The RSS held an event in parliament on Thursday 10 July on rail statistics, titled 'The transparency challenge for the railways: facts and figures'. It was jointly organised with the Office for Rail Regulation and the House of Commons Library, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Statistics, the Rail Delivery Group, and the Transport Statistics User Group. It was attended by around 50 people, including a number of parliamentary researchers and MPs.
Bradley Efron is the Max H Stein Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics at Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences and the Department of Health Research and Policy with the School of Medicine. He has worked at Stanford since earning his doctorate in statistics there in 1964 and is best known for his introduction of the bootstrap method of statistical inference.
In the first part of our interview with John Kingman, the conversation centred on his academic journey from studying mathematics in Cambridge to his influential achievements in probability theory at Oxford. However, he also played a major role in the Royal Statistical Society’s campaign to restore faith in official statistics following a period of decline in its capacities around the time of his Presidency.
This new book sets out to look at how the explosion of data, brought about by computer technology, can be harnessed for the public good in the future. Along with examining the technical obstacles, the book also tackles the question of how the privacy rights of the individual can be protected in this uncharted territory. The books chapters are a compilation of contributions from various experts in the field and have been edited together by Julia Lane, Victoria Stodden, Stefan Bender and Helen Nissenbaum. Julia provides us with a synopsis of the topics and questions the book sets out answer.
Last year, the Society commissioned Kevin McConway (the RSS vice-president for academic affairs) to compile a report on the current state of academic statistics in the UK. This was partly prompted by a mathematical sciences review in 2010 (by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) that picked out statistics as being particularly vulnerable within the field.
The Centre for Mathematical Sciences occupies a ring of sleek modern buildings that houses Cambridge University’s applied and pure maths departments. Set within this collection of buildings sits the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) for Mathematical Sciences. In the world of mathematics, the work that goes on in this building is some of the most advanced theoretical work taking place globally today.
Sir John Kingman is that rare example of a mathematician whose expertise led him to being as familiar to the top of government as he was among his own academic field. His contributions to academic mathematics and probability theory are substantial and span the last half century. But in addition to his theoretical work, he was able to offer a special perspective on academic education and later, official statistics.