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

Written by Maria Dunbar on . Posted in News

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.

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.

RSS Conference: Winners of poster competition and rapid-fire talks

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The RSS conference poster exhibition gives early career researchers the opportunity to present their research at conference in the form of a poster, all of which are exhibited in the main breakout area throughout the conference. There is also an allotted poster reception which gives the authors a chance to talk about their work with conference attendees.

Similarly, our rapid-fire talks session gives a five-minute allocated slot for those new to presenting their research. In both cases, the three best presentations are rewarded with book voucher prizes worth hundreds of pounds.

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.

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.

Conference 2019 session on environmental stats: Climate change

Written by Maria Dunbar on . Posted in News

On 4 September 2019, Jonathan Tawn (pictured) from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University, Andrew Parnell from the Hamilton Institute at Maynooth University, and Thordis Thorarinsdottir from the Norwegian Computing Center participated in the Royal Statistical Society conference 2019 session on Climate Change. The contributed session was organised by the Environmental Statistics section of the Royal Statistical Society and made up part of the Environment and Spatial Statistics stream of sessions at the conference.

Speaking first, Jonathan Tawn noticed that when considering environmental data, the focus is often on the mean. His talk sought to answer what happens in the extreme and consider aggregates of regional versions of climate models against their global counterparts. He examined heatwaves and extreme sea waves to gain an understanding of how such events could become more common under climate change. Combining climate models in an ensemble provided extremes increasing as much as three times faster than the mean, in terms of changes in temperature.

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