|Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability|
|International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)|
|Standing Committee on Regional and Urban Statistics (SCORUS)|
|International Association for Statistical Computing (IASC)|
|International Association for Statistics Education (IASE)|
|International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP)|
|International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS)|
|Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics (IFC)|
|International Society for Business and Industrial Statistics (ISBIS)|
|Newsletter Volume 32, Number 2 (95) 2008|
David Kendall passed away on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007, at the age of 89. (obituary)
Professor David Kendall
David was heavily involved in the formation of the Bernoulli Society, and its activities were always a matter of great interest to him. The International Association for Statistics in the Physical Sciences (IASPS) had been conceived by Jerzy Neyman to systematically study statistical problems raised by applications in the physical sciences and in 1961, the association became a vital section within the International Statistical Institute (ISI). David's election in 1973 as President of IASPS was a clear sign of the worldwide recognition of his scientific contributions to the physical sciences. However, at that time, he could hardly know the role he would be playing in the creation of the Bernoulli Society. When David started his office, he quickly realized that it was increasingly difficult for IASPS to constrain its activities purely to the physical sciences. Many other applications of stochastic thinking suggested the creation of an opening to the universal nature of this methodology. It was his dream to gear the society into this broader assignment.
The desire of IASPS to broaden its interests was linked to the wishes of two other groups: firstly, the European Statisticians (ES) (Chair Jim Durbin) that had been active within the US-based Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), but wanted to acquire more independence. Secondly, the Stochastic Processes Committee (CCSP) (Chair Jef L. Teugels), created in 1972 at the initiative of Julian Keilson that was looking for a more international umbrella for its activities. Kendall quickly realized that a transformation of IASPS would be among the best possible solutions for most, if not all, of these aspirations. Early in July 1974, he was ready with a first draft of the necessary changes to the IASPS statutes. After some cosmetic changes, Kendall's proposal was accepted by the CCSP in June 1974 by the ES in August 1974 and then by the ISI Bureau on September 4th, 1974. After the final approval by the membership of IASPS, the association ceased to exist on June 10th, 1975, and was immediately reconstituted into the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability.
I vividly remember how David Kendall transferred the presidential responsibilities to his successor David Blackwell during the ISI-session in September 1975 in Warsaw. Since he was very proud of his successful achievement, he often insisted that he should be referred to as the first President of the Bernoulli Society. David also remained a key person in the creation and the later activities of the Committee for Statistics in the Physical Sciences, started within the Bernoulli Society in Warsaw, to take care that the original interests of IASPS would not go astray within the broader mission of the Bernoulli Society.
Apart from his vital role in the above history, David will be often remembered for two other initiatives. In 1974, Kendall contacted Peter Ferdinand Bernoulli-Stiffler, a chemist living in Basel, Switzerland, with the request to the Bernoulli family to allow the society the use of elements of the Bernoulli family's coat of arms. This is the reason for the argent and vert colors on all of the Bernoulli stationery. Also, Peter Bernoulli offered a book to Kendall with the history and genealogy of the Bernoulli family. At the end of his/her presidency, the outgoing president signs the book and passes it on to the incoming president at the ISI-session. As David candidly remarked, there was an ample supply of blank sheets in the book, proving in a nutshell his wish for a bright and long future for a society that was very dear to his heart.
A number of decisions were taken during a fruitful joint meeting of the Executive Committee and of the Council, which was held in Aachen (Germany) in March. One is a tentative collaboration with national mathematical or statistical societies. The objective is to enhance our visibility and attractiveness, at a time when actual membership to a scientific society is no longer perceived as important as it used to be. To begin with, only attempts toward a limited number of countries will be made, but if this succeeds, we might enlarge considerably the scope of these collaborations in the near future. The second and I think most important point is the decision to support a project called “Distance Mentoring in Statistics” put forward by Arnoldo Frigessi, and whose aim is a web-based tutoring programme for Ph.D. students in developing countries. This project is not yet completely finalized, especially as to the concrete form it might take, but the main idea is that Ph.D. students in statistics would, if wanted, have a tutor (a senior statistician or probabilist) in a developed country. This tutor will not do supervision in the traditional sense, but will help the student in finding and accessing relevant scientific material and software, in suggesting journals for publication and conferences or workshop to attend, and in giving information for CVs and the job market. This list is by no means exhaustive. If this project works out, as I strongly hope it will, then we shall need the collaboration of a number of senior people: there is, of course, no need to be a Bernoulli Society member to become a tutor, but we hope that many of our members will volunteer for this. Contact Arnoldo Frigessi (email@example.com) if you wish to support the start phase of the project.
Another point is our relations with the IMS. I had several exchanges with Jianqing Fan, its present president, and furthermore, its Present-Elect. Nanny Wermuth has been invited to participate in a part of our meeting in Aachen, something that will probably be reciprocated in the future. These cross participations are, in my opinion, a concrete expression of the desire of both societies to tighten their relations and enhance their collaboration (which already is quite intense) in sponsoring the organization of meetings and publications. By no means, and this is clear in all the discussions we had so far with officials of the IMS, does this imply any sort of institutional link and a fortiori of tentative merge. It is quite clear that both societies are retaining their own characteristics and aims. It does imply, however, more collaboration for the benefit of the entire community of statisticians and probabilists.
As you all know, our next (and big) Society event will be the World Congress in Probability and Statistics, in Singapore, July 14-19 (don’t forget to register!): The programme is very exciting, and I hope that I will see many of you on this occasion.
The new members for the CCSP section are:
Marta Sanz-Solé is chair of CCSP, also in charge of the liaison with IMS special lectures committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bernoulli Society endorses Statistics Surveys, which is a new electronic journal. Statistics Surveys publishes survey articles in theoretical, computational, and applied statistics. The style of articles may range from reviews of recent research to graduate textbook exposition. Articles may be broad or narrow in scope. The journal may be reached at http://www.i-journals.org/ss/index.php.
In 2007, Bernoulli was able to cut its library
price by 40% to help libraries reduce their costs. To continue to make this
possible, it is important that universities that use Bernoulli do indeed have a
library subscription. You can help! Bernoulli is the only major journal, which
publishes papers from all areas of stochastics and it is the main forum for
papers, which straddle the boundaries between the different specialties of our
science. Bernoulli is the official journal of the Bernoulli Society for
Mathematical Statistics and Probability. It publishes original and significant
research contributions, review papers, and papers on the history of statistics
Holger Rootzén, Editor Bernoulli
In September 2008, EURANDOM will have existed for 10 years; the first postdocs and Ph.D. students arrived in September and October of 1998. EURANDOM is an international Research Institute in the areas of probability, statistics, and stochastic operations research, located on the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) campus. The scientific staff of EURANDOM consists of about 25 postdocs from Europe and abroad, guided by senior scientists, mainly coming from Dutch universities, including TU/e. The research is fundamental as well as application oriented. Some of the application areas are: physics, biology, image analysis, and communication and risk management. Many postdocs find tenured positions after their period of research at EURANDOM at Dutch or international universities and/or at research positions in industry, including banks. EURANDOM is known for its workshops and visitor programs: around 10 workshops per year, with around 400 participants and around 40 visitors a year visit the institute during periods of a few days up to several months. The 10th anniversary will be celebrated with a conference on August 27 and 28, 2008. During this conference the founders of EURANDOM, former postdocs, and keynote speakers from science and industry shall reflect on 10 years of EURANDOM and will look forward to new developments. More information will be given later on www.eurandom.tue.nl. For the moment, we would like to suggest making a reservation in your agenda for these dates.
XIIth Brazilian School of Probability
The XIIth Brazilian School of Probability will be
held at Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil, August 3-9, 2008.
7th World Congress in Probability and Statistics
This conference will be held from July 14-19, 2008,
at the National University of Singapore. See:
There will be 33 invited paper sessions
highlighting topics of current research interest as well as many contributed
talks and posters.
The 27th European Meeting of Statisticians
Forthcoming Conferences on Stochastic Processes and Their Applications (SPA):
33rd 2009 Berlin, Germany, July 27-31, 2009.
Thomas P. Ryan and William H. Woodall, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Maryland, USA, and the Department of Statistics Virginia Tech, USA, suggest these papers as the most cited in statistics:
1. With 25,869 citations (currently cited 1,984 times per year),
When looking only to the last 15 years, so since 1993, the list is as follows:
1. Breslow, N.E. & Clayton, D.G. (1993) Approximate inference in generalized
linear mixed models, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 88, pp.
How many of these papers have you read?
- Soon open for registration
The International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) and the National Bureau of Statistics of China would like to welcome you to the biennial meeting for statisticians from national statistical institutes, international organisations and academies. The theme of the IAOS Conference in Shanghai 2008 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 IAOS on regional and urban statistics.
The conference will soon be open for registration at the conference website: www.iaos2008conf.cn here you can also read more about the conference, accommodation and other practical matters.
The conference covers relevant topics for reshaping official statistics and
there will be both plenary and concurrent sessions. More than 100 paper
proposals have been received from statisticians from around the world. Areas
covered by the conference include:
For further details regarding the programme, please see the conference website under programme at www.iaos2008conf.cn.
ISI Durban 2009
Organisers of IAOS sponsored sessions continue to finalise presenters and
discussants. In this and future Newsletters, I will describe one of the
sessions. This issue's session is the session that Hilkka Vihavainen from
Statistics Norway is organising on administrative data.
More on one of the other sessions, as well as overall progress, in the next Newsletter. In the meantime, if you have any other queries about the ISI Durban Session, please contact email@example.com
The Executive Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of the following Associate Editors for the Statistical Journal of the IAOS (SJIAOS):
Jane F. Gentleman, Ph.D.
Romula A. Virola
Numbers 3,4 of Volume 24 of the SJIOAS were published on 24 April, and the content of this edition is shown below:
P.K. Sharma and J.K.L. Lin
B. Martín Romero
G. Bazley-Smith and R. Hennegan
E. Schulte Nordholt and F. Linder
Member can access the articles published in this edition, and those in the Numbers 1,2 edition, free of charge, at http://www.iospress.nl/loadtop/load.php?isbn=18747655.
Members are strongly encouraged to submit articles to the SJIAOS. For a complete description of the publication’s editorial aims and scope and to obtain instructions for the submission of manuscripts, go to: http://www.iospress.nl/loadtop/load.php?isbn=18747655.
All papers are refereed. Submit your papers for review to the Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Siu-Ming Tam, at Siu-Ming.Tam@abs.gov.au
A meeting of the IAOS Executive was held in the
margins of the UN Statistical Commission in New York in February.
The Executive also discussed: progress with the IAOS web site; reorganising ISI; revitalising IAOS; an ethics declaration; the Statistical Journal. The executive received a financial report which showed the association to be in a healthy position; it agreed to continue with a further prize for best paper for Young Official Statisticians; and discussed possible venues for the next IAOS (2010) Conference.
A copy of the minutes is available from Olav: Olav.Ljones@ssb.no
Official statistics are under constant development and new areas and challenges need to be considered. One example is climate change and official statistics. This was the subject of a three-day conference in Oslo, arranged by UNSD and Eurostat, co-sponsored by World Bank and hosted by Statistics Norway. More information and papers may be found at the web pages http://millenniumindicators.un.org/unsd/climate_change/default.htm
The conference will be followed by an action plan and it is important that the cooperation between Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and official statistics is improved (additional details regarding this conference can be found here).
If you have not looked at it lately you might want to take a look at the IAOS website (http://isi.cbs.nl/iaos). We are able to post news about IAOS more quickly than through this Newsletter, and you fill find links there through to the Shanghai and Durban conferences. Usage of the website has nearly doubled since it was updated. If you have items of interest for our website or ideas as to how it could be developed please contact the Newsletter editor, who is also web editor.
IAOS Conference Shanghai 14 to 16 October 2008
The 26th biennial conference of SCORUS is being held jointly as an integral part of the IAOS conference, helping to foster discussion on the vital relationship between official statistics at the national level and role of local level statistical offices (regional, rural, and urban) as both contributors to and users of official statistics. Integrating these two biennial meetings is especially relevant for addressing the topic of reshaping official statistics. SCORUS is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.
This conference takes place October 14-16, 2008, in Shanghai China and is hosted by the National Bureau of Statistics of China.
SCORUS will be providing a session in each of the concurrent session sections and address three of the major tracks of discussion within the conference. The proposed sessions include:
User Demands for Official Statistics
Measuring well-being in regions and cities
This session discusses different measure of well-being in regions and cities. To understand how people actually experience the quality of their lives, we need better measures of well-being. Objective influential factors on well-being are related to the areas of health, environment, income, nutrition, employment, education, social and democratic participation, physical and financial security. The importance of this subject is reflected in its heavy coverage in the OECD publication "Regions at glance 2007" and the discussion launched in October 2007 at the Regional and Urban Statistics Working Party at Eurostat on finding alternative indicators to “regional GDP per capita”.
Growing demand for regional and urban statistics
Results of recent regional and urban analysis
Methodology and IT
Geographic information system and regional reference system
New approaches to using regional and urban data for policy
Policy and Dissemination
Metropolitan cooperation – challenges and success stories
at the local and global level
Application of urban and regional statistics in Asian
With its focus on the collection and use of official data for sub-national geographies, SCORUS is particularly excited to be holding its 26th biennial conference jointly with IAOS. The members of SCORUS represent local level statisticians who both collect data that feeds into the national level official statistical system (administrative and other) and who make extensive use of official statistics for planning and policy development. The opportunity to discuss aspects of administrative data use, registry based statistics, the use of official statistics, methodological developments and the dissemination and application of data in the collegial atmosphere of a conference is welcome. A clear understanding of the life cycle of official data from conceptualization through collection, organization, analysis, and application from various perspectives is vital to the development and maintenance of a strong official statistical system.
Session in Durban, South Africa
Conference in Riga, Latvia
Session in Dublin, Ireland
Meeting in Galway, Ireland
SCORUS – The International Network for regional and urban statistics
For information on joining the SCORUS listserver or providing suggestions to the leadership group please contact SCORUS Secretary, Wendy Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next COMPSTAT Symposium, International
Conference on Computational Statistics is quickly approaching: it will take
place in August 2008, in Porto, Portugal, locally organized by the Faculty of
Economics of the University of Porto.
The Scientific Programme Committee (SPC) is responsible to the Board of Directors (BoD) of the European Regional Section (ERS) of the International Association for Statistical Computing (IASC) for the scientific content of COMPSTAT'2008 Symposium and, together with the BoD, proposes a list of topics to be used in the Call for Papers and to guide the invitation of session organisers for COMPSTAT'2008.
Scientific Programme Committee
View of Porto
COMPSTAT’2008 Keynote Speakers will be Prof. Peter
Hall (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne,
Australia), Prof. Heikki Mannila (Department of Computer Science, Faculty of
Science, University of Helsinki, Finland) and Prof. Timo Teräsvirta (School of
Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark).
The following topics have been selected for
organized Invited Sessions:
COMPSTAT‘2008 also includes standard Contributed
Paper sessions. These may relate to the Invited Paper sessions, but do not need
to do so. The authors are entitled to choose between oral and poster
presentation. To promote the success of posters, structured dedicated sessions
will be organized where authors are expected to present their work shortly.
The final programme will be
announced no later than July 20th.
For further information, please visit the conference website, www.fep.up.pt/compstat08/.
We all look forward to meeting you in Porto next August!
The Joint Meeting of 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 5th-8th 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. IASC2008 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 conference.
The IASC 2008 International Organizing Committee is
The Scientific Programme Committee is as follows:
Abstract submissions is open
Early registration deadline: August 29th, 2008
For more information, please contact
Organized in co-operation with the "International
Association for Statistical Computing (IASC)", "Society for Computational
Economics" and ERCIM Working Group on "Computing & Statistics"
Co-Chairs: A. Amendola, D. Belsley, E.J. Kontoghiorghes and M. Paolella.
International Programme Committee: G. Barone-Adesi (CH), L. Bauwens (BE), M. Binder (GE), S. Boyarchenko (NL), C. Chen (TW), J. Coakley (UK), C. Croux (BE), R. Davidson (CA), I. Demetriou (GR), K. Fokianos (CY), P. Foschi (IT), C. Francq (FR), A.-M. Fuertes (UK), G. Gallo (IT), M. Gilli (CH), Z. Hlavka (CZ), M. Juillard (FR), G. Kapetanios (UK), D. Kuhn (UK), L. Khalaf (CA), C. Kleiber (CH), O. Linton (UK), A. Luati (IT), T. Lux (GE), J. MacKinnon (CA), D. Maringer (UK), S. Mittnik (GE), I. Moustaki (GR), Y. Omori (JP), M. Ooms (NL), S. Paterlini (IT), D.S.G. Pollock (UK), Z. Psaradakis (UK), T. Proietti (IT), M. Riani (IT), E. Ruiz (ES), B. Rustem (UK), W. Semmler (GE), M. Schroeder (GE), O. Scaillet (CH), S. Siokos (UK), G. Storti (IT), H.K. Van Dijk (NL), M. Wagner (AT), J. Walde (AT), P. Winker (GE), A. Zeileis (AT), Z. Zhang (USA), M. Wolf (CH).
The workshop will take place jointly with the ERCIM
working Group meeting on Computing & Statistics:
Satellite meeting of the 4th IASC World Conference
The workshop will take place at Kyodai Kaikan (Kyoto University Hall) December 10-11, 2008.
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 techniques 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.
Conference web-site: http://poseidon.stat.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/casta/
The COMPSTAT 2010 symposium will take place in
Paris. The meeting is scheduled for August 23rd to 27th,
in the premises of Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), located in
the heart of Paris (http://www.cnam.fr/).
The IASC Programme Committee for the ISI Durban
collected proposals for the invited paper meetings (IPMs) from the IASC members
by the time of ISI Lisboa, and submitted the proposals to the ISI Programme
Coordinating Committee (chaired by Mr. John Kovar, Canada) with their rankings
and the evaluation that all were of great interest to the ISI as well as IASC
• Frontiers of Machine Learning, BS/IASC
• Functional Data Analysis:Theory and Applications, IASC/BS
• Statistics and the Internet for Development in e-Education e-Health and Other
Fields with particular reference to Africa, IASC;
• Statistical Methods for Non Linear Latent Variable Models, IASC
• Statistical Online Monitoring, IASC
• Statistical and Computational Challenges from New Environmental Sensing
• Sensometrics and Chemometrics in Food Industry, IASC
• Statistical Modeling of Multimedia Content, IASC
• Measures of Effectiveness for Distributed Systems, IASC
• Spatial Statistics: Recent Advances in Epidemiological Applications, IASC
• Random Projection for Multimedia Retrieval, IASC
• Capturing Unobserved Heterogeneity in Latent Variable Modeling, ISBIS/IASC
The IASC President, on behalf of the IASC Council and of himself, has expressed his gratitude to Prof. Yutaka Tanaka and Prof. Stanley Azen, who co-chair the IASC Programme Committee for the ISI Durban, for their excellent work. Thirteen IMP’s (sponsored and/or co-sponsored) represents a good result. The same gratitude has been expressed to the other members for their active participation.
Dr. Stanley Azen tells of CSDA.
Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, the
IASC’s official journal, is one the most widespread statistical journals. Most
of the CSDA success is due to the immense energies spent by its founder and
editor in chief Dr. Stanley Azen.
It is my privilege and pleasure to serve as President of the International Association for Statistical Education (IASE). Over the years I have benefited greatly from my involvement in IASE, primarily through learning of perspectives on teaching statistics from dedicated teachers and education researchers around the world. I urge you to consider joining, or renewing your membership in, IASE not only so you can benefit from the publications and conferences that IASE offers, but also so you can support IASE's many projects to improve statistics education around the world. Please visit the IASE website at: http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/ and follow the "members" link for membership information and forms.
The December 2007 issue of the International Statistical Review features several articles on statistics education. Thanks to Chris Wild for the behind-the-scenes work to prepare this special issue. See http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/insr/75/3 for table of contents and article summaries. The issue begins with a themed suite of seven papers designed to have broad appeal to practitioners and technology buffs as well as statistics educators. Its focus is on how to give students experiences much closer to the practice of professional statisticians than has been possible in the past using technology to collapse the time scales needed for instruction via virtual environments. The main areas used as illustrations are the design of experiments and multivariate analysis. Although these are relatively advanced topics, many of the ideas discussed can be applied at any level of statistical education.
To introduce readers to the area, its enormous potential for the advancement
of statistics education, and also to promote the other papers in the themed
suite, the journal has made available free online:
The issue continues its educational theme with an update of Joan Garfield’s classic 1995 paper “How students learn statistics”, reviewing the subsequent fifteen years of research, and several other articles by leading statistics educators.
Contributed by Allan Rossman
After almost two years of planning we are now close to the Joint ICMI/IASE Study conference that is to be held at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Monterrey, México, June 30 to July 4, 2008.
A total of 94 papers were received from 24 different countries, including some developing countries and countries where statistics education is still not well developed. About 2/3 of the contributions came from countries with languages different from English.
A refereeing process was organised by the International Programme Committee and supervised by Allan Rossman and Carmen Batanero. Each paper was reviewed by two external referees (double blind) and one member of IPC (in this case the name of authors was given to the referee). A total of 75 external referees helped in this process. Authors were sent copies of the three reports and a letter with the decision. The letter also included a list of changes suggested for accepted papers. Referees were sent a copy of theses letters and reports. The referee process was very constructive; referees provided advice to improve the accepted papers and when needed, support with English language.
A total of 43 papers were accepted and 16 more were conditionally accepted (that is, authors were requested to rewrite and resubmit for a new revision). Consequently the number of papers finally presented in the conference will probably be around 55.
As this is a working conference, the main part of the conference will be structured around six different topics, each organised by two members of the International Programme Committee, as follows:
Topic 1. The current situation of teaching statistics in schools.
There will be two types of parallel sessions related to these topics. Each
session will have a chair (moderating the discussion) and a recorder (a person
2. Working Group sessions
Plenary sessions planned for the conference include:
4. Panel 1. Fundamental ideas in statistics and how they affect the training of teachers: Gail Burrill (Chair), USA Martha Aliaga, USA, Rolf Biehler, Germany, Ernesto Sánchez, México
5. Panel 2. The interplay of probability and statistics in teaching and in training the teachers: Gabriella Ottaviani (Chair), Italy, Manfred Borovcnik, Austria, Jean Claude Girard, France, Delia North, South Africa
6. Panel 3. Technology in the teaching of statistics: potentials and challenges in preparing the teachers: Dave Pratt (Chair), U.K., Dani, Ben-Zvi, Israel, Doreen Connor, U.K., Anthony Harradine, Australia
7. Reports from Working Groups
8. Conference overview and closing
The web page for the Study (http://www.ugr.es/~icmi/iase_study/) is being updated with information for the Study, as soon as it is produced. We are also starting develop a web version of the Proceedings CD.
Contributed by Carmen Batanero
The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) under the auspices of the UK Higher Education Maths, Stats and OR Network is funding a new international project. This project, Variety in Statistics Assessment (ViSA), aims to gather accounts of recent successful experiences in assessment of statistical learning at tertiary level from statistics teachers worldwide. The main focus is a virtual international conference, with refereed proceedings to be published as a book in 2009. This links with, but is not directly associated with, the IASE satellite meeting on Assessing Student Learning in Statistics held in Portugal last Summer. The project leaders are Penelope Bidgood, Kingston University, UK, email@example.com; Neville Hunt, Coventry University, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Flavia Jolliffe, University of Kent, UK, F.Jolliffe@kent.ac.uk.
Abstracts were due in March 2008, a working group at the University Mathematics Teaching Conference in Birmingham, UK in December 2007 produced a working paper Promoting Variety in Statistics Assessment, and a related presentation at the MSOR/CETL Conference in Lancaster, UK is planned for September 2008. News and updates can be found on the web page http://www.rsscse.org.uk/activities/visa/
Contributed by Flavia Jolliffe
SRTL-6: The Role of Context and Evidence in Informal Inferential Reasoning
The sixth in a series of International Research Forums on Statistical
Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL-6) is to be held in Brisbane, Australia
from July 10 to 16, 2009. The School of Education at The University of
Queensland, will host the Forum.
Based on SRTL-5, we now characterize Informal Inferential Reasoning (IIR) as
the cognitive and socio-cultural activities involved in drawing conclusions with
some degree of uncertainty that go beyond the data and having empirical evidence
for them. Three principles appear to be essential to informal inference: (1)
generalization (including predictions, parameter estimates, and conclusions)
that go beyond describing the given data; (2) the use of data as evidence for
those generalizations; and (3) conclusions express a degree of certainty,
whether or not quantified, accounting for the variability and uncertainty that
is unavoidable when generalizing beyond the immediate data to a population or a
The structure of the scientific programme will be a mixture of formal and
informal sessions, small group and whole group discussions, and the opportunity
for extensive analysis of video-taped research data. There will also be a poster
session for exhibiting current research of participants on additional topics
related to statistics education. The Forum is co-chaired by Dani Ben-Zvi
(University of Haifa, Israel) and Joan Garfield (University of Minnesota, USA),
locally organized by Katie Makar and Michael Bulmer (The University of
Queensland), and planned by a prestigious international advisory committee.
Conference attendance is by invitation only. For more information, visit the
SRTL website at:
Contributed by Katie Makar
I am pleased to report that the meetings of the ISI-09 PCC went very well, both for IASE and overall. They were informative, constructive and very collegial. The IASE proposals for IPM's (Invited Paper Meetings) were well-received. The total set of proposals from all ISI Sections and Committees had to be greatly reduced, but IASE’s proposed sessions were reduced by only two, with some shared sessions as described below. The outcome for IASE is given here. The full list of IPM’s will appear shorly on the Durban Session website and also appears in this issue of the Newsletter (more). The IPM organisers are currently in the process of confirming their proposed invited speakers; this information will appear in a later Newsletter. Many thanks to IASE members for the ideas and detailed proposals that were of great assistance in preparing the IASE submission.
IASE was asked to join in session IPM15 proposed by IAOS, which I agreed with
provided the original title (Capability Issues in Statistical offices - How
statistical offices are managing the different capability challenges) was
broadened to the title you see below. The IAOS organiser (Nancy McBeth) was very
keen on my suggestion and we are working together on this session. It will
probably have an IAOS organiser and at least one IASE speaker. In turn I
proposed that session IPM37 be shared with IAOS. IAOS are not only happy with
this but also happy with the current proposal as it stands. Suggestions from
IPM15 The challenge of building a supply of statisticians for the future. To be determined, c/o Nancy McBeth, Nancy.McBeth@stats.govt.nz
IPM36 The roles of statistical agencies in developing statistical literacy
IPM37 Educating the public on how to use official statistics Peter Wingfield-Digby, email@example.com
IPM38 Challenges faced in Statistics Education in African countries
IPM39 Balancing the training of future statisticians for workplace and research
IPM40 Exploiting the Progress in Statistical Graphics and Statistical Computing
for the benefit of Statistical Literacy
IPM41 Survey Research in Statistics Education
IPM42 Research on Informal Inferential Reasoning
IPM43 Teaching, Learning and Assessing Statistics Problem Solving in Higher
IPM44 Technologies for learning and teaching in developing countries
Contributed by Helen MacGillivray
I. Phase ‘1’ of the International Statistical Literacy Competition is in full bloom.
Picture 1.- Teachers in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, read the training materials while the ISIBALO team of Statistics South Africa supervise and help.
With the encouragement of ISI President Denise Lievesley and the assurance of success given by the ISIBALO group of South Africa, phase 1 of the International Statistical Literacy Competition is in full bloom as you read, with hundreds of students having already completed that phase and waiting for the winner in their classrooms to be announced. Many other hundreds will be doing it during the months of June – November . The countries that have already started at the moment of this writing are: Finland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, Nigeria, United States and Canada. If you would like to keep track of how many students and teachers are participating, we are keeping a tally at the following web site: http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/resultscomp1 The site is updated periodically, so it may not be completely up to date when you visit it. Try to visit it often for updates. First round winners in each school and names of the schools will not be posted until the competition is over, for obvious reasons. Shown in picture 1 is a group of teachers in South Africa getting informed about the competition during the visit of the ISLP director to that country. Picture 2 shows Portuguese teachers doing the same when Maria Manuel da Silva promoted the competition at Realmat. More than 500 teachers in the world have registered their students . South Africa has registered the largest number of teachers.
As you can imagine, an enterprise of the dimensions of this competition would not be possible without the cooperation and serious work of numerous individuals and institutions around the world, and we can still welcome many more. Some in the ISLP advisory board, and outside it, as well as sponsoring institutions, are involved in the planning, the promotion, or the supervision or all. To name a few: Reija Helenius and Heli Mikkelä with Statistics Finland; Maria Manuel da Silva Nascimento of UTAD, and Pedro Campos with Statistics Portugal. Maria Gabriella Ottaviani, Paola Giache and the Italian Statistical Society; Miranda Mafafo (manager) with ISIBALO team and Math4Stats managers and provincial coordinators, all of Statistics South Africa; . Mary Townsend of Statistics Canada; Lilian Rechioni and Maria Ines Rodriguez, Argentina; Jean Claude Girard and Brigitte Chaput, France; and many others.
Picture 2.- Teachers in Portugal listen to Maria Manuel da Silva Nascimento, ISLP Advisory Board Member, while she talks about the training materials for the competition.
The list is too long to post here. New collaborators are coming in as the registration still continues in South America. ISIBALO manager Dr. Miranda Mafafo of Statistics South Africa is planning a magnificent final competition in Durban, and she and her team manage all the aspects of phase I and II of the competition all over South Africa. Their heavy involvement is a guarantee that the competition will be a success in that country and all over the world.
The competition is done in Spanish, French, Finnish, Italian, Portuguese and English, so the ISLP also hired two translators to help with the communication with the teachers and the translation. They are Elisa Benzoni (for Italian) and Sari Linnainmaa (Finnish). The work of these translators is supervised by someone in that list of collaborators mentioned above, since the ISLP director only masters two languages.
II. Are you statistically literate? A game for all because we all use Statistics every day.
If you miss participating in the competition and you would like to immerse
yourself in the competition fever, you are invited to participate in the ISLP
quizzes “Are you statistically literate”? A question is posed every week, and
you may submit your answer by e-mail. To access the quiz question, go to
We are pleased to announce that on February 2008 the National Statistics Institute of France (INSEE) has renewed the agreement to provide the IASS with support for its Secretariat in France for three years. This invaluable support from INSEE shall enable the continued smooth functioning of our secretariat, and provides the platform from which several services are offered to our membership. We gratefully acknowledge INSEE’s contribution to furthering the goals of our association.
The IASS Secretariat has recently printed and
distributed an updated directory of the IASS membership. If you are a member and
have not received one, please get in touch with Claude Olivier (see e-mail
address for the Secretariat above or on the IASS website) and update your
contact details to enable us to send you a copy and to keep in touch.
IASS webmaster Eric Rancourt has agreed to represent IASS in the ISI project team charged with redesigning the ISI website.
Cynthia Clark has agreed to chair the IASS nominations committee, which she is now actively forming.
Under the leadership of Don Royce, a committee of council members including Geoff Lee (Australia) and Sarah Nusser (US) has been formed to review the services provided to the membership. If you have any ideas or comments about this topic, please let them know (contact addresses on the IASS website).
IASS is keen to welcome new members, both individual and institutional. The registration form for individual members can be found in our website (http://isi.cbs.nl/iass). For organizations wishing to join, please contact our Executive Director, Michel Peronnet (see address above).
IASS is currently busy preparing the programme of short courses to be offered before and after the ISI session in South Africa, in 2009. In response to a call for proposals published in the January 2008 issue of the Survey Statistician, IASS members have submitted several proposals for new short course offerings. The IASS executive is currently reviewing these new proposals along with the 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. Special emphasis is being placed on short courses that IASS members from African countries feel are needed and would most benefit from attending. Please keep an eye to The Survey Statistician and the IASS website, where further details will be posted as the programme evolves. Steve Heeringa, our Scientific Secretary, will be coordinating this activity, in close liaison with the Local Hosts in South Africa.
Preparations also continue for the IPMs organised or co-sponsored by IASS during the 2009 Session in Durban under the leadership of council member Leyla Mohadjer. A current list of topics for IPM sessions is provided in the table printed below. Please note that the process of planning the IPM sessions for 2009 is ongoing and there have been some late updates to the status of the sessions that are not reflected in this table. Current information on the 2009 programme and the IASS organized or co-sponsored sessions is always available from the ISI website at http://isi.cbs.nl/Nlet/NLet073.htm. The organizers’ goal has been to create a good balance in terms of covering various aspects of the main topic in each session. In addition, they have tried to create sessions with speakers and discussants coming from a good geographic spread (including transition and developing countries) and have a good gender and age representation. In many cases sessions that are still open have received proposals for papers and discussants. However, these proposals are not accepted until it is confirmed that a better demographic (and topic) distribution can not be achieved.
The ISI 2009 website is now up and running (http://www.statssa.gov.za/isi2009/Index.aspx) and the instructions, rules and guidelines for invited paper preparation are already available from the website.
We are keen to hear on proposals for other activities that we could sponsor or help organize as satellites to the ISI s\Session in South Africa, as well as any others where you feel the IASS could have a positive involvement.
2008 Committee meeting
On 25 August 2008 the Committee will meet to elect new members of the Executive and to review the activities of the Committee. All 64 institutional members are invited to attend the meeting.
2008 IFC conference
The fourth IFC Conference will take place on 26 and 27 August 2008 in Basel.
The conference will focus on “Measuring financial innovation and its impact”. As
at the previous three IFC conferences, it is expected that more than 100 central
bank economists and statisticians from around the world will participate and
that a few dozen papers will be presented.
The conference will conclude with a panel discussion on data issues revealed
by the recent financial turmoil. The discussion will focus on challenges faced
by central banks, individually and collectively, in monitoring market
developments against the background of evolving pressures and the need to obtain
timely and relevant data to assist in formulating their policy response.
The IFC's contribution to ISI Sessions
The IFC will sponsor or co-sponsor 7 IPMs for the 57th ISI 2009 Session in Durban, namely:
• IPM 102: The implementation of, and the training on, the new SNA and BOP
(jointly with IAOS)
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 for 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”.
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:
News on the ISBIS 4-year Plan of activities
As announced in the
previous ISI Newsletter in January, ISBIS 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 web site, www.isbis.org.
ISBIS-2008 is an international symposium focusing on quantitative aspects of Banking, Insurance and Finance, and important statistical issues relating to productivity improvement and decision-making at all levels of business and industry. Many world leading quantitative financial analysts and industrial statisticians will be participating.
The symposium will be held in the beautiful medieval city of Prague (Czech Republic) during 1 - 4 July, 2008.
ISBIS-2008 will cover, among others, the following major themes in the area of,
respectively, Quantitative Analytics for Banking, Finance and Insurance and
Business and Industrial Statistics:
ISBIS-2008 is being scientifically organised by:
Chair of International Scientific Programme
Chair of Quantitative Analytics Programme
If you are interested in attending the ISBIS-2008, please visit http://www.action-m.com/isbis2008/reg.php
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 December 1-3, 2008.
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 30
Call for papers and other useful information can be downloaded from: www.action-m.com/CAPS2008
If you are interested in attending the CAPS 2008, please express your interest on-line: www.action-m.com/CAPS2008/prereg_form.php
One of the objectives of ISBIS is to develop and promote relationships among national and regional organizations involved in activities similar to those of ISBIS.
With this in mind, ISBIS is sponsoring the opening session plus four invited
sessions at the XVIII Simposio de Estadística in Cartegena, Colombia from 11-15
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISBIS membership is open to all individuals and organisations with a professional interest in any aspect of business, financial and industrial statistics. There are individual, institutional, and student memberships. Details and application forms can be obtained from the ISBIS website (www.isbis.org) or contact Nicholas Fisher (email@example.com).
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 a mail to Margaret de Ruiter-Molloy in the ISI office (@cbs.nl).