RSS 2019 session report: Applications of hidden Markov models in ecology

Written by Maria Dunbar on . Posted in News

Sina Mews (pictured) from Bielefeld University, Rachel McCrea from University of Kent, Richard Glennie from University of St Andrews, and Takis Besbeas from Athens University gathered on 3 September 2019 for an RSS conference session on applications of hidden Markov models (HMMs) in ecology, part of the environmental and spatial statistics stream.

Sina Mews’ work started as an applied project analysing the movements of endangered dolphins along the Scottish coast and lead to her developing a model for multistate capture-recapture data where capture history is a realisation of a HMM. Data collection is irregular, it depends on boat trips occurring. A seasonal pattern of dolphin movement was found, with dolphins spending more time north in summer and more time south in autumn. It was noted that the survival rate is biased if observations assumed to be dead are excluded.

RSS 2019 session report: Medical statistics – Risk factors

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On 3 September 2019, Ania Zylbersztejn from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Jude Eze from the Epidemiology Research Unit of Scotland’s Rural College, and James Griffin from the Department of Statistics, University of Warwick participated in the Royal Statistical Society conference 2019 session on risk factors.

The session was organised by the Medical Statistics section of the Royal Statistical Society.

Send us your best Stats of the Year and of the Decade!

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The Royal Statistical Society is not only looking for statistics that captured the zeitgeist of 2019, but as the decade draws to a close, we are also seeking statistics that can help define the 2010s.

Now in its third year, the RSS Statistics of the Year competition helps to raise the profile of statistics and celebrates their ability to explain the issues of the day. Last year’s winning and highly commended statistics covered a diverse range of topics, highlighting the amount of plastic waste in circulation, demonstrating the rise of solar power generation and illustrating the phenomenon of ‘shrinkflation’ via tubes of Jaffa Cakes!. The competition secured tremendous media coverage both nationally and globally. 

Chancellor to consult on aligning CPIH methods into RPI

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Last week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, announced his intention to consult on whether to bring the methods in CPIH into RPI between 2025 and 2030, effectively aligning the measures. The announcement was made in a letter to Sir David Norgrove (PDF), who chairs the UK Statistics Authority UKSA).

In February 2019, the then National Statistician John Pullinger concluded that the current position regarding RPI was unsatisfactory and put options for its future to the UK Statistics Authority Board.

RSS 2019 session report: Precision medicine

Written by Nicola Fitz-Simon on . Posted in News

There is growing interest in the area of precision medicine, which proposes that treatments can be targeted to individual patients, and often involves the use of genetic or other high-dimensional patient-level data.

In this session, organised by Dr Laura Boyle from University of Adelaide on behalf of the Medical Section, four speakers addressed some of the diverse statistical methodologies and applications in real-life studies.

RSS volunteer helps charity assess numbers of street children

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Another RSS Statisticians for Society volunteer has completed a project to help The Consortium for Street Children (CSC) find the best methodology to estimate the numbers of street children around the world.

CSC is a global network of organisations that carries out research and advocacy with and on behalf of street-connected children worldwide, in order to better meet their needs. However, current estimates of numbers of street-connected children are sometimes lacking in evidence or based on very different methodologies.

Listen to our 2019 Conference podcasts!

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If you weren't able to attend the RSS 2019 Conference, fear not; over the next few weeks, we'll be giving a flavour of what took place, through a combination of session reports, session footage, photo galleries and podcast interviews with some of the speakers.

We'll be uploading all of the podcast interviews on this page as they are released on our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on this page for new podcasts as they're added, or follow us on Twitter @RoyalStatSoc for alerts of when new podcasts are available.

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