RSS 2019: Early Career Writing Award winners' presentations

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The first of the RSS Prize winner’s sessions of RSS conference was a special session in which the three finalists for the Statistical Excellence Award for Early Career Writing 2019 delivered presentations based on their articles.

The winner was 'The flying bomb and the actuary', by Liam Shaw (University of Oxford) and Luke Shaw (Office for National Statistics) and the other two finalists were 'A story about a tiny bot', by Marco Antonio Andrade Barrera (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and Trouble in paradise: polarisation and the popular vote in Switzerland', by Maximilian Aigner (Université de Lausanne).

Firstly, Luke Shaw (see photo below) from the Office of National Statistics (also on behalf of his brother Liam from the University of Oxford) presented the 2019 winning article, ‘The flying bomb and the actuary’. The Shaw brothers recreated and extended the textbook by actuary RD Clarke on Poisson analysis from 75 years ago to assess whether WW2 flying bombs were falling on London at random or at specific targets, with their data provided in a Google map layer.


Secondly, 2019 finalist Marco Antonio Andrade Barrera (pictured below), who had travelled all the way from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told 'A story about a tiny bot'. Artemis is a working artificial intelligence application who can emulate human thinking. He has a name, a date of birth and can learn via machine learning algorithms, such as to classify stock chart patterns with higher accuracy and speed than a human brain is capable of.

Finally, 2019 finalist Maximilian Aigner from the Université de Lausanne spoke about ‘Polarisation and the popular vote in Switzerland', the country where around 50% of the world's referendum votes have taken place. Using data from the last 100 years of referendums in Switzerland, highlighting the most polarising (ie referendums with high participation and a close outcome) votes of each decade, results indicate that events equally or more polarising than the 2016 UK referendum are quite frequent.

Congratulations to all three finalists on their excellent articles and presentations and we look forward to seeing the ‘The flying bomb and the actuary’ published in the October edition of Significance magazine.

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