CANSSI Newsletter
Advancing research in the statistical sciences in Canada
Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute

Institutional Member Benefits

The CANSSI Board meeting at Edmonton May 25, 2013 endorsed the following list of benefits not available to non-members:
 -- the right to send a representative to vote at the annual general meeting (the first is in Toronto on May 24, 2014)
 -- participation in planning of scientific directions through an annual planning meeting of sponsoring institutions (the first is in Toronto on May 24, 2014) 
 -- access to partial funding of postdoctoral fellowships 
 -- assistance with local research events such as workshops
 -- periodic newsletters 
It should be noted that CANSSI institutional membership is not required for participation in Collaborative Research Team projects or for funding of student travel to CANSSI events.
Fall 2013

Save the Date

May 24, 2014:  The CANSSI 2014 Annual Meeting will take place at the University of Toronto the day before the SSC meetings begin.

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CANSSI Annual Meeting Scientific Sessions

The Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute Annual Meeting scientific sessions were held on May 25, 2013 at the Alumni House, University of Alberta in Edmonton.  This year's theme was Spatial and Temporal Modeling in Climate Science and Public Health.  The two speakers were Richard L. Smith of the University of North Carolina and SAMSI and Patrick Brown of the University of Toronto and Cancer Care Ontario.
Richard Smith spoke about the influence of climate change on extreme weather events.  Patrick Brown gave an overview of spatial statistics in public health.  Both talks were excellent and generated a fair amount of discussion, both formally and informally. 
Of the 38 attendees, 13 were students from the University of Alberta and 4 were students from other universities in Ontario and Quebec.  The remainder was mainly university faculty from across Canada.
A contribution from PIMS supported this event including the facility rental and catering.  A barbeque offered an opportunity for networking and further discussion.  A poster provided by PIMS was distributed to all PIMS associated departments.  Dr. K. C. Chough of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences organized all the local arrangements.  Comments from the attendees were generally very positive.  We are grateful to PIMS and the University of Alberta for their contributions to this meeting.

Statistical Science in Society

This conference was held at the University of Waterloo,  July 31 to August 2, 2013, to celebrate the International Year of Statistics and the launch of CANSSI.  It was co-sponsored by the University of Waterloo, the Fields Institute, CANSSI, and the Statistical Society of Canada.   There were over 100 registrants, about 40% of whom were students.
There were altogether six sessions over the two-and-one-half days of the conference, on social networks, statistics in health, exploring complex models, modeling risk, modeling dependence, and statistical learning.   Although the themes of the sessions were different, there were several common threads:  network concepts, dependence modeling, high-dimensional data with sparse structure, and complex models for dealing with data from a variety of sources and experimental plans.   In each of the sessions, the invited talks were followed by panel discussions.  The speakers were David Banks of Duke University, Barry Wellman of the University of Toronto, François Théberge of the Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing (TIMC) and the University of Ottawa, Michael Kosorok of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Richard Cook of the University of Waterloo, Thérèse Stukel of the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences, Derek Bingham of Simon Fraser University, Rob Deardon of the University of Guelph, Hansjoerg Albrecher of l'Université de Lausanne, Gordon Willmot of the University of Waterloo, Claudia Czado of the Technische Universität München, Ruodu Wang of the University of Waterloo, Marina Vannucci of Rice University, Steven Scott of Google, and Bala Rajaratnam of Stanford University. 
The session topics were in areas that are expected to be important to CANSSI in the next few years, and all presentations were of a very high standard.    Using the space outside the large lecture hall in the new Mathematics 3 building, furnished with round tables and chairs, provided excellent opportunities for discussing and networking at breaks and lunches.  The banquet furnished an opportunity to recognize three Statistical Society of Canada Presidents (John Brewster, Christian Léger and Don McLeish) whose efforts had made CANSSI possible.

NSERC Application

Since late summer, by far the largest event has been the writing of the fifteen-page CANSSI Appendix to the applications of the three mathematical sciences institutes (PIMS, Fields and CRM) to the Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics (CTRMS) program of NSERC. The applications were due November 1. The amount being requested from NSERC is $405,000 per year on average for the period 2014-2019, as pledged collectively by the three institutes. The Fields Institute has promised an additional $100,000. The strong support that CANSSI has received from the SSC and from universities across the country has been and will be very important in this process. The traditional institute site visits have been replaced this time by meetings with the review committees at NSERC's headquarters in Ottawa in January.

Collaborative Research Team Projects

The first annual competition for CANSSI Collaborative Research Team (CRT) projects is winding up, with final recommendations of the CANSSI Scientific Advisory Committee expected to be approved for funding at the December Board meeting, subject to renewal of NSERC support of the mathematical sciences institutes.  
The call for Letters of Intent for the next competition is expected to be issued in November, with a due date of April 30, 2014.  An information session is being developed to assist researchers interested in applying, and the timing will be announced at a later date.
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