the southwest of France where the ‘plaisir
de vivre’ is the natural way of life, especially in summer time.
The programme includes three plenary lectures, eight special invited lectures,
24 invited paper sessions and many contributed paper sessions. Opening with a
‘dégustation de vins et fromages’ on Monday, 20th July, several mid-conference
excursions and a conference dinner will help to create a friendly atmosphere in
which participants can easily establish new contacts. During the free evenings,
participants can enjoy the beautiful old town of Toulouse between the quays of
the Garonne and the banks of the Canal du Midi.
The meeting will be held under the auspices of the Bernoulli Society for
Mathematical Statistics and Probability, the IMS and ISI. The program will
feature the Opening Lecture delivered by Emmanuel Candes (Caltech), the Forum
Lectures presented by Aad van der Vaart (Vrije Universiteit) and the Closing
Lecture given by Jeff Steif (Chalmers University of Technology).
The Special Invited Lecturers will be Nina Gantert (University of Muenster),
Tillmann Gneiting (University of Washington), Iain Johnstone (Stanford
University), Gabor Lugosi (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Andrew Majda (New York
University), Péter Major (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Geert Molenberghs
(Hasselt University) and Thomas Nichols (GlaxoSmithKline).
The Scientific Program Committee is: Trevor Sweeting (Chair, University College
London), Jean-Marc Azais (Université Paul Sabatier), Petros Dellaportas (Athens
University of Economics and Business), Mathisca de Gunst (Vrije Universiteit),
Olle Häggström (Chalmers University of Technology), Peter Imkeller (Humbolt
University at Berlin), Ingrid van Keilegom (Université Catholique de Louvain),
Gyula Pap (University of Debrecen) and Eva B. Vedel Jensen (University of
New researchers and PhD students are especially invited to submit contributed
papers. We will be able to host some participants in student rooms at an
estimated cost of € 16 per day, with low cost meals.
President, Local Organising Committee
IAOS Conference on Reshaping Official Statistics,
Shanghai, 14 to 16 October 2008
The National Bureau of Statistics of China is hosting this biennial meeting for
statisticians from national statistical institutes, international organisations
and academies. The theme of the 2008 Conference is Smart Data, Innovative Uses –
Reshaping Official Statistics. An integral part of the Conference is also the
26th biennial conference of the SCORUS, a standing committee of the IAOS on
regional and urban statistics.
Areas covered by the Conference include:
• Use of administrative data in the statistical system
• Use of administrative data in official statistics
• Challenges of building register-based or other administrative-based statistics
• More efficient use of statistical data
• Questionnaire design and testing
• User demands for official statistics
• Electronic reporting
• Process orientated statistical production
Plenary speakers include:
Svein Nordbotten: Use of administrative data – past, present and future.
Heli Jeskanen-Sundström, Statistics Finland: Overview and challenges in use of
administrative data in official statistics.
XIE Fuzhan Commissioner, NBS: Reshaping Chinese official statistics.
Dr. Berthold Feldmann, Eurostat: The harmonisation of regional and urban
statistics, a challenge.
Gosse van der Veen, Statistics Netherlands: Statistics Netherlands'
modernization programme, the use of administrative data, lessons learned and the
Li-Chun Zhang, Statistics Norway: A theoretical framework for register-based
statistics, can we carry on without it.
Dev Virdee, ONS, UK: Innovative use of centrally collected data to inform policy
at city and region levels.
Åke Bruhn, Statistics Sweden: Process oriented statistical production, the LOTTA
Paul Cheung, UN Statistical Office: How to put administrative data together in a
coherent international statistical system.
Announcing the 2009 IAOS Prize for Young Statisticians
The field of official statistics offers great challenges and opportunities. To
encourage more young statisticians to take an active interest in official
statistics, the IAOS is again sponsoring a competition for the best paper in the
field of official statistics written by a young statistician. In addition to the
monetary prize, the winner(s) will be invited to present the paper in one of the
IAOS sessions at the 57th ISI Session in Durban, South Africa, 16-22 August
Young statisticians are invited to submit a paper not to exceed ten pages on a
topic of their choice. We encourage submitters to address pressing issues in the
area of official statistics. The paper will be judged by an international panel
based on the following criteria:
• Scientific merit;
• Applicability of ideas in statistical offices; and
• Quality of the exposition.
The Author(s) of the best paper will be awarded:
• A cash prize valued at €1,500;
• Invitation to the ISI Session in Durban, South Africa, to be given in June
• Airfare and hotel accommodation for the ISI Session;
• An opportunity to present their paper at the Session;
• 2 years of IAOS membership;
• A certificate of award from the IAOS acknowledging their success in this
Prizes will also be awarded to those in second and third place:
2nd Place - Prize valued at €1,000, 2 years of IAOS membership and a
3rd Place - Prize valued at €500, 2 years of IAOS membership and a certificate.
The decision of the panel will be final. Prizes will only be awarded if papers
of significant quality are submitted. To be eligible, you must:
• be under the age of 35 on 1st January 2009;
• be employed by an official statistics agency; and
• be prepared to travel to Durban in August 2009 to present the paper.
Please submit papers, preferably in MS Word format, to Jennifer Madans at
JMadans@cdc.gov. If you have any questions, she will be happy to assist you.
The deadline for submissions is 27th February 2009. The winners will be
announced by the end of April 2009.
Statistical Journal of the IAOS –
Following my appointment as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal in September 2007, I
am very pleased to advise that we have produced two very good double editions,
with the inaugural edition devoted to the Evolution of National Statistical
Systems, followed by an edition featuring new and innovative developments in the
conduct of population censuses in the world.
The forthcoming issue will be a special double edition on Global Statistical
To ensure the Journal will continue to publish papers relevant to users and
producers of official statistics, I plan to devote a number of special editions
to topics of interest to IAOS members over the next couple of years, including:
• Statistical literacy;
• Statistical ethics and official statistics;
• Web 2.0 and official statistics;
• Climate change and official statistics;
• Innovative approaches to accessing micro data; and
• Managing provider relationships.
I will also be keeping an eye on good papers presented in international
conferences/workshops and invite the presenters to submit these papers to the
If you have suggestions on statistical themes for future special editions of the
Journal, I would be very pleased to hear from you.
The Journal is only as good as the papers that are published in it. I urge you
to make the Journal a useful reference for IAOS members by submitting papers.
Papers that are relevant to the above themes, as well as papers that are within
the aims and scope of the Journal – see
http://www.iospress.nl/loadtop/load.php?isbn=18747655 – are welcomed.
Further in this IAOS contribution, I have included Calls for Papers on special
editions on Statistical literacy, and Statistical ethics and official
statistics, and I look forward to receiving your papers for consideration of
publication in these editions.
IAOS members should also note that they can have access to the electronic
version of the Journal free of charge. However, to do so, you need to have the
relevant user ID and pin. Late last year, the ISI Permanent Office had sent
these to IAOS members by e-mail. If you have not received the e-mail, or
forgotten the user ID and/or password, please contact Mrs. Margaret de
Ruiter-Molloy of the ISI Permanent Office at @cbs.nl.
Statistical Literacy – A Special Issue of the
Statistical Journal of the IAOS
Call for Papers
The Statistical Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics
(SJIAOS) is pleased to announce a forthcoming special issue focused on
“Statistical Literacy”. The Guest Editors for this special issue are Professor
Neville Davies (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Professor Jim Ridgway (email@example.com).
The Guest Editors are pleased to invite you to
submit papers on this topic by end 2008 for consideration of publication in this
special issue of SJIOAS. To give prospective authors some guidance on the kinds
of papers the Editors are particularly looking for, we have provided below a
list of possible topics:
• Overarching framework for statistical literacy and how it can be used to
inform the development of programs to improve statistical literacy;
• Research to inform the development of effective teaching methods or programs
to improve statistical literacy;
• Innovative teaching methods to improve statistical literacy;
• Innovative work programs and initiatives in national statistical offices to
improve statistical literacy;
• Statistical literacy needs of different segments of the community and
initiatives to address those needs;
• Review of work programs or initiatives used in national statistical offices to
improve statistical literacy.
Prospective authors are not required to limit their
papers to the above topics as long as they are relevant to the theme of this
special issue of SJIAOS. Papers should generally be less than 25 pages in length
(double spaced in 12 point type). Detailed instructions for manuscript
preparation can be found at
Papers should be submitted to one of the Guest
Editors as a Word document by end 2008. All papers will be refereed.
Statistical Ethics and Official Statistics –
A Special Issue of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS
Call for Papers
The Statistical Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics
(SJIAOS) is pleased to announce a forthcoming special issue focused on the
topic, “Statistical Ethics and Official Statistics”. The Editor for this special
issue is William Seltzer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Editor is pleased to invite IAOS members and
others to submit papers on this broad topic by 31st March 2009 for consideration
of publication in this special issue of SJIAOS. All papers will be refereed. To
give prospective authors some guidance on the kinds of papers the Editor is
particularly looking for, we have prepared the following summary of highly
relevant issues and approaches. However, prospective authors are not necessarily
limited to the topics identified here as long as the papers they submit are
directly relevant to the theme of the special issue, “Statistical Ethics and
Both the ISI Declaration on Professional Ethics and
the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics imply certain ethical
obligations for those working in government statistical programs and agencies,
as do the ethics documented and adopted by a number of national professional
associations or unions of statistical workers. The range of issues addressed in
these documents is a primary emphasis of the special issue of SJIAOS along with
those real life ethical challenges that are not yet widely embodied in the
various ethics statements now available.
Among the important topics that could be covered
• How to balance considerations related to ethics, science, cost, and user needs
in the work of a national statistical agency;
• Ethical implications of the national statistical system using a long-outdated
methodology in the collection or analysis of official statistics;
• An evaluation of the work of a national statistical office or of a leading NSO
director from an ethical perspective;
• Efforts by those in or outside the national statistical system to undermine
(or strengthen) the system’s professional integrity and independence;
• Legal and technical safeguards.
Individual papers may take many forms. These
• a discussion of the ethical principles involved in some issue or set of
issues, including dealing with possible conflicting guidance provided by
different ethical principles, as well as conflicts in official statistics
arising between legal requirements and ethical principles or between scientific
priorities and ethical principles;
• a recounting of an event or set of events that provide an illustration of how
an ethical problem in official statistics was successfully addressed or, on the
other hand, how ethical considerations were seemingly ignored or flouted by the
staff or management of a statistical program or agency or by the political
• A discussion of mechanisms and approaches, particularly those involving real
life examples, that can strengthen the ability of staff and managers of
government statistical programs and agencies to deal with ethical challenges,
including the possible roles that different stakeholders in the statistical
system (for example, data users, data providers, journalists, legislators,
national, regional, or international professional association, or NGOs or
international agencies) can play in promoting the successful resolution of an
Again, prospective authors are not limited to the
topics or approaches identified as long as the proposed paper is directly
relevant to the theme of this special issue of SJIAOS. Thus, papers of a purely
methodological character or those primarily presenting a specific data analysis
or dealing primarily with other important issues in official statistics would
not be suitable for submission. Priority will be given to papers less than 25
pages in length (double spaced in 12 point type). Detailed instructions for
manuscript preparation can be found at
Papers should be submitted to the Editor of the Special Issue as a Word or Word
Perfect document attached to a covering e-mail sent to
to the 31st March 2009 deadline. Prospective authors are invited to contact the
Editor at the same e-mail address with any questions they may have about the
Special Issue or their contemplated submission. All correspondence and
submissions should have ‘Statistical Journal of the IAOS’ in the subject line.
IAOS Conference on Reshaping Official Statistics,
14 to 16 October 2008: Smart Data, Innovative Uses – Reshaping Official
together with IAOS, organises the Conference on Reshaping Official Statistics in
Shanghai (see here) and is especially responsible for:
sessions organized by SCORUS
Details of the
2 SCORUS-focused talks are as follows:
• “The harmonisation of regional and urban statistics,
a challenge” - to be presented by Dr. Berthold Feldmann (Eurostat)
• “Innovative use of centrally collected data to inform policy at city and
region levels” - to be presented by Mr. Dev Virdee (ONS, UK)
sessions organized by SCORUS
Details of the
6 SCORUS-focused sessions are as follows:
• “Measuring well-being in regions and cities” -
Ms. Teodora Brandmueller (Eurostat)
• “Growing demand for regional and urban statistics” -
Mr. Huang Langhui (China)
• “Results of recent regional and urban analysis” -
Dr. Berthold Feldmann (Eurostat)
• “Geographic information system and regional reference system” - Dr. Klaus
• “New approaches to using regional and urban data for policy evaluation” - Mr.
Derek Bond (Ireland)
• “Application of urban and regional statistics in Asian cities” - Mr. Stephen
Leung (Hong Kong) and Mr. Wang Youjuan (China)
topics covered by the 11 papers from China are:
• A study of subjective well-being of citizens in Beijing
• Use of statistical indicators for measuring the performance of local
government in China
• Development of urban statistics & data exploitation
• Meeting challenges in metropolitan statistics -
The experiences of Beijing
• Application of urban statistics in comparison among international cities
• Construction and application of the geographical information system in
• Monitoring the progress of urbanisation
• Global urban regions: Divergence and convergence simultaneously - results from
comparing global urban competitiveness
• Contribution of urban statistics in the economic development of the Pearl
River Delta Region
• People-oriented and concern with people’s well-being -
The new focal points of the statistical work of Shenzhen
• Application of statistics on cross-boundary transport planning in Hong Kong
(contribution from Hong Kong)
One of the
objectives of this Conference is to cultivate interest in the work of the SCORUS
with the host country. Opportunities will be taken to co-ordinate the Chinese
participants and more promotion of the work of the SCORUS will be made in China
during the Conference. Specifically, a SCORUS Regional Group for Asia is being
planned to be set up later this year.
Assembly of SCORUS was held in the afternoon of 16th October 2008 after the
closing ceremony of the Conference. All SCORUS members as well as those
interested in the work of SCORUS are welcome to attend these General Assembly
meetings. Further details of the General Assembly will be provided later.
details of the scientific programme of the Conference, please see the 2008 IAOS
Conference website under programme at
Over the years,
the Standing Committee on Regional and Urban Statistics (SCORUS) of the
International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS) has been sparing no
efforts in coordinating interested parties around the world to promote
collaboration and exchange in the field of urban statistics and research.
Recently taken on board is the effort to assist the Beijing Municipal Bureau of
Statistics in organizing the “Metropolitan International Statistics Forum -
Beijing 2008” in Beijing from 19-21 October 2008. Effectively a back-to-back
conference after the joint IAOS/SCORUS Conference, the Beijing Forum provides an
opportunity for participants to meet with representatives from various cities
around the world and have exchanges on metropolitan statistics theories,
challenges of metropolitan statistics and reform directions of metropolitan
“Development of a Metropolis and its Statistical Service” as its main theme, the
Beijing Forum will focus discussions on four major areas, viz. (a) Planning and
establishment of a statistical system for a metropolis; (b) Socio-economic
development of a metropolis and its statistical service; (c) Measuring the
development of a metropolis and making international comparisons; and (d) Issues
relating to the development of a metropolis.
presentations by researchers and practitioners from the mainland of China,
SCORUS has assisted in inviting some 15 professional statistical practitioners
and scholars from other countries, economies and international organizations,
including Australia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Macao, Ireland, Korea, The
Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and Eurostat. They will share
their valuable thoughts, insights and experiences on the very interesting topics
along the focused theme of the Beijing Forum.
Congress in Durban, South Africa
SCORUS coordinator: Wendy Thomas
2010 SCORUS Conference in Riga, Latvia
Local Arrangements: Jolanta Supe
Program Chair: Petra Kuncova
2010 ISI Congress in Dublin, Ireland
SCORUS Coordinator: Dev Virdee
Satellite Meeting in Galway, Ireland
Program Chair: Teadora Brandmueller
SCORUS – The
International Network for regional and urban statistics
on joining the SCORUS list serve or providing suggestions to the leadership
group, please contact SCORUS Secretary Wendy Thomas at
The 18th edition of COMPSTAT was held in
Porto (Portugal) in the period 24-29 August 2008. The symposium was hosted by
the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto and was chaired by Professor
Paula Brito. COMPSTAT 2008 included three keynote speakers, two tutorials and 14
invited sessions (three of these were organized by the Asian Regional Section of
the IASC, Interface and IFCS, respectively). Keynote lectures were addressed by
Peter Hall (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of
Melbourne), Heikki Mannila (Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science,
University of Helsinki) and Timo Teräsvirta (School of Economics and Management,
University of Aarhus); the two tutorials were: "Computational Methods in
Finance" by James Gentle (Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George
Mason University) and ”Creating R Packages” by Friedrich Leisch (Institut für
Statistik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität). A comprehensive list of topics, 200
contributed communications and 30 posters completed the scientific program.
About 400 participants from all over the world (39 different countries) have
Paula Brito at the Conference Gala
Professors Tomas Aluja-Banet and Erricos J.
Kontogorghies, who are respectively the outgoing chairman and the new chairman
of the Board of Directors of the IASC European Regional Section, addressed their
special thanks to Professor Brito for the excellent work done in the COMPSTAT
2008 organization. Their gratitude was also extended to all other members of the
local organizing committee and to those students of the faculty of Economics
worked hard during the
conference days. They took care of all details and organized a successful
Conference. The IASC President, Professor Jaromir Antoch (Czech Republic), was
also glad to thank the LOC and the PC members of the COMPSTAT 2008.
From the scientific point of view, the last
COMPSTAT edition has confirmed the increasing interest towards computational
statistics and its application.
All accepted papers, after the revision process, have been published in the
Conference proceedings that have been edited by P. Brito and published by
Physica-Verlag. Keynote and invited papers have been printed in both the volume
and electronically in the CD. Contributed papers appeared only in the CD (the
ISBN of the proceedings is 978-3-7908-2083-6 and it is unique for the volume and
The social programme had as “special guest” Porto Wine and offered very pleasant
and relaxing breaks during the conference days.
The boat trip on the Duro River and the wonderful
Gala Dinner at the Taylor’s wine cellars were very pleasant social events.
For more detailed information about the event, you may visit the Conference
ERS IASC Young Researchers Award
To promote the participation of young researchers,
the European Regional Section of the IASC offered three prizes, each worth €
500, for the three best contributions submitted by young participants (upper
age: 35 years on 29th August 2008.
The jury was composed of:
• Erricos Kontoghiorghes, IASC-ERS Chairman
• Paula Brito, Chairman of the LOC
• Joe Whittaker, representative of the SPC
The winners were (in alphabetic order):
• Michiel Debruyne: The Stahel-Donoho Outlyingness in a Reproducing Kernel
• Paulo Canas Rodrigues, Miguel de Carvalho: Monitoring Calibration of the
Singular Spectrum Analysis Method
• Morgan Seston: A Simple Algorithm to Recognize Robinsonian Dissimilarities
Professor Michael G. Schimek (Austria), who chairs
the IASC-Interface Committee, issued a positive report on the occasion of the
last Council Meeting in Porto, namely that “The IASC-Interface Liaison Committee
has produced very good results also for this year”.
Professor Schimek had been a member of the Program Committee for the 40th
Symposium on the Interface 2008 in Durham (North Carolina). On behalf of the
IASC, Professor Schimek arranged the Invited Session: “Model-Based Risk
Assessment in Life Science”. The session was organized and chaired by Dr. Lutz
The Program Committee of the COMPSTAT 2008 invited Interface to organize a
Session on the occasion of the Symposium in Porto. The Interface session title
was “Computational Statistics and Data Mining Methods for Alcohol Studies”,
Professor Schimek was asked to chair the session.
The IASC Council members have acknowledged Professor Schimek for his excellent
Learning Community Liaison
Professor Djamel A. Zighed reported on the
IASC-Machine Learning Community relationships during the last meeting of the
Council in Porto and pointed out that the relationships between the IASC and the
machine learning communities are extremely satisfactory.
For the second time, a workshop on Mining Complex Data was organized with the
support of the IASC (see in Forthcoming Events section). This workshop is an
event of the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining.
On the occasion of the last COMPSTAT meeting in Porto, Professor Zighed
organized an invited session on “Information retrieval from texts and images”
with the support of people from the machine learning community.
The relationship seems to be very promising leading to the organisation of a
joint conference IASC-Machine Learning in the near future.
IV. CSDA - The
Official Journal of the IASC
In 2007, the CSDA’s impact factor increased to
1,029. During 2007, the CSDA published the issues 51(5)-52(2), comprising
approximately 5,500 published pages and over 400 papers. This is double than the
standard publication and is due to the excessive backlog that had accumulated in
the last few years.
IASC members have online access to the full-text via the URL:
V. The 4th World
Conference on Computational Statistics & Data Analysis of the International
Association for Statistical Computing (IASC) and the 6th Conference
of the Asian Regional Section of IASC
The Joint Meeting of the 4th World
Conference of the IASC and 6th Conference of the Asian Regional
Section of the IASC on Computational Statistics & Data Analysis (IASC 2008) will
be held at Pacifico Yokohama in Japan on 5-8 December 2008.
IASC2008 provides a forum for researchers and practitioners all over the world,
including Asian countries, to share their knowledge about theories, methods and
the practice of statistical computing and computational statistics, and to
discuss current, important issues regarding statistical methods and data
analysis in various disciplines such as medicine, business, ecology, biology,
engineering, where statistical computing is indispensable. IASC 2008 is
associated with "CSDA: The Computational Statistics & Data Analysis", the
official journal of the IASC. The CSDA plans to have a special issue after the
Standard registration deadline is 21st
The IASC 2008 International Organizing Committee is
Junji Nakano - Chairperson of IASC2008, The Institute of Statistical
Mathematics, Japan; Gilbert Saporta - Conservatoire National des Arts et
Métiers, France; Jaromír Antoch - Charles University, Czech Republic; Wing Kam
Fung - University of Hong Kong, China; Moon Yul Huh - SungKyunKwan University,
Korea; Tohru Uwoi - Bellsystem24 Inc, Japan; Shingo Shirahata - Osaka
University, Japan; Genshiro Kitagawa - The Institute of Statistical Mathematics,
Japan; Yoshiyasu Tamura - The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Japan;
with Advisory Board:
Stanley P. Azen - University of Southern California, USA; Lutz Edler - German
Cancer Research Center, Germany; Jae Chang Lee - Korea University; Yutaka Tanaka
- Nanzan University.
The Scientific Program Committee is as follows:
Masahiro Mizuta - Chair (Hokkaido University, Japan); Yoshimichi Ochi –
Vice-Chair (Oita University, Japan); Tomas Aluja-Banet (The Technical University
of Catalonia, Spain); Paula Brito (University of Porto, Portugal); Chun-houh
Chen (Academia Sinica, Taiwan); Robert Gentleman (Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center, USA); Tomoyuki Higuchi (The Institute of Statistical
Mathematics, Japan); Erricos Kontoghiorghes (University of Cyprus, Cyprus); Jung
Jin Lee (Soong Sil University, Korea); Youngjo Lee (Seoul National University,
Korea); Paul Murrell (The University of Auckland, New Zealand); David Scott
(Rice University, USA); Berwin Turlach (The University of Western Australia,
Australia); Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi (ESSEC, France); Huiwen Wang (Beijing
University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China); Philip Leung-ho Yu
University of Hong Kong, China).
• Regularization Paths and Coordinate Descent
• Trevor Hastie (Stanford University, USA)
• Liquid association for large scale gene expression and network studies
• Ker-Chau Li (Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and UCLA, USA)
• Tomoyuki Higuchi
(The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Japan)
• Wen-Hsiung Li
(University of Chicago, USA / Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
• Wenceslao Gonzalez-Manteiga
(University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
• Zdenek Strakos
(Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic)
Computational Algebraic Statistics, Theories and Applications (CASTA2008)
Satellite meeting of the 4th IASC World
The workshop will take place at Kyodai Kaikan (Kyoto University Hall) from 10-11
The objective of the workshop is to present new developments in algebraic
methods in computational statistics. One of the main topics of the workshop is
technique of algebraic statistics, such as Groebner bases, Markov basis and
symbolic computation. Other topics include computational biology, graphical
models and singular models. Talks of general interest on new developments in
computational statistics are also welcome. The deadline for registration is 15th
Akimichi Takemura (Chairman) University of Tokyo,
Satoshi Kuriki Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Japan
Satoshi Aoki Kagoshima University, Japan
Toshio Sakata Kyushu University, Japan
The COMPSTAT 2010 Symposium will take place in
Paris. The meeting is scheduled for 23rd to 27th August on the premises of
Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), located in the heart of Paris
The Conference will be organized by CNAM statisticians with the support of
INRIA, the French national institute in computer science and control (http://www.inria.fr/index.en.html).
Besides the main Conference, a satellite meeting or a tutorial will be organized
at INRIA Rocquencourt Research Unit, a campus near Versailles at a few
kilometres from Paris.
The local organizing committtee is chaired by Gilbert Saporta (CNAM), with Yves
Lechevallier from INRIA as Vice-Chairman.
The scientific programme committee will be settled before end of November 2008.
During the last IASC Council meeting, Professor Saporta presented the logo that
has been designed for the next COMPSTAT, and he also announced that the
Conference website is already active:
VIII. 57th ISI Session
in Durban, 2009
IASC SPC Activity Report
Professor Yutaka Tanaka (Japan) has announced that the list of IPMs sponsored or
co-sponsored by the ASC for the ISI 2009 in Durban has been definitively
approved by the ISI Programme Coordinating Committee (chaired by Dr. John Kovar,
The complete list is available on the ISI website and in the scientific
programme section on the ISI 2009 Conference website:
The IASC President, on behalf of the IASC Council and of himself, has expressed
his gratitude to Professors Yutaka Tanaka and Stanley Azen, who Co-Chair the
IASC Program Committee for the ISI Durban, for the excellent job done. Thirteen
IPMs (sponsored and/or co-sponsored) represents a good result. The same
gratitude has been extended to the other members for their active participation.
In the spirit of co-operation with other scientific
communities and/or ISI Sections, and aiming at having an even wider horizon of
scientific relationships, the IASC Council – according to the IASC statute - may
deliberate the sponsorship of conferences that are organized (or co-organized)
by distinguished IASC members on topics close to Computational Statistics.
4th International Workshop on Mining
MCD 2008, 15th December 2008, Pisa
The Fourth International Workshop on Mining Complex Data follows the three
previous events in 2005 in conjunction with IEEE ICDM 2005, Houston, USA, in
2006 in conjunction with IEEE ICDM 2006, Hong Kong, China, and in 2007 in
conjunction with ECML/PKDD 2007, Warsaw, Poland.
MCD 2008 builds on the success of the previous workshops to bring new ideas and
research fields to the area of mining complex data.
This workshop is an event of the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining.
Springer will publish the proceedings of this workshop in LNAI.
Professor Djamel A. Zighed (France) co-chairs the Conference with Professors
Zbigniew W. Ras (USA) and Shusaku Tsumoto (Japan).
IASC is well represented by many members in the Program Committee.
Refer to the Conference website for more and more detailed information:
ISBIS Regional Meeting, Cagliari (Italy), 30th
May - 3rd June 2009
The International Society for Business and
Industrial Statistics (ISBIS, a Section of the ISI) is organizing a Regional
meeting in Cagliari, Sardinia Island (Italy), during 30th May - 3rd
Professor Francesco Mola is in charge of the local organisation. Professor
Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi and Dr. Nick Fisher are co-chairing the scientific
The conference themes will be related to Quantitative Methods for Banking and
Finance, Environment, Services for SMEs, Transport and Tourism. Of course,
issues relating to large and complex data sets occur with each of these themes.
Upon invitation of Dr. Nick Fisher on behalf of ISBIS, the IASC Council
deliberated to co-sponsor the Conference.
IASC members will eligible for the lowest registration fee.
More information will be available soon on the conference website
Please also see here.
PLS’09 – 6th International Conference
on Partial Least Squares and Related Methods
The 6th International Conference on
Partial Least Squares and Related Methods (PLS'09) will take place in Beijing,
China, on 4th-7th September 2009. PLS'09 focuses on
research in Management, Engineering and Life Sciences. This Conference is a
unique event through which outstanding experts in PLS methods, from all over the
world, can meet and communicate.
Professor Vinzi, who co-chairs the Program Committee, is an extremely active
member of the IASC. Two IASC Past Presidents are in the Program Committee:
Professors Carlo Lauro (Italy) and Gilbert Saporta (France).
Program Committee is co-chaired by:
Prof. Michel Tenenhaus (France)
Prof. Xiangdong Chen (China)
Prof. Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi (France)
Prof. Huiwen Wang (China)
A. Morineau, C. Lauro, F.L. Bookstein, G. Saporta, H. Martens, H. Hwang, M.
Martens, N. Kettaneh-Wold, R. Rosipal, T. Naes, W.W. Chin.
Abstract Submission (3-4 pages) 28 March 2009
Notification of Acceptance 15 May 2009
Final Paper Submission 1 June 2009
Deadlines for Poster Submission:
Poster Submission Abstract 1 May 2009
Notification of Acceptance 15 May 2009
Deadlines for Registration:
Early Bird Fees 10 June 2009
Authors of Accepted Papers 1 June 2009
XI. ERS BoD Elections Report
During the last meeting of the ERS Board of
Directors (BoD), the President-Elect and Chairman of the elections committee,
Professor Erricos J. Kontoghiorghes announced the results of the BoD elections.
The ISI Permanent Office collected the ballots until the deadline of 30th
May 2008 and also handled the elections.
The total number of votes was 92.
The results are:
Chairman-Elect (Chairman 2010-2012)
Patrick J.F. Groenen (The Netherlands) 86 votes
Christophe Croux (Belgium) 54 votes
Martina Mittleboeck (Austria) 48 votes
Peter Winker (Germany) 44 votes
Cristian Gatu (Romania) 43 votes
Neyko Neykov (Bulgaria) 37 votes It is rather unusual to print the number of
votes – is this required in the constitution? (Denise)
The five members of the BoD who are ending their term of office are: Roland
Fried, Jan Klashhka, Fionn Murtagh, Martin Theus and Peter van der Heiden.
Gianfranco Galmacci finished his appointment as Past Chairman. Outgoing Chairman
Tomas Aluja Banet has expressed his thanks to all of them for their willingness
XII. IASC-ERS Summer School
The next IASC-ERS Summer School will be organized
on “Computational Aspects in Environmental Statistics” and it will be held on
7-11 September 2009 in the picturesque venue of the Gorni Voden Monastery "St.
Kirik and Yulita“, District of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
• Prof. N. Neykov, National Inst. of Meteorology and Hydrology (Chair)
• Prof. M. Bojkova, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ochridski"
• Prof. K. Prodanova, TU of Sofia
• Prof. P. Neytchev, National Inst. of Meteorology and Hydrology
• Prof. V. Noncheva, Plovdiv University "St. Kiril and Metodii“
• Prof. N. Yanev, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Scientific Program and Lecturers:
1. P. Filzmoser - Applied environmental statistics;
2. N. Neykov and R. Gueorguieva - Modelling of environmental time series using
Generalized, Linear and Mixed Models;
3. F. Leisch and B. Grün - Flexible mixture modelling of environmental data and
some computational issues;
4. D. Jaruskova and E. Pancheva - Modelling environmental extremes;
5. J. Antoch and D. Jaruskova - Change points detection in environmental time
All lectures will be given in English and the work
material will also be in English. Case studies application and training in the
PC room will be in R.
More information will be available on the IASC website.
Refer to the school website for more and more detailed information:
The Board of Directors of the European Regional
Section of the IASC decided in its meeting of Lisboa 2007 to award Professor
Norbert Victor in order to recognize his substantial contribution to the
development of the Association and promoting the Computational Statistics in
The IASC Council has fully supported the proposal and plans to continue this
initiative also in the future.
The role of Professor Victor has been fundamental
for the creation and development of the ERS of IASC and adopting the COMPSTAT
Symposium as the official IASC Symposium.
The COMPSTAT Symposia were started in 1974 in Vienna, thanks to Professor Peter
Sint. To assure the continuity of the event, the organisers and a few other
interested people created in 1976 the “Compstat Society” to manage future
editions of the Conference.
In 1977, the General Assembly of the International Statistical Institute
established the IASC as an ISI Section, with Professor Victor as a founding
member. During the IASC inaugural Council meeting, Professor Victor proposed to
adopt COMPSTAT Symposia as the official IASC Conference in Europe.
In 1978, the IASC Council created the “European Regional Committee” (ERC) to
manage the COMPSTAT Symposia and designated Norbert Victor as its ERC Chairman.
In COMPSTAT 1980, held in Edinburgh, the first organized by the ERC, Professor
Victor proposed to transform the Regional Committee into a “Regional Section”
and the IASC Council nominated a group of persons (I. Francis, P.P. Sint and N.
Victor) for drafting the ERS Constitution. The IASC General Assembly
definitively approved the “European Regional Section” in 1981 during the 43rd
Session of the ISI in Buenos Aires.
Professor Norbert Victor has actively participated in the scientific events of
the Association, where he served as President of IASC from 1991 to 1993,
contributing to tying up links between Biostatistics and Informatics and his
efforts strongly contributed to create the best conditions for having an active
and successful European group of researchers in the field of Computational
Gianfranco Galmacci and Tomas
(Past Chairmen of the European Regional Section of the IASC)
Professors Tomas Aluja-Banet (left)
and Jaromir Antoch (centre) give the honorific plaque to Professor Norbert
During the last BoD meeting of the ERS-IASC, the
outgoing Chairman, Professor Tomas Aluja-Banet, expressed his gratitude to all
BoD members who are finishing their term. A special thanks has been addressed to
Professor Gianfranco Galmacci (Italy) who served as the IASC-ESC Chairman for
two terms during 2002-2006.
Professor Galmacci has designed and handled, since it had been established, the
Nowadays, a website represents something of our everyday life, however, at the
beginning of the Internet age, to have a constantly updated website was not so
common. Thanks to the work undertaken by Professor Galmacci, the IASC had and
has such a service.
All the BoD members and the IASC President, Professor Jaromir Antoch, express
their gratitude to Professor Galmacci.
The IASC website will soon migrate to be hosting by the ISI, however, Professor
Galmacci has offered his knowledge and experience to support the migration
together with continued hosting of the pages until the end of the migration, to
avoid a discontinuities in the service.
International Association for Statistics Education
Andrej Blejec, National Institute of Biology,
Vecna pot 111 POB 141, Sl-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Tel: +386 1 423 33 88, Fax: +386 1 2412 980
K. Laurence Weldon, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science,
Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6
Tel: +1 604 291 3667, Fax: +1 604 291 4368
CATALST Group Invites Visitors and
We are pleased to announce the establishment of the CATALST group in the
Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. CATALST
stands for Change Agents in Teaching and Learning STatistics.
We are conducting statistics education research studies, developing and
evaluating new curriculum, hosting seminars and outside speakers, and more. We
have several funded projects and new initiatives coming up.
Visiting scholars are welcome to come and share their work with us and form new
collaborations. If you have a sabbatical coming up and would like to spend some
time with us, please let us know. We also have possible teaching opportunities
to supplement sabbatical support. Please check out our website at:
Contributed by Joan Garfield
Life Changers Award 2008
Dr. Sue Starkings, originally from a tough Southwark estate, has been
recognised for her work with people in London boroughs with some of the lowest
university participation rates in the country to consider giving higher
education a shot. A London South Bank University lecturer, Sue developed a
summer Fast Track programme to cater for students from non-traditional
backgrounds who would previously not have considered university as a viable
option. She secured funding for, and then developed, the ambitious programme
under the widening participation umbrella.
The original six-week summer programme she set up in 1998 was driven by
Starkings' own experiences of education. Coming from a working class background
on an estate in Southwark, with no immediate role models to encourage her to
enter education, she left school at 15. However, she returned to education at 24
as a mature student and a working mother of two.
Through sheer determination, she has forged a successful career in higher
education and was recently nominated for a prestigious National Teaching Fellow;
one of only 50 people in the country to be recognised for the award.
The Fast Track programme has become a model for encouraging students from a wide
range of backgrounds to consider university and has given them the opportunity
to enhance their skills as independent learners. Over 1,500 students have
already individually benefited from Dr. Starkings' course.
Dr. Sue Starkings said: "It is a considerable honour to have been nominated for
this award, especially as it was my colleagues who put me forward. We have
achieved so much over the years on the course and I am continually delighted
each year by the difference that we all make to so many people's lives".
For more information, go to the website
On 3rd and 4th July, OZCOTS 2008 was held in Melbourne
as an overlapping satellite to the Australian Statistical Conference (ASC) whose
2008 theme was Celebrating Diversity. OZCOTS 2008 was the 6th Australian
Conference on Teaching Statistics, and combined the interests of the Statistics
Education Section of the Statistical Society of Australia Inc (SSAI) with
activities of Helen MacGillivray’s Australian Learning and Teaching Council
(ALTC) Senior Fellowship. The ALTC (initially named the Carrick Institute of
Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) was established in late 2004 as an
Australian Government initiative. The Senior Fellowship Scheme supports leading
higher education teachers to undertake a full time program of highly strategic
activities over one year. Only one to three senior fellowships are awarded per
year over all disciplines and Helen was one of the inaugural fellows. Such
recognition of the importance of teaching statistics in higher education is of
significant value to the statistical and statistical education communities, and
the holding of OZCOTS 2008 in association with the ASC as part of the Senior
Fellowship program aimed to highlight this.
The OZCOTS 2008 program consisted of six invited papers, eighteen contributed
papers, and two forums. The program, abstracts and preliminary proceedings are
http://silmaril.math.sci.qut.edu.au/ozcots2008/. A link is also available to
photos taken at OZCOTS by that well-known, keen photographer of statistics
education events, Brian Phillips. The six invited speakers at OZCOTS are members
of the Senior Fellowship’s international collaborative team, and their
participation in OZCOTS 2008 was fully funded by the Fellowship. OZCOTS was also
supported by the Australian Statistical Conference and the Victorian Branch of
OZCOTS was held at the same venue as ASC and delegates could register just for
OZCOTS or could “add” registration for the second day to their ASC registration.
The arrangement of the first day of OZCOTS being available to ASC delegates at
no extra charge was highly successful with standing room only available on the
first day with many ASC delegates attending part or the entire OZCOTS program. A
number of ASC delegates who had not pre-registered for the second day of OZCOTS
were so interested by the first day that they stayed on for the second.
The invited papers were:
“Applied Statistics as a growth engine for statistics programs” by Chris Wild;
“Technological Literacy and Statistics Education: A call for thought and
research” by Rob Gould;
“On becoming a statistician” by Peter Petocz;
“Statistical cartoons: The role of graphics in understanding statistics” by
“Experience first, logic later” by Larry Weldon;
“What lies beneath: Inventing new wheels out of old” by Michael Martin.
All the invited and contributed papers gave rise to lively discussions, as did
the two forums with panels of the invited speakers leading the discussions. A
report on the two forums will be posted on the OZCOTS website.
A statistical education presence during the ASC was also provided by Helen
MacGillivray’s invited paper on “Building foundations for statistician
education” on the day before OZCOTS. This paper was well attended and lead to
considerable post-paper discussion and interest.
Delegates enjoyed a convivial and lively conference dinner overlooking the river
and Melbourne’s lights, with entertainment provided by local balladeer
extraordinary, Peter Martin. Calls for an encore were satisfied by a repeat
performance at the close of the Conference after the forum on “Where to from
here?” As a measure of the success of OZCOTS 2008 and the enjoyment expressed by
delegates, we are already investigating holding an OZCOTS in association with
the next ASC in Perth, 6th-10th December 2010.
Contributed by Helen MacGillivray
A report from the
Satellite Meeting on Teaching/Learning Statistics
A one-day meeting on teaching/learning statistics took place on 24th
June 2008 at the Università della Calabria (Italy) as a Satellite of the XLIV
Scientific Meeting of the Italian Statistical Society (SIS). The audience was
formed by about 60 persons, both school teachers and students of the School for
pre-service teachers training in mathematics of Calabria. The Satellite title
was: “Statistics in nowadays school curricula …for the citizens of the future”.
This was also the title of the Round table held at the beginning of the meeting.
The Round table speakers put in evidence the importance of the basic notions of
statistics and demography for present and future citizens (D. Cocchi, SIS
President; A. Zuliani, past ISTAT President, G. de Bartolo Univ. della
Calabria), the research carried on by the Italian group on Statistics education
research (A.M. Milito, Univ. of Palermo), the ongoing activities of the
university statisticians within the School for pre-service teachers training in
mathematics, particularly in northern Italy. (S. Rigatti Luchini, Univ. of
Padua) and the importance of statistics information for managing both a single
school and the school system at large (G. Benincasa, Regional School Office of
Calabria). Evidence was also given to the engagement of the ISTAT Regional
Office of Calabria for the promotion of statistical literacy in the region
through a series of initiatives some of which involving schools and the others
the “Università della Calabria. The Secretary of the UMI - Italian Mathematical
Union (G. Anichini) - presented the nucleus “Data and prevision” of the project
“Mathematics for citizens”, a project carried on in collaboration among UMI and
SIS. A statistics school counsellor (G. Laganà) gave information about her
experiences in statistics education in some school of the region, enlightening
both interdisciplinary and communicative aspects of the discipline. The
assessment in mathematics and in statistics was the object of two presentations,
one concerning the activities of the Italian assessment institute (Invalsi) (M.
P. Perelli, Invalsi Group on assessment items) and the other concerning the
Italian results in the Pisa project (R. Ricci, (National Agency for School
Development - ANSAS). The final part of the meeting enlightened a training
project of in-service mathematics secondary school teachers carried out by the
Italian Ministry of Education together with the Regional Education Offices, the
ANSAS and the two scientific associations: UMI and SIS. The project named
email@example.com is a blended – online and in presence – training activity based on a
number of didactical units – 8 of which also pertain to the “data and
previsions” nucleus – uploaded on the ANSAS platform. According to the project
protocol, this is a peer-to-peer training activity, where each senior teacher
(tutor) instructs about 15 junior teachers. The activity of the firstname.lastname@example.org project
in Calabria was presented by two tutors (A. Canonico, secondary school, low
level and S. Cutrona, secondary school, high level). Their presentation was
enlivened by some 12-13 year old students, who showed how they used the basic
notion of statistics to do a survey on “bullism” in their school. They were able
to follow the entire cycle of statistical research and reasoning from the
definition of the problem to be investigated, the building up of the
questionnaire, the collection and analyses of data to the reply to the posed
problem. The Satellite was organised by the Local Organising Committee of the
XLIV Scientific Meeting of the ISI, the Scientific Committee was formed by M.
Gabriella Ottaviani, S. Rigatti Luchini, M. Marozzi. The Satellite was supported
by the Regional School Office of Calabria.
Data and Context in Statistics Education: Towards an Evidence-Based Society
Ljubljana, Slovenia, 11-16 July 2010
The 2010 International Conference on Teaching Statistics will be held in the
city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 11-16 July. It is being organised by the IASE and
the Slovenian Statistical Association. The venue will be the Ljubljana Cultural
and Congress Centre.
Statistics educators, statisticians, teachers and educators at large are invited
to contribute to the scientific programme. Types of contribution include invited
papers, contributed papers and posters. No person may author more than one
Invited Paper at the conference, although the same person can be co-author of
more than one paper, provided each paper is presented by a different person.
Voluntary refereeing procedures will be implemented for ICOTS 8. Details of how
to prepare manuscripts, the refereeing process and final submission arrangements
will be announced later.
• Anuska Ferligoj, University of Ljubljana
• Gerd Gigerenzer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development
• Cliff Konold, University of Massachusetts
• Hans Rosling, Karolinska Institutet
• Jessica Utts, University of California
Invited Paper Sessions are organized within 10 Conference Topics as follows.
Session themes within each Topic are currently being discussed. The themes
and Session organizers with e-mail contact are available on the ICOTS 8 website
“Scientific Programme”. Those interested in submitting an invited paper should
contact the appropriate Session Organiser before 1st December 2008.
It is important to know that all participants have to register for the
Conference. Details about the registration procedure will be given later.
If requested, the IASE is normally happy to give permission for authors to
submit their papers (or a more comprehensive version) to other journals. If this
occurs the author must seek approval of the Editors of the ICOTS 8 Proceedings
and the IASE President. The paper must have an acknowledgement saying "This
article was written for, and published in, the ICOTS 8 Proceedings and is
reprinted (in revised form, if relevant) here with the permission of the IASE".
More information, including the first notice is available from the ICOTS 8
website at http://icots8.org/,
which will continue to be updated over the next three years, or from the ICOTS
IPC Chair John Harraway, (email@example.com), the Programme Chair,
Roxy Peck (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the
Scientific Secretary, Helen MacGillivray (email@example.com).
Teaching statistics session at Applied Statistics 2008
Statistical Society of Slovenia organizes annual international conferences
named Applied Statistics. The Conferences attract researchers from diverse
fields of statistical application and research ranging from social science
methodology, bio statistics, bioinformatics, data mining, economics and many
others. Each year, we have at least one session of Teaching statistics papers.
The Applied Statistics 2008 Conference, which was organized from 21-24 September
at the small village of Ribno near Lake Bled, attracted more than 110
participants from 27 countries. On the last day of the Conference, an excellent
session of four contributions from the teaching statistics field were presented:
• Improvements in Teaching Statistics in Slovenian Secondary Schools (Drobnic
Vidic A. and Pustovrh S., Slovenia) reported about the project in which
statistics and other topics will be combined to improve the teaching of
• How to Research the Effectiveness of Constructivist Statistics Education? An
approach Based on Reproducible Computing (Wessa P., Belgium) presented a newly
developed computing platform that enables the students to interact, experiment
and collaborate in a e-learning environment.
• Generating Tests Using R and LaTeX (Lusa L., Slovenia) presented a simple, yet
effective, way for production of individualized test.
• Statistics101: an Extended Implementation of the Resampling Stats language
(Vidmar G., Slovenia) showed the potential of resampling for teaching.
The session was well attended, gathering more than 25 highly interested
participants. The abstracts and presenters’ addresses are available at
1. Government Statistical Offices and
Statistical Literacy: Invitation to participate in the ISLP book
Figure 1: Cover page of the book
Many of you will be surprised to see the ISLP
concerned about national statistical offices. Perhaps you will be even more
surprised to know that most of the authors of the book, which is the subject of
this section, work for government statistical offices and, at the same time, are
members of the advisory board of the ISLP. However, you should not be surprised
to see the ISLP writing about and working with government. The ISLP is a project
of the ISI, and therefore it promotes and encourages the efforts of every
Section and member of the ISI to promote statistical literacy. Whether you are
in the IAOS, IASS, TIES, IASC, ISBIS, IASE, Bernoulli Society or IFC audience,
if you want your work to have impact on the world, you benefit directly or
indirectly from the efforts of national statistical offices to make the public
The cover is shown in Figure 1. The inspiration to
write the book came from the efforts made years ago by Reija Helenius of
Statistics Finland and the former coordinator of the ISLP web page, Carol
Blumberg, to conduct a survey of national statistical offices and statistical
societies to see what they were doing regarding statistical literacy of the
public. Their efforts became a set of web pages containing summaries of all
those efforts at that time. We have been updating these pages, but you probably
can tell us how accurate they are. Visit
http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/programs and let us know whether
your country is accurately represented.
With the book, we want to provide more detailed descriptions of the programs
that have been most successful in promoting statistical literacy and that are
still active. You will find four types of Statistical Offices described in the
book: Those that had a program but discontinued it; those that never started
one; and those that have a small applet or a small interactive item on their
website that could not be called a “program” per se, but that raises the
public’s awareness and understanding. Where they exist, programs are useful for
educating the public in basic summary statistics, data and statistical graphics.
The material from the book was presented by ISLP
board member Mary Townsend of Statistics Canada at the American Statistical
Association meeting in Denver, USA, in August 2008.
Figure 2: Mary Townsend, Statistics
Canada, presenting the ISLP book at the American Statistical Association meeting
in Denver, Colorado, USA, August 2008.
Please send us a description of any programs or
projects not mentioned on the ISLP web pages or in the book. Your contribution
will be greatly appreciated and will be included in the book.
2. Deadline approaching: Call for
nominations for the Best Cooperative Project in Statistical Literacy
28th February 2009 is the deadline to
submit nominations for the Best Cooperative Project in Statistical Literacy. The
Award will go to the best project that satisfies the eligibility requirements
http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/bestproject as decided by a panel
of international judges.
Director of the ISLP
International Association of Survey Statisticians
Heeringa, Scientific Secretary IASS, Institute for Social Research
426 Thompson St.,
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
Tel: +1 734 647-4621
do Nascimento Silva, President, IASS, Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute,
University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, U.K. Tel: +44-23-80597169
I have recently attended the ISI Council meeting in Denver. A brief report on
these appears here. It was a good opportunity to engage
with the ISI Executive, Council members and Presidents of the other ISI Sections
in very fruitful discussions regarding the future of the ISI as well as
considering and developing joint activities. A few immediate results include:
• The appointment of IASS Council member Shyam Upadhyaya (Nepal) to represent
IASS in a task force led by ISI Vice-President Vijayan Nair that will look into
ways of improving the ISI Newsletter.
• The appointment of IASS webmaster Eric Rancourt to represent IASS in a task
force led by ISI Vice-President Vijayan Nair that will look into ways of
improving the ISI website.
• The appointment of a small IASS task force lead by council member Kathryn
Inglis-Clark (Australia), with assistance from colleagues at the Australian
Bureau of Statistics and Statistics Canada, to assist the ISI in improving the
survey instruments being planned for assessing the forthcoming ISI Session in
Durban. This work shall build up on a previous survey instrument applied shortly
after the Lisboa Session by the previous ISI Executive and ISI Permanent Office.
A brief note with comments on potential improvements to the structure of ISI
Sessions was prepared and sent to ISI Vice-President Stephan Morgenthaler, based
on my experience as Chair of the ISI Programme Coordinating Committee for the
Programme of short courses
IASS Scientific Secretary Steve Heeringa is
currently busy preparing the programme of short courses to be offered before the
ISI Session in South Africa in 2009. Steve reports on the status of the
programme in the sequence.
The IASS Nominations Committee, charged with
preparing the 2009 elections for the renewal of officers in the Executive and
Council of the Association, has been formally appointed. It is chaired by
Cynthia Clark (United States of America), and includes six other members,
Dennis Trewin (Australia), Luigi Biggeri (Italy), Gad Nathan (Israel), Jelke
Bethlehem (The Netherlands), Gordon Brackstone (Canada), and Seppo Laaksonen
IPMs organised or co-sponsored by the
Preparations continue for the IPMs organised or
co-sponsored by the IASS during the 2009 meetings in Durban under the leadership
of council member Leyla Mohadjer. The full list of topics for IPM sessions is
available from the 2009 ISI Session website:
The 2009 edition of the Cochran-Hansen prize
The deadline (29th December 2008) is
approaching fast for submission of entries to the 2009 edition of the
Cochran-Hansen prize. This competition is open for young survey statisticians
from Developing and Transitional Countries. The prize was instituted in
celebration of the 25th anniversary of the IASS and is to be awarded
every two years to the best paper on survey research methods submitted by a
young statistician, a national of a developing or transitional country who is
also living in such a country and who was born in 1967 or later. If you know of
worthy contributions, please encourage and support the authors in presenting
their papers to take part in the forthcoming edition of this prestigious award.
Papers submitted must be unpublished original
works. They may include material from the participant's university thesis. They
should be in either English or French. Papers for consideration should be
submitted to the IASS Secretariat at the address below to arrive by 29th
December 2008. Each submission should be accompanied by a cover letter that
gives the participant's year of birth, nationality, and country of residence.
The cover letter must also indicate if the work submitted is the result of a PhD
thesis and, in the case of joint papers, the prize candidate must state clearly
what his/her contribution to the paper is.
IASS council member Paul-André Salamin chairs the
Cochran-Hansen Prize Committee. The papers submitted will be examined by the
Cochran-Hansen Prize Committee. The decision of the Committee is final.
The winner of the Prize will be invited to present
his/her paper at the 57th Session of the International Statistical Institute to
be held in Durban, South Africa, 16-22 August 2009, and his/her name will be
announced at the ISI General Assembly in Durban. The author of the winning paper
will receive the Cochran-Hansen Prize in the form of books and journal
subscriptions to the value of about € 500, and will have reasonable travel and
living expenses paid in order to present the paper at the ISI Session in Durban.
For further information regarding submissions,
Madame Claude Olivier
International Association of Survey Statisticians
CEFIL-INSEE, 3 rue de la Cité, 33500 Libourne, France
Tel: +33 5 57 55 56 17
Fax: +33 5 57 55 56 20
The IASS is keen to welcome new members, both
individual and institutional. The registration form for individual members can
be found on our website: http://isi.cbs.nl/iass/. For
organizations wishing to join, please contact our Executive Director, Michel
Peronnet (see address).
The IASS has developed a preliminary program of
seven short courses to be offered before the 2009 ISI Session in Durban, South
Africa. In response to a call for proposals published in the January 2008 issue
of the Survey Statistician, IASS members submitted five proposals for new short
course offerings. The IASS Executive reviewed the five new proposals along with
eight traditional short courses on topics such as sampling, variance estimation,
editing and imputation and survey quality that have been presented in
association with past biennial meetings of the ISI. In this review of potential
topics for 2009, special emphasis was placed on short courses that IASS members
from African countries felt are needed and would most benefit from attending. We
consulted with Statistics South Africa and the local organizers, seeking their
advice on the choice of course topics.
The seven selected short courses will be offered
over two two-day sessions, 12-13 August 2009 or 14-15 August 2009. The following
table lists the sessions, course topics and the instructors who have volunteered
to present each short course.
Preliminary Schedule of IASS Short Courses for the
2009 ISI Durban Session
Session/Course - Volunteer Instructors
IASS Session 1: 12-13 Aug 2009
Editing and Imputation - John Kovar, Eric Rancourt
Business Survey Design - Wesley Yung, Michael Hidiroglou
Sample Design - Colm O'Muircheartaigh, Steve Heeringa
IASS Session 2: 14-15 Aug 2009
Survey Quality - Paul Biemer
Seasonal Adjustment of Data - Craig McLaren, Dominique Ladiray, Benoit
Analysis of Complex Sample Data - Jay Breidt, Wayne Fuller, Kirk Wolter
Small Area Estimation - Jon Rao, Isabel Molina
ISI and IASS members who are planning their travel
itinerary for the 2009 ISI meetings in Durban should note that in order to
control the costs of the short course venues, at least one of the course
sessions might be held in South African government training facilities in
Pretoria or Johannesburg. Final negotiations with the Local Organizing Committee
on course venues are ongoing. We hope to have a final decision to announce
before 1st November 2008. Please keep an eye on the IASS website, where further
details will be posted as the program evolves. Steve Heeringa, IASS Scientific
Secretary, will be coordinating this activity, in close liaison with the Local
Hosts in South Africa. If at any time you have questions or concerns about the
2009 IASS short courses, please do not hesitate to contact Steve directly at
Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics
Mr. Manuel Marfán, Member of the Board,
Central Bank of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 670 2583, Fax: +56 2 670 2915
Mr. Christian Dembiermont, Monetary and
Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements, Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 280 8313, Fax: +41 61 280 9100
Ms. Madeleine Op't Hof, Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for
International Settlements, Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 280 8335, Fax: +41 61 280 9100
51 of the IFC’s 64 institutional members were represented at the annual
Committee meeting in Basel on 25th August 2008. Mr. Manuel Marfán,
Board Member of the Central Bank of Chile, was elected as the new IFC Chair. In
addition, the Committee elected 3 new Executive members (from the central banks
of Austria, Poland and the Philippines) and a Vice-Chair (from the ECB). It also
reviewed past IFC activities and decided on priorities for future work.
Fourth IFC Conference
The fourth IFC Conference took place on 26th and 27th
August 2008 in Basel. The Conference focused on “Measuring financial innovation
and its impact”. As at the previous three IFC Conferences, about 150 central
bank economists and statisticians from around the world participated. 38 papers
were presented. The Conference concluded with a panel discussion on data issues
revealed by the recent financial turmoil. Participants exchanged views and
shared national experiences in lively and fruitful discussions. The results of
the Conference will be published in the next IFC Bulletin.
The 28th issue of the IFC Bulletin, which contains the papers
presented at the IFC-sponsored meetings at the 56th ISI Session in
Lisboa in August 2007, has recently been published. Future bulletins will
contain the results of IFC-sponsored workshops on surveys and securities
The IFC also encourages the publication of analytical work on topical
statistical issues of interest to the international central banking community,
in addition to that presented at various IFC meetings. Analysis by experts of
the Committee's institutional members as well as by other analysts, including
outside the central banking community, can be submitted for publication in the
IFC Working Paper series. More information on the criteria and review process is
available on the IFC website
The IFC's Contribution to ISI Sessions
The IFC will sponsor or co-sponsor 7 IPMs for the 57th ISI Session in Durban
in 2009. Furthermore, the IFC has identified topics for possible CPMs, some of
which might be of particular relevance for the African region. The Committee
will also organise a seminar with central banks from the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) prior to the start of the ISI Session. The topic of
the seminar is “Economic and financial convergence en route to economic
integration: Experience, prospects and statistical issues”.
International Society for Business and Industrial
Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi
Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences (SID)
ESSEC Business School Paris
Avenue Bernard Hirsch, B.P. 50105
95021 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, France
Tel: +33-1-3443-3656; Fax: +33-1-3443-3691
Suite 251, 184 Blues Point Road
McMahons Point NSW 2060 Australia
Tel: +61 2 9922-1623; Fax: +61 2 9922-1635
The International Society for Business and Industrial Statistics was formed with
the aim of facilitating the advancement and exchange of knowledge in business,
financial and industrial statistics. ISBIS does this by promoting research and
applications, and best practice; by enabling technology transfer; and by
fostering communication amongst its members. ISBIS seeks to promote the value of
statistics to business and industry and to support enabling activities,
particularly in lesser developed countries. The objectives of the ISBIS are:
• to promote the advancement and exchange of knowledge in business, financial
and industrial statistics;
• to build international collaboration among statisticians and users of
statistics working in business, finance and industry;
• to exchange ideas and information at an international level through
conferences, workshops and publications;
• to encourage links between statisticians for developing and developed
• to develop and promote relationships among national and regional professional
societies or groups involved in activities related to business, financial and
As already announced in previous ISI Newsletters in
February and in
has developed a Four-year Plan of activities for the period 2007-2011. These
activities refer to the following areas: Membership, Meetings and Activities,
Publications, Website, Links to other Societies, Governance. The complete plan
of goals and activities can be found on the ISBIS website,
The priorities for the remaining part of the first year of the Plan mainly focus
on: attracting new members via meetings, activities and direct recruitment;
establishing a group for Young Statisticians (y-BIS); running international
conferences and regional meetings (see details below on ISBIS-2008 and
CAPS-2008); organizing invited paper sessions for the ISI Session in Durban;
developing principles and guidelines for continuing education; contributing to
the further development of the Wiley Journal “Applied Stochastic Models in
Business and Industry”, the official ISBIS journal, by preparing special issues
with outstanding peer reviewed papers from the ISBIS conferences and by
promoting the Journal among the ISBIS community so as to encourage the
submission of papers on the themes of interest to ISBIS; revising and updating
the ISBIS website; involving prospective partner organizations in ISBIS
conferences and activities; developing appropriate processes for electing
Honorary Life Members.
Please contact the ISBIS editorial address or Nicholas Fisher, the ISBIS
President, if you wish to join ISBIS and actively contribute to any of the
In this issue of the ISI Newsletter, we want to focus on one of the major and
most innovative activities included in the ISBIS Plan: Establishing a group for
Young Statisticians (y-BIS).
A group for young professionals in ISBIS
Dear Young Statisticians,
Imagine your ideal professional society: What sorts of things would it provide
for you? How would it help you pursue a rewarding and enjoyable career?
Now is your chance to help create something close to your ideal, in
collaboration with young professionals right around the world. You might be a
student, or a faculty member, or someone who has started out on a career in
business or industry or possibly even in some Government department. If you are
interested in Business, Financial Services or Industry, as a researcher,
employee or consultant, y-BIS is for you!
However, you need to participate in helping to establish this group by telling
the ISBIS Council what you want. We don’t know!
At the recent ISBIS-2008 Meeting in Prague, we held a meeting of young people
and set up a small network of representatives in different regions of the world
to collect information and send it to us.
The ISBIS Executive and Council will discuss what can be done to implement what
the network has developed, and provide a response to the network. Then, we will
develop a process to have y-BIS up and running by early 2009.
Please send your ideas and suggestions to Nicholas Fisher (ISBIS President) at:
ISBIS sponsors the 2008 International Conference on Applied Probability and
Statistics (with emphasis in Business and Industrial Statistics). CAPS-2008 will
be held at the Press Club in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 1-3 December 2008.
CAPS-2008 aims to promote practical applications of probability and statistics,
particularly in business and industry, and to strengthen international relations
among researchers in these areas. Contributed papers to the Conference can be on
Applied Probability or any area of Statistics. The Conference is of interest
both to researchers and to practitioners from business and industry.
CAPS-2008's confirmed keynote and invited speakers include Nick Fisher (ISBIS
President), Vijay Nair (University of Michigan, USA), D.K.J. Lin (Penn State
University, USA), and Pham Gia Thu (University of Moncton, Canada).
There will be an ISBIS Workshop on Statistics for Business and Industry on 30th
Call for papers and other useful information can be downloaded from:
If you are interested in attending the CAPS-2008, please express your interest
EURISBIS’09: 30 May-3 June 2009
Cagliari, Sardinia Island, Italy www.eurisbis09.it
The European Regional Meeting of the International Society for Business and
Industrial Statistics (EURISBIS’09) will take place in Cagliari (Sardinia
Island, Italy) on 30 May-3 June 2009.
The International Association for Statistical Computing (IASC, a Section of the
ISI) will be a Participating Organisation in this meeting.
EURISBIS’09 themes will be related to Quantitative Methods for Banking and
Finance, Environment, Quality of Services for SMEs, Transport and Tourism.
The EURISBIS’09 International Scientific Program Committee is co-chaired by:
Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi, ESSEC Business School of Paris, France -
Nicholas Fisher, ValueMetrics, Australia
Francesco Mola, University of Cagliari, Italy firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for paper submission: 15th January 2009.
Call for papers and other useful information can be downloaded from:
ISBIS Invited Paper Meetings for the 57th ISI Session in Durban, South Africa
(16-22 August 2009)
ISBIS has a significant share of the Scientific Program at the 57th Session of
the International Statistical Institute in Durban, South Africa, 16-22 August
ISBIS Regional Conference
Stellenbosch, South Africa
24-26 August 2009
ISBIS is organizing a Regional Meeting in Stellenbosch (South Africa) as a
Satellite Meeting of the 57th Session of the International Statistical
For further enquiries, please contact Tertius De Wet at:
ISBIS-2010: International Symposium for Statistics in Business and Industry
July 2010 in Dubrovnik, Croatia
The next biennial ISBIS international conference will be held in Dubrovnik,
Croatia, in early July 2010.
Stefan Steiner (email@example.com) from the University of Waterloo (Canada)
will chair the scientific program committee.
For further enquiries, please contact Nicholas Fisher (ISBIS President) at:
One of the objectives of ISBIS is to develop and promote relationships among
national and regional organizations involved in activities similar to those of
With this in mind, ISBIS is sponsoring the 6th International Conference on
Partial Least Squares and Related Methods taking place in Beijing, China, 4-7
September 2009. More details at: www.pls09.org.
The address of the official ISBIS website is www.isbis.org. This is the place to
look for up-to-date information on the activities of ISBIS including a
member-only zone with electronic access to the ASMBI-Journal, list of members,
papers from past conferences and much more.
For further information on the website, or suggestions for its content, please
contact Yves Grize (ISBIS President-Elect) at:
ISBIS membership is open to all individuals and organisations with a
professional interest in any aspect of business, financial and industrial
statistics. Please visit the ISBIS website (www.isbis.org) for details about
membership, activities, and other information.
If you are already a member of the ISI and one of its Sections, you can add
ISBIS to your membership for a small fee by sending an e-mail to Mrs. Margaret
de Ruiter-Molloy in the ISI Office (@cbs.nl)
In recent years, many Australian universities have downsized or closed their
Mathematics and Statistics Department. According to the management of those
Universities, the main reason for such drastic action is low enrolment, and
hence not cost effective. The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is the
latest on the list to significantly reduce the number of mathematics and
statistics academic staff and close down of the professional masters program, as
well as placing the mathematics/statistics major under review.
The Realising Our Potential (ROP) project of USQ started in July 2007, and
its draft proposals were rolled out in March 2008. The Faculty of Sciences was
asked to save $1.5 million in 2009 by cutting 15 positions. In the final plan,
11 of these were decided to be from the Department of Mathematics and Computing.
Within the Department, 3 Mathematics and 2 Statistics positions were made
redundant. However, one liaison Math/Stat and one Consultant Statistics position
were created under the new strategic plan.
According to the latest reports, no forced redundancy will be required, as a
sufficient number of academic staff applied for voluntary redundancy. The most
prominent among the leaving academics is the founding Professor of Mathematics
at USQ, Anthony (Tony) Roberts, who has already accepted a professorship at the
Adelaide University, Australia.
Some of the universities that reduced the size of Math/Stat Departments in
Australia are now trying to rebuild them. The University of Newcastle and
Finders University are among them. USQ’s current initiative is in sharp contrast
with these new developments.
The Australian Mathematics Society (AMS) conducted a review of Math/Stat
teaching in Australia in 2005. This was to identify the reasons for drop of
enrolment in Math/Stat area at Australian universities and recommend solutions
to turnaround the situation. The AMS is still concerned about maintaining
Australia’s research and scientific capabilities in line with the other leading
President of AMS, Professor Peter Hall, and his team have worked very hard to
take the matter to the politicians to gain more funding for Math/Stat
teaching/learning and research in the light of the review report. As a
consequence, the previous Federal Government increased funding for Math/Stat
education along with Science education in general. The current Government
appears to have shown more support for the same by providing additional
incentives for Math/Stat education. The Government has introduced tax relief
measures for would-be Math/Stat teachers.
Local politicians and national professional bodies made requests to the
management of USQ not to proceed with the staff and program cutting measures.
Many submissions reached the management from renowned academics from all over
the world. The website opened by Professor Terry Tao of UCLA, USA, drew
considerable international attention in support of the Math/Stat programs at
USQ. His Australian origin and connections made his role more relevant to
promote the discipline.
At the end, some people believe that the level of reduction of staff could
have been achieved by natural attrition, retirement and resignation, without
going through the agonising process of ROP. The reputation of USQ has been
seriously undermined during this process. The adverse affect on the academics
has been obvious and far reaching. The uncertainty has directly affected the
morale and professional spirit of everyone concerned.
The University is now trying to counter the negative publicity by promising new
generic science programs that would include Math/Stat area. Though, it will take
some time before things make any turn for the better. With fewer staff in the
Department, it will be a big challenge for the remaining staff to maintain an
appropriate level of academic support for students and at the same time develop
and run new programs.
Shahjahan Khan, PhD
Department of Mathematics & Computing
University of Southern Queensland
A workshop on manufacturing statistics with the special emphasis on the
business register was organized by the UN Statistics Division and NSO Brazil
(IBGE) in the Secretariat of the Andean Community, Lima, Peru, on 19-22 August
2008. Other contributors of the workshop were UNIDO Statistics and Statistics
Canada. The workshop was attended by statisticians from 13 countries of Latin
America and the Caribbean region as well as the Secretariat of the Andean
Statistics Canada presented a comprehensive description of source and methods of
the business register, which was regarded as a model in the workshop. The main
advantage of this model was that it integrated the hierarchy of a business unit
such as an enterprise, company, establishment and local unit, including cost
unit and profit unit. Such a register is easy to use in any kind of business, no
matter whether the statistical unit is an enterprise or an establishment. The
register is updated with the administrative data from the single source –
revenue authority, which specifies the importance of one window system in
business and reporting system.
UNIDO made the presentation based on its experience of technical assistance
projects in a number of developing countries. The presentation described the
application of three different methods namely Blank Slate method, RMES method
(Result of matching with external sources) and Continuous updating method. RMES
attracted particular attention of participants because most of the developing
countries, including those in Latin American, do not have the single
administrative data source for updating the business register. RMES envisages
the collection of registry data from all possible sources and produces a list of
unduplicated units based on the maximum likelihood index. The list compiled is
imported to the business register database for its updating.
Earlier, a regional workshop on new International recommendations for industrial
statistics 2008 and International standard industrial classification Revision-4
was conducted in Amman in May under the joint auspicious of the Arab Institute
for Training and Research in Statistics and UNIDO Statistics. These workshops
are conducted within the framework of implementation programme of new
international standards of industrial statistics. In recent years, the UN
Statistics Commission (UNSC) has endorsed the series of new recommendations
related to industrial statistics, such as International Standard of Industrial
Classification of all economic activities Revision 4, International
recommendations of Industrial Statistics 2008 and the System of National
Accounts. In its 39th session held in 2008, UNSC also approved the
implementation programme of new recommendations to be carried out by UNSD in
cooperation with UNIDO.
and Technologies for Statistics Conference –
Brussels, 18-20 February 2009
The NTTS (New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics) seminar is
an international scientific conference on the impact of new
technologies on statistical collection, production and dissemination
systems. The Conference is intended to stimulate and facilitate the
preparation of new innovative projects, to encourage co-operation
and possible building of consortia by researchers with the aim of
enhancing the quality and usefulness of official statistics. The
main scope is to facilitate the relationship between official
statisticians and researchers, in order to favour the proliferation
of networking and ideas. This new NTTS Conference will carry on the
tradition of the NTTS/ETK Conferences, which have been organised in
1992, 1995, 1998 and 2001. NTTS 2009 will be held in Brussels from
18th to 20th February 2009 in the Charlemagne building of the
European Commission. Submission of abstracts is now open until 4th
November; instructions and the submission form are available on the
Conference website: http://www.ntts2009.eu;
NTTS 2009 Secretariat
IIMA International Conference on Advanced Data Analysis, Business
Analytics and Intelligence
The Call for Papers
for the 1st IIMA International Conference on Advanced
Data Analysis, Business Analytics and Intelligence to be held at the
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India on 6-7 June 2009
can be found at:
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/icadabai2009/. You are welcome
to submit a research paper, case study or applications.