A year in the life of an RSS statistical ambassador

Written by Anthony Masters on . Posted in Features

In June 2018, Anthony Masters was selected to be a statistical ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society. Here he describes what work he's undertaken in the role so far.

The misunderstanding of statistics can have dire consequences, such as: people under-estimating savings needed for retirement, the mis-evaluation of assets during the 2008 financial crisis, and imprisonments based on faulty interpretation of probabilities.

Statistical reform: Improving data analysis skills in research

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Addressing the deficits in statistical thinking and data analysis skills across academia should be a priority, says RSS fellow Darren Dahly, principal statistician and senior lecturer in research methods at HRB Ireland Clinical Research Facility Cork. Here he explains why.

We see the impact of poor research methods everywhere around us. Reviews focusing on the appropriate use and reporting of research methods are almost universally depressing. Chalmers and Glasziou have opened our eyes to massive research waste. Ioannidis tells us that most research findings are false. Reproducibility, or lack thereof, is on many of our minds. And of course there is the late Doug Altman warning us of 'the scandal of poor medical research', way back in 1994. Had we only listened.

Event report: The Storm of the Century! Glasgow Science Festival Guy Lecture

Written by Yoana Napier on . Posted in Features

On June 18 2019, the RSS Glasgow Local Group hosted a Glasgow Science Festival lecture by the William Guy lecturer Dr Lee Fawcett from the University of Newcastle. As Guy Lecturer, Lee has a volunteer role in RSS to provide school outreach activities. The lecture was attended by around 66 people from three different schools in the Glasgow area and was an interactive talk with handouts and the students answering questions and being encouraged to ask questions themselves. 

The main takeaway from the talk was that statistics is not just calculating the mean, medians or modes but rather applicable to every other scientific field. The main aim of the talk was to inspire the students that statistics is an exciting field of study.

Event report: RSS fellows take Hands-on Statistics activities to CPD workshop

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

On Saturday 8 June 2019, Dr Simon White (University of Cambridge) and Dr Laura Bonnett (University of Liverpool), ran a workshop at a CPD event for Maths Scholars on behalf of the Royal Statistical Society’s Education and Statistical Literacy Committee.  

The full-day event was organised for 39 current and 10 alumni Mathematics Teacher Training Scholars and included three workshops to provide inspiration for potential school classroom activities. It was supported by the Department for Education and sponsored by the Royal Statistical Society, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, the London Mathematical Society, Mathematics Education Innovation, Mathematical Association and the National STEM Centre. 

Notes from an AIMS Cameroon volunteer tutor

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Jean Rizk, a third-year PhD Candidate at the University of Limerick, volunteered as a tutor at AIMS Cameroon, based in Limbe. Here, he shares his experiences.

Volunteering to help African postgraduatesf with their dissertations is one of the best life decisions I’ve made. What a tremendous and humbling experience! At AIMS Cameroon, a group of young and passionate African mathematicians and physicists are trying to overcome a variety of obstacles to prove that they can be great scientists and efficient contributors to society.

A Q&A with 2018-19 RSS William Guy lecturer, Lee Fawcett

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Features

Dr Lee Fawcett, a statistics lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics at Newcastle University, is the current RSS William Guy lecturer. 

He is currently taking his lecture ‘The Storm of the Century! Using data to anticipate extreme climate events’, to schools around the UK, where he introduces the insights that statistics can provide in understanding extreme weather events.

Post-16 statistics qualifications in Scotland – an update

Written by Nevil Hopley on . Posted in Features

Nevil Hopley, RSS e-teacher member and head of mathematics at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, outlines the statistics qualifications now on offer in Scotland for secondary school students aged over 16 years.

Firstly, a short definition of the names given to some SQA exams: many Scottish students, aged 17-18 years, in their final year at Secondary School can sit exams called ‘Advanced Highers’ before heading to University. The year before that, they typically sit exams called ‘Highers’.

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