Memorial meeting for Julian Besag

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A two-day meeting to celebrate the life and work of Julian Besag, who died last year, will be held in Bristol on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 April, 2011. A memorial gathering for Julian will be held on Friday afternoon which will be followed by a scientific symposium on the Saturday covering some of the many areas of statistical science to which Julian made contributions during his distinguished career.  Go to the event listing for more details.

 

Measuring national well-being: is happiness the answer?

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Don’t miss the opportunity to have your say on ‘measuring national well-being’ at an open discussion chaired by Mark Easton (BBC) in central London on 27 January 2011. There has been much media and public interest in the measurement of well-being since the Prime Minister asked the National Statistician on 25 November 2010 to come up with a way to measure the nation’s well-being outside economic indicators.
 
This promises to be a lively and interesting event which will ask
 
  • is it about producing a happiness index
  • is there more to life than happiness and GDP?
 
The event, organised by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), will take place at the New Theatre, East Building, London School of Economics from 6.30 to 7.30pm on Wednesday 27 January.
 
Mark Easton, from the BBC, will chair a panel consisting of Professor Paul Dolan (LSE), Trevor Phillips (Equality and Human Rights Commission), Bridget Rosewell (Volterra Consulting) and Aileen Simkins (ONS). They will each say a few words to set the scene before Mark opens discussion for questions and comments from the audience.
 
Visit the events calendar for more details or download a free ticket  (opens in new window) and take the opportunity to propose a question for the panel.
 
Read more on measuring national well-being at the ONS website.
 

New RSS Conferences & Events board to be created

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The Society is establishing a new conferences and events programme board to support the work of the meetings and conferences theme.  The 12 member board will work with the theme director and theme manager to develop and deliver the Society’s annual conference programme, oversee special lectures and events, and review the overall meetings programme of the Society.
 
Full details about the remit and responsibilities of the board and its members can be obtained here.
 
If you have any questions or would like to put your name forward to be considered for the board please contact the theme manager Paul Gentry.
 

RSS Professional Development Centre – 2011 programme

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The RSS PDC programme for 2011 has a wide range of courses on offer for 2011.
 
  • Introduction to modelling in R, 13–14 April    Presented by Paul Baxter and Andrew Lance
  • Presenting data – 12 May   Presented by Ed Swires-Hennessy
  • Multilevel modelling, 25–26 May Presented by Harvey Goldstein and George Leckie
  • Consultancy Skills – 7 June 2011 Presented by Roland Caulcutt and Julie Bullen
  • Flexible regression modelling – 13 June   Presented by Adrian Bowman
  • Analysis of ordinal categorical data – 20–21 July Presented by Alan Agresti
  • Inspirational leadership within a statistical organisation – 22–23 September Presented by Duncan Miles and Denis Greer
  • Questionnaire Design – 6 October 2011 Presented by Pamela Campanelli
  • Statistical issues in engineering and manufacturing industry  2–3 November Presented by Tim Davis and Huw Williams
  • Statistical Issues in Drug Development - 24-25 November 2011 Presented by Stephen Senn
 
 
Other courses will be posted on the RSS website as they are confirmed. If you have any queries, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Society announces 2011 Award winners

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At its meeting in December, Society Council considered recommendations from the Honours Committee for the award of medals and prizes in 2011.
 
The following awards will be made at the Society’s awards ceremony on 29 June in London:
 
The Guy Medal in Gold is awarded to Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao for his fundamental contributions to statistical theory and methodology, including unbiased estimation, variance reduction by sufficiency, efficiency of estimators, information geometry, as well as a the application of matrix theory in linear statistical inference.
 
The Guy Medal in Silver is awarded to Peter G. Hall, for his papers Empirical Functionals and Efficient Smoothing Parameter Selection (JRSS B, 54 (1992), 475-530, with Iain Johnstone), read to Society in 1991, and Fractal Analysis of Surface Roughness by using Spatial Data (JRSS B, 61 (1999), 3-37, with S. Davies)  read to the Society in 1998, and taking account of his many important contributions to the theory and practice of Statistics, in areas including nonparametric density estimation, regression and classification, extreme value theory, deconvolution and measurement error problems, nonparametric inference for mixture distributions, functional data analysis, empirical likelihood and the bootstrap.
 
The Guy Medal in Bronze is awarded to Nicolai Meinshausen for his innovative work on theoretical, methodological and computational aspects of high-dimensional data analysis, including his paper read before the Society `Stability Selection’ (JRSS B, 72 (2010), 417-473, with P. Buehlmann), and for his important work as an applied researcher, for example in the study of climate change.
 
The Research Prize is awarded to Daniel Farewell for his original contributions to longitudinal and event history methodology and their interrelationship. His PhD research led to a paper read before the Society in 2007 on the analysis of longitudinal data when subjects drop out before study completion. His later research used ideas from event history analysis to develop novel approaches to longitudinal data analysis, especially when there are missing values.