Man vs Wild Data

I’m speak­ing on this topic at the Young Sta­tis­ti­cians Con­fer­ence, 7–8 Feb­ru­ary 2013.

If you’re a young sta­tis­ti­cian and live in Aus­tralia, please book in. It promises to be a great cou­ple of days. Early reg­is­tra­tions close on 2 January.

Abstract for my talk:

For 25 years I have been an intre­pid sta­tis­ti­cal con­sul­tant, tack­ling the wild fron­tiers of real data, real prob­lems and real time con­straints. I have faced prob­lems rang­ing from lin­guis­tics to river beds, from mak­ing paper plates to sell­ing pies at the MCG, from tax office audits to sur­veys about the colour pur­ple. Uni­ver­sity edu­ca­tion helps pre­pare you to be a sta­tis­ti­cal con­sul­tant in the same way that Google maps helps pre­pare you to cross the Simp­son Desert. You have some idea of the main fea­tures, but when you get there, noth­ing looks familiar.

I will describe some of my adven­tures, and explain how to bluff your way through igno­rance, work with inad­e­quate tools, and deal with smelly clients. I will tell you the story of the client who wouldn’t give me the data, the client who wouldn’t tell me the prob­lem, and the client who wanted all meet­ings held at ran­dom loca­tions for secu­rity reasons.

Along the way we will learn about the skills that sta­tis­ti­cians need to sur­vive in the wild.

YSC2013 funding support

Young Vic­to­rian sta­tis­ti­cians should be attend­ing the YSC con­fer­ence in Mel­bourne in Feb­ru­ary 2013. It promises to be a great event, and the speaker line-​​up looks first-​​class (apart from one dodgy keynote speaker).

If you think you can’t afford it, there is good news! The local SSA Branch is offer­ing finan­cial sup­port to selected young sta­tis­ti­cians. Appli­cants must be stu­dent mem­bers of the Vic­to­rian Branch (to join, see www​.stat​soc​.org​.au/​j​o​i​n.htm). Suc­cess­ful appli­cants will be given free con­fer­ence reg­is­tra­tion. In addi­tion, suc­cess­ful appli­cants from regional (non-​​Melbourne met­ro­pol­i­tan) Vic­to­ria will be given fund­ing to assist with accom­mo­da­tion, up to $200 based on actual costs.

Appli­ca­tions should be sent to the Sec­re­tary, Sandy Clarke: sjclarke@​unimelb.​edu.​au by 25th Novem­ber. These should include

  • a brief CV;
  • a con­fer­ence abstract;
  • a short jus­ti­fi­ca­tion (about 150 words) for receiv­ing sup­port, includ­ing what (if any) other finan­cial sup­port the appli­cant will be receiving.

The Young Stats Communication Challenge

The Aus­tralian Young Sta­tis­ti­cians Con­fer­ence (Feb 2013) is orga­niz­ing a com­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pe­ti­tion. They invite all early-​​career sta­tis­ti­cians (study­ing, or within 5 years of grad­u­a­tion) to pro­duce a short (3−5 minute) video for the ABS YSC2013 Video Com­pe­ti­tion, or a sta­tic info­graphic for the ABS YSC2013 Info­graphic Competition.

Both com­pe­ti­tions have a 1st prize of $500, and 2nd prize of $250.

Entries close 16th Novem­ber, and win­ners will be noti­fied by mid-​​December.

Details avail­able at: ysc2013​.com/​p​r​o​g​r​a​m​/​c​o​m​p​e​t​i​t​ions/

I’m a speaker at the con­fer­ence, so hope­fully I will get to see some of the great entries!