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


The first three Collaborative Research Team projects awarded, all of three years duration beginning April 1 2014, are the following:

Advancements to State-Space Models (SSMs) for Fisheries Science will be led by Joanna Mills Flemming. Chris Field, Noel Cadigan, David Campbell, and Rick Routledge will be joining other international collaborators for this project. The team will develop general-purpose, statistically rigorous SSM methodologies for fisheries science and demonstrate the utility of these new approaches for addressing pressing fisheries issues in Canada through carefully chosen case studies.

Copula Dependence Modelling: Theory and Applications will be led by Louis-Paul Rivest and Christian Genest. Collaborators include Elif F. Acar, Radu Craiu, Harry Joe, Johanna Nešlehová, Jean-François Quessy, and Bruno Rémillard. The group will develop copula models for applications in finance, genetics and hydrology. Statistical scientists from universities and government will partner with industry to provide new methodological developments including semi- and non-parametric strategies that will enable flexible inference of conditional dependencies in multivariate copula models.

Statistical Modeling of the World: Computer and Physical Models in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences will be led by Derek Bingham. Will Welch, Hugh Chipman, and Pritam Ranjan are amongst the collaborators. The team will develop new methodology for using complex computer models and field observations for important environmental applications. Specific scientific goals focus on leveraging each source of information to make predictions of the physical system, with estimates of uncertainty, and to estimate unknown physical constants (i.e., a type of inverse problem).

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.

Call for Workshops or Conferences

Proposals for workshops or conferences to be held in 2015 are due on June 22, 2014; Click here for more info.

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NSERC Update

Poor weather conditions and airport chaos in early January forced the postponement until mid-March of the review meeting in Ottawa for institute applications to the CTRMS (Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics) program of NSERC. This means that the decision on funding the mathematical sciences institutes and their projects (such as CANSSI) are likely to be delayed for about three months beyond the original date April 1.

NSERC had appointed an Institute Review Committee (IRC) to oversee the CTRMS competition, and a Site Review Committee (SRC) to conduct the reviews. The SRC have completed their reports and provided them to the IRC. We have been told that in early June, the IRC will provide NSERC with their funding recommendations and final report. Then in late June or early July, NSERC will inform us of the final funding decisions.

Because of the delay in the decisions, NSERC is providing interim funding to the institutes, and they kindly agreed to allow CANSSI plans to proceed starting April 1 assuming the decisions for the institutes and CANSSI to be positive.

Proposal for Thematic Program on Statistical Inference, Learning, and Models for Big Data

An organizing committee led by Nancy Reid of the University of Toronto and including Yoshua Bengio of Université de Montréal, Hugh Chipman of Acadia, Sallie Keller of Virginia Tech, Lisa Lix of the University of Manitoba, Richard Lockhart of Simon Fraser University and Ruslan Salakhutdinov of the University of Toronto, has submitted a proposal for a thematic program on Statistical Inference, Learning and Models for Big Data at the Fields Institute, with satellite activities at the other mathematical sciences institutes and AARMS. It is proposed that most of the activities will take place January 1 to June 30, 2015. Development is continuing while the Fields decision is awaited. Stay tuned for further announcements of the many exciting events connected with this program.

Upcoming Workshops

AARMS Summer School

The 2014 AARMS Summer School will be held at Dalhousie University July 21- August 15, 2014. The theme being Algebra and Statistics, half of the program is a concentration in statistics, organized by Hong Gu of Dalhousie. There will be two courses in statistics: Statistical Learning with Big Data, with instructors Hugh Chipman of Acadia University and Xu (Sunny) Wang, St. Francis Xavier University; and Spatial Statistics, with instructor Julie Horrocks of the University of Guelph. CANSSI is co-funding the statistics part of this summer school.

Canadian Human and Statistical Genetics Meeting

CANSSI is sponsoring two sessions on methodology at the 2014 Canadian Human and Statistical Genetics meeting, to be held in Victoria, BC, May 3-6, 2014.

Statistical Society of Canada Student Conference

CANSSI will be contributing two of the awards for video presentations at the SSC Student Conference, to be held May 24, 2014 in Toronto.

Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

CANSSI is a sponsor of the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference CUMC 2014, to be held at Carleton University in Ottawa July 2-5.

Annual Planning Meeting

Prior to the CANSSI annual general (business) meeting on May 24, 2014 in Toronto, representatives of the institutional member universities will gather for an hour and a half for a scientific planning meeting. Among questions to be discussed: how can statistical science departments and groups, as well as CANSSI, contribute to a national effort to train students in modern data science? There will also be a presentation from NSERC on funding programs for collaborative research.

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