Painting above is from "Random Numbers", Peter James Smith (1977). Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection. View entire painting

Notices & News

  • Significance Writing Competition

    For Early-Career Statisticians

    Significance Early Career Writing competition

    Are you an early-career statistician with the ability to tell data-driven stories in an entertaining and thought-provoking way? If so, we invite you to enter our 2017 writing competition. As in past years, the competition is jointly organised by Significance and the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). However, this year the competition forms part of the RSS Statistical Excellence Awards programme, and the prize has been renamed “The Statistical Excellence Award for Early Career Writing”.

    “Early career” means students or anyone within the first 10 years of their statistical career – so whether studying, recently graduated or already working, this competition is open to you.

    The rules of entry are simple. Send us your best article, of between 1,500 and 2,500 words, on the subject of your choosing. The article could be on work that you have done, or it could explain the work of others. But to stand the best chance of winning, your article really needs to demonstrate the power that statistics has to challenge myths, shape decisions and explain the world around us.

    Whatever you choose to write about, articles must be engaging and easy to read. Significance is published for a broad audience of readers, with varying levels of statistical expertise. This means technical terms and mathematics should be kept to a minimum and explained clearly where used. 


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  • Ihaka Lecture Series

    8-29 March 2017

    Ross IhakaIn March 2017 the Department of Statistics at Auckland University is launching a new, annual lecture series named after Associate Professor Ross Ihaka in honour of his contributions to the field.

    Our debut series has the theme Statistical Computing in the Data Age and will run 8-22 March, 2017. Scheduled from 6pm to 730pm (lecture begins at 6.30pm), on March 8, 15, 22, and 29.


    Statistics has become essential in the Information Age. We have increasing ability to collect vast quantities of data, but often still struggle to make sense of it. The Ihaka lectures aim to highlight the important role that both statistics and computing play in this endeavour.

    We will be streaming them live for all of those who cannot join us physically.
    Details of the stream link will be available on the page at the time of streaming.

    There are also screenings at Massey University in Palmerston North and Victoria University in Wellington


    8th: Expressing yourself with R – Hadley Wickham, RStudio

    15th: R and data journalism – Harkanwal Singh, NZ Herald

    22nd: Interactive visualisation and fast computation of the solution path for convex clustering and biclustering – Genevera Allen, Rice University

    29th: Statistical computing in a (more) static environment – Ross Ihaka, University of Auckland


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  • ICORS 2017


    The International Conference on Robust Statistics (ICORS) 2017 will take place at the University of Wollongong, Australia, from the 3rd to 7th July 2017. The aim of the ICORS conferences is to bring together researchers and practitioners interested in robust statistics, data analysis and related areas. This includes theoretical and applied statisticians as well as data analysts from other fields, and leading experts as well as junior researchers and graduate students. The conference will be a mix of invited and contributed talks and will include sessions specifically for young statisticians.

    Registration and abstract submission are available through Early bird registration fees are AU$400 for regular attendees and AU$200 for students with an early bird deadline of 19 May 2017.

    The final day of the conference (Friday 7 July 2017) will include a workshop on Robust Inference for Sample Surveys. ICORS registration includes the 1-day workshop on Friday. Registration for the workshop only is AU$100.

    The deadline for submission of an Abstract is 27 Feb 2017.


    ICORS has been held annually since 2001. The conference creates a forum to discuss recent progress and emerging ideas in statistics and encourage informal contacts and discussions among all the participants. They also play an important role in maintaining a cohesive group of international researchers interested in robust statistics and related topics, whose interactions transcend the meetings and endure year round.


    Keynote speakers for ICORS 2017 are:

    Professor Irène Gijbels (University of Leuven)

    Professor Graciela Boente (University of Buenos Aires)

    Professor Noel Cressie (University of Wollongong)

    Professor Ray Chambers (University of Wollongong)

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  • Just over 50 years ago, three papers appeared which independently described the fundamental approach for analyzing capture-recapture data. It is now called the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model. This anniversary is celebrated in the second issue of Statistical Science, 2016, guest edited by Steve Buckland and Byron Morgan. It features transcribed interviews with George Seber and Richard Cormack. In addition there are eight research papers that demonstrate how the capture- recapture area is still developing, with applications to genetics, social and medical areas, as well as ecology.


    Steve Buckland presenting a copy of the issue to Richard Cormack in St Andrews University.

    Rachel Fewster, a co-author of two of the papers in the issue, presenting a copy to George Seber, in the University of Auckland.

    Byron Morgan presenting copies to George Jolly’s two daughters Heather Hannah and Fiona Davies. A third copy goes to their brother David Jolly, who lives in Saudi Arabia.











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  • Mathematics in Industry New Zealand, 2017

    Massey University, Palmerston North


    Come join us at Massey University, Palmerston North to solve interesting and vital industry challenges to help New Zealand businesses innovate and grow.

    Where: Massey University, Palmerston North

    When: 26-30 June 2017


    Youtube video from the 2015 event:

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More News

Student and Early Career Statisticians

Lisa Hall from Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre, is the Student and Early Career Statistician’s Representative.

Visit the Young Statistician’s page for more details.

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The mission of the NZSA is to lead New Zealand to value and make intelligent use of statistical thinking and good statistical practice.  Join the NZSA today!

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Last Modified: Thursday, 2nd March 2017