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Published three times a year, the ISI Newsletter provides a broad overview of the Institute's activities, and also includes additional information of interest to statisticians. The Newsletter is sent to all members of the ISI and its Sections (approx. 5,000) as part of their membership.
Editors: Mr. D. Berze and Ms. S. Mehta, Graphic Designer: Mr. H. Lucas
In this online Issue Message from the President Message from the Director ISI Executive Committee Report 57th ISI Session in Durban: Statistics: Past, Present and Future News of Members In Memoriam ISI Officers' Elections 2009-2011 Awards, Prizes and Competitions ISI Committee Matters: Committee for Women in Statistics Historical Anniversaries: Student’s t –test Conference on Climate Change and Official Statistics Memories of the ISI's Past ISI is Moving Calendar of Events News from ISI Sections Volume 32, Number 2 (95) 2008
Message from the President
The first few months of 2008 have been very eventful and readers may be interested to learn of the wide range of activities in which I have been involved.
In January, I taught a summer school course on survey methods in Canberra, Australia, and then took the opportunity to visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics where I gave a seminar to staff on international statistics. On my return journey through Sydney, I met Eugene Seneta, one of the two Editors of the International Statistical Review (ISR), to discuss the future directions of this ISI flagship publication. A new ISI Publications Committee has recently been established under the chairmanship of Karen Kafadar, with ISI Vice-President Vijay Nair as the link to the ISI Executive Committee. One of the many issues they will be addressing is the role of the ISR in the ISI portfolio of publications. Incidentally, they will also be examining the format and content of both this Newsletter and the ISI website, and we will be consulting ISI and Section members on their views.
Stopping over in Hong Kong, I participated in an early planning meeting on the ISI Session to be hosted there in 2013. The facilities for conferences in Hong Kong are exceptional and this, together with the warmth and efficiency of the Hong Kong statisticians, promises to be a really exciting Session. I was very honoured to be invited to give a talk on ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Statistics in the 21st Century' co-hosted by the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Statistical Society. It was a delightful occasion.
From left to right: Professor Wai-Keung Li (Chair and Head of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science of the University of Hong Kong), Professor Hing-Wang Fung (Commissioner for Census and Statistics of Hong Kong), Professor Denise Lievesley & Mr. Leslie Wai-Kong Tang (President of the Hong Kong Statistical Society)
At the end of February, I represented the ISI at the UN Statistical Commission in New York. The ISI is one of a very small number of non-governmental organisations in consultation with the UN in the statistical field, and in this capacity we receive invitations to send participants to various UN Statistics meetings. We rarely accept these unless we feel that the ISI can make a distinctive contribution; perhaps because there is an ISI Committee with a special interest in the subject of a particular meeting. The exception is the UN Statistical Commission, the annual meeting of official statisticians from across the world to share experiences and agree on new standards and methodologies. The ISI has a long tradition of participation and we represent the professional aspects of statistics (such as professional standards, ethics, training and career development). Pali Lehohla, the Statistician-General of South Africa, was voted into the chair of the Commission. Topics on this year’s agenda included the revision of the system of national accounts, the international comparison programme and indicators for development. For more information, see: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/commission.htm
Of particular interest to me was the presentation on statistics in Africa focusing on the first ever Statistical Commission for Africa, which was held in January of this year and which will take place every two years.
With Cynthia Clark, the Chair of the ISI Committee on Women in Statistics (CWS), I also attended a joint meeting of the UN Statistical Commission and the UN Commission on the Status of Women on the theme of indicators to measure violence against women.
With many other delegates from the UN Statistical Commission, I took part in a workshop on the “Global Integration of Population Microdata: Challenges for the 2010 Round” sponsored by the Minnesota Population Center of the University of Minnesota. The topic of the preservation and dissemination of microdata from censuses and surveys is one dear to my heart (having directed the UK data archive for seven years). In this regard, I am very pleased to report that the African Association for Statistical Data Archivists has just been launched and that they have accepted our invitation to organise a meeting at the ISI Durban Session. I would be happy to put other archivists across the world in touch with this new association.
To round off my busy week in New York, I attended the IAOS Executive Committee meeting as well as a meeting of those involved in agricultural statistics to plan the next International Conference on Agricultural Statistics, to organise a satellite meeting to the ISI Session in Durban and to discuss the review of statistics in the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
In mid-March, I moved to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to take up a six-month appointment as Special Advisor in the newly created African Centre for Statistics of the UNECA (the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa). Established under the direction of Professor Ben Kiregyera of Uganda, this has been set up to help countries meet the growing demands for statistical information for development and to provide the evidence-base that will enable them to better meet the challenges of the millennium development goals. The Centre is working with African nations to help establish sustainable statistical systems focusing on the organisation of systems to support data of quality and integrity, to propose statistical legislation necessary to underpin reliable official statistics, to develop and implement statistical plans, and to create strong mechanisms for consultation and the involvement of users of official statistics.
To read the latest edition of the African Statistics Newsletter, see http://www.uneca.org/statistics/statnews/ACSNewsletterMar08final.pdf
This work is giving me an unparalleled opportunity to get closer to statisticians in Africa, to gain a little understanding of the issues they are confronting and to appreciate, first-hand, some of the constraints that affect their daily work. I very much hope that, as a result, we shall be able to position the ISI to assist these statisticians who are facing some of the greatest challenges; statistics are so essential to achieving growth with equity and with sensitivity to the environment.
My location on the continent also enables me to work in harness with our South African colleagues who are busy arranging what, I have no doubt, will be the most exciting ISI Session to date. I have just spent three intensive days with Jacky Galpin, the Executive Secretary of the ISI Durban Session, and the rest of the team on every imaginable aspect of the Session organisation. More details on the ISI Durban Session are reported elsewhere in this Newsletter, but suffice it to record here that the event will be a wonderful combination of ISI tradition with African spice. We are working hard to make sure that it leaves a positive and lasting legacy for African statistics. ISI President-Elect Jef Teugels recently met the ISI Durban Session team when he was visiting the University of Stellenbosch and he echoes my pleasure in the organisation of the Session.
I was very lucky to represent the African Centre for Statistics at the recent biennial meeting of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa held in Maputo. The theme was Beyond Primary Education: Challenges and approaches to expanding learning opportunities. In the light of the significant progress towards universal primary education that Africa has made, the meeting focused on post-primary education and training, one of the greatest challenges facing African education systems today. The documents can be found on www.ADEAnet.org.
This also gave me an opportunity to visit the Statistics Office for Mozambique (INE), where I met many of the senior team and was given a presentation about the work of INE and its strategic plan 2008-2012. We talked about INE’s involvement in the ISI Session in Durban, which is only six hours drive away and therefore means that a reasonable number of their staff should be able to attend the Session. I still have ambitions to get at least one statistician to the ISI Durban Session from every African country and from as many other developing countries as possible. This requires funds and I am always pleased to hear ideas from ISI and Section colleagues for raising these monies.
I am really pleased to report that my letter in last month’s Newsletter about the planning of a meeting on the formation, role and maintenance of national statistical societies spurred both the Portuguese and the French statistical societies to offer assistance. I will definitely be taking up these offers. In a few weeks’ time, I will attend a meeting organised by the Uganda Statistical Society where we will spend some time planning the meeting on statistical societies. We recently held the first face to face meeting of the new ISI Executive Committee since Lisboa. A report of this meeting can be found here. At this meeting, we clarified that TIES (the International Environmetrics Society) has completed all the steps to make it a Section of the ISI. Therefore, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome TIES members into the ISI family, at a time when their statistical interests are increasingly critical to all of our lives.
Lest my account of these few months as ISI President gives the impression all your membership dues are being spent on my travels to exotic places, let me emphasise that only two of the visits were funded by the ISI - the UN Statistical Commission in New York and the ISI Executive Committee meeting in Voorburg. As reported in my letter in the last Newsletter, I am very grateful to other organisations for funding my travel.
On October 1st, I will take up a new permanent position at King’s College London where I will be the Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy and Professor of Social Statistics. Meanwhile, I intend to represent the ISI in as many relevant fora as possible.
Message from the Director
As you will see on the ISI website, we are now ‘counting down’ the number of days until the ISI Session in Durban. With a little more than 400 days to go until the opening day (August 16th, 2009), plans to ensure an aesthetically exciting and intellectually fulfilling Session are in full swing, and NOC Chair Mr. Pali Lehohla and Executive Secretary Prof. Jacky Galpin and her team will make it all happen. Prof. Galpin will be providing information about the Session on an ongoing basis – please see the article (click here). ISI Programme Co-ordinating Committee Chair Mr. John Kovar has some programme information updates to convey (click here).
Please note that the ISI Permanent Office will be moving to a new location on August 23rd-24th, 2008. Statistics Netherlands, which supports the ISI in so many ways, will be moving offices from Voorburg to Leidschenveen (a subdivision of The Hague), and Statistics Netherlands will kindly accommodate the ISI Permanent Office in this new location. Please note our new visitors’ and postal addresses (click here).
Speaking of The Hague, our ‘Memories of the ISI’s Past’ photo recalls the 13th Session of the ISI in The Hague in 1911 (click here). What a well hatted assembly!
Last March, it was a pleasure for me to have attended the Bernoulli Society’s Executive Committee and Council meetings, which took place in conjunction with the 8th German Open Conference on Probability and Statistics in Aachen. During the meeting, it was considered advantageous to explore collaborations between the Bernoulli Society and National Mathematical or Statistical Societies. Also, the Bernoulli Society has expressed its intention to support a project called “Distance Mentoring in Statistics” put forward by Prof. Arnoldo Frigessi, whose aim is to establish a web-based tutoring programme for Ph.D. students in developing countries. Additional details can be found in Bernoulli Society President Prof. Jean Jacod’s article (click here).
We congratulate Mr. Walter Radermacher, who has assumed the important position of Chief Statistician of the European Union and Director-General of Eurostat, leaving his present position as President of the German Federal Statistical Office. We wish him every success in his new position.
We also convey our best wishes to ISI Past President Dr. Ivan Fellegi, who has announced his intention to retire as Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada. Dr. Fellegi has made many contributions to the ISI and the international statistical community, and we wish him a pleasant and fulfilling retirement, and hope that he will continue his involvements in the international statistical community.
On a sadder note, we regret to announce the deaths of Prof. Sándor Csörgő, Prof. David G. Kendall and Prof. Chris Heyde. In the course of my ISI responsibilities, I had come into contact with Prof. Heyde upon many occasions, and I recall with pleasure his humorous anecdotes, his intellectual curiosity and his willingness to help develop the statistical profession. Please refer to the obituaries portion of this Newsletter, which pays tribute to these three influential members of our organisation (click here).
This issue’s ‘ISI Committee Matters’ focuses on the ‘ISI Committee on Women in Statistics’, Chaired by Dr. Cynthia Clark. The Committee requests your assistance in collecting reports on ‘Indicators of Violence against Women’ (click here). Please contact Dr. Clark if you are able to be of assistance.
ISI History of Statistics Committee ‘Guest Editor’ Prof. Eugene Seneta has kindly reminded us of the 100th anniversary of William Sealy Gossett’s (alias ‘Student’) t-statistic test (click here).
ISI Executive Committee Report
The ISI Executive Committee recently met in Voorburg and this is a brief summary of the main points of our discussions. Our work has been guided by the ISI Strategic Plan, which was developed in the 2005-2007 biennium, and the headings below are drawn from this plan.
Strategic Objective 1 – To enhance the ISI’s support of the international statistical community:
A new Publications Committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Professor Karen Kafadar and with Sections’ representatives. The Committee has just begun its work and is consulting on its terms of reference. Broadly, its role is to review the portfolio of publications of the ISI family and make recommendations to the ISI and Sections about changes to this portfolio. Subcommittees are being formed to develop proposals for the future enhancement of the Newsletter and the website, building on ideas provided by the ISI Sections and from an expert from Statistics Norway.
ISI Durban Session 2009:
Preparations for the ISI Durban Session are well advanced. We have been delighted to receive regular information about the progress of the Session and, as you will read elsewhere in this Newsletter, the Session promises to be very exciting. The Executive Committee is paying especial attention to security issues to ensure that participants are given full and appropriate advice.
Briefing Seminars for Chief Statisticians:
In the past, the ISI has organised special ‘Briefing Seminars’ for newly appointed Director Generals of National Statistical Offices. The Executive Committee considered the viability of continuing this programme in the future, as the format of the Seminars was in need of fundamental review. A small committee will be created to make recommendations on the future of these Seminars, taking into account the relevant developments of PARIS21, UNECA, Statistics Canada and other organisations.
Strategic Objective 2 – To promote and disseminate research and best practices in the statistical sciences:
The Executive Committee agreed that statistical research is an important aim of the ISI and Sections, and that the ISI has at least two roles in this regard:
• making sure that we, as an ISI family, are addressing key issues that demand statistical research, and that there is a place on the programme of ISI Sessions for ‘cutting edge topics’ and that we have mechanisms such as foresight exercises to identify such topics;
• encouraging greater cross-fertilisation of the ISI Sections, which often bring different perspectives on an issue.
We will be discussing this at the next Council meeting.
Strategic Objective 3 – To promote and disseminate research and best practice in all forms of statistics education:
According to its statutes and the objectives formulated in the Strategic Plan, the ISI is very ambitious with respect to education. In its statutes, the ISI is responsible for:
a) promoting excellence in statistical education;
b) providing coordinating services, such as a broad-based website, ..., outreach programmes, ... .
Among the strategic objectives, the following should be noted:
Objective 3: To promote and disseminate research and best practice in all forms of statistical education.
We would expect all of the ISI Sections (particularly but not only the IASE), in addition to the ISI itself, to have a strong interest in statistical education. A number of the ISI Sections have incorporated elements of the above objectives in their own statutes; some have even developed concrete projects in their realization of these goals. We are keen that we should have a broad understanding of the range of educational activities and roles undertaken by the ISI family to see whether we can build synergy between the various initiatives and can make more impact on statistical education at all levels. We look forward to discussing this with Council and with the membership more widely.
Strategic Objective 4 – To establish an appropriate role for the ISI promoting public awareness of good statistical practice and its value to the community, and in supporting good practice:
Strategic Vision for Agricultural Statistics:
ISI Agricultural Statistics Committee Chair had submitted a very useful paper on his vision for the ISI’s role in agricultural statistics, which has received the support of the ISI Executive Committee. A satellite meeting on agricultural statistics is planned for the ISI Durban Session (provisionally to be hosted by Mozambique).
Strategic Objective 5 – To enhance the ISI’s support for the statistical community in developing countries:
Planned meeting of African statisticians, to share experiences in establishing and maintaining national statistical societies:
Preparations are being made for a meeting across African countries to help them to establish national (and possibly a continental) statistical societies. The French and Portuguese Statistical Societies have kindly offered to join the ISI, American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society in supporting this meeting.
We continue to seek opportunities to support statisticians from developing countries.
Strategic Objective 6 – To broaden the range of areas of application in which the ISI is making a worthwhile contribution:
Restructuring – future strategy:
The ISI Executive Committee has discussed the proposed ISI restructuring, but we note that there are several aspects of the structure that need to be resolved, especially relating to the dues structure, the governance aspects, and the incorporation into the ISI family of other statistical organisations (such as national statistical societies). The ISI Executive Committee feels that it is important to take full account the views of the ISI Council (and especially the ISI Sections’ Presidents) and, thus, plans to devote one of the two days of the next Council meeting to this topic.
Report of the ISI Glossary of Statistical Terms Review Committee:
We are very grateful to the large number of volunteers who have worked on the Glossary. We will be thinking innovatively as to how we can improve the quality, coverage and scope of the Glossary in the future.
Strategic Objective 7 – To define and institute a constructive role for the ISI in supporting the development of young statisticians, and in encouraging the ongoing participation of older members:
‘Young Statisticians’ initiative:
We are very concerned that we should attract and involve more young statisticians in our organisation (i.e. the ISI and Sections). A paper on this topic written by ISI President-Elect Prof. Jef Teugels has been discussed intensively by the Executive Committee and will be discussed by the Council before involving the wider membership.
Strategic Objective 8 – To put the ISI and its Sections on a sound financial footing:
ISI Financial and Membership Reports and Financial Budgets:
The ISI Executive Committee is very pleased to note that in 2007 income has exceeded expenditure and we have reaffirmed our commitment to this being the ‘steady state’. Our aim is that revenue generated from the investments is either reinvested or used for specific one-off projects and that it should not be needed to meet regular outgoings as has been the case in recent years.
Professor Denise Lievesley
57th ISI Session in Durban: Statistics: Past, Present and Future
Why come to ISI 2009?
Well…, there is an exciting scientific programme, in a beautiful country, with great pre- and post-Session tours and satellite meetings … A standard ISI Session? No way! Remember the Africa night in Lisboa, and our Sydney stand’s wine and biltong?
We need YOUR help to create an ISI Session that will leave a lasting legacy for the ISI, Africa and the developing world. We need to drastically increase the number of young statisticians participating, and set up support structures for them.
We must ensure that statistics plays its full role in everyday life. The future vibrancy of the subject depends on this. Donor agencies pour billions upon billions into aid programmes, striving to meet the Millennium Development Goals, especially in Africa. Many conferences are held concerning poverty relief, combating illnesses, liberating women to take their full place in society, creating a better world for children / stopping child trafficking, giving everyone access to clean water, sanitation, health facilities, housing and education, to mention only a few topics. We know that statistics has a key role to play in all of these projects. If we don’t know how many people are in poverty, where they are, and what type of poverty they undergo, we are hamstrung in our efforts to solve the problem. We must be able to monitor and evaluate our programmes and interventions, to ensure the best returns on our investments. We must communicate with those involved in these activities, to ensure that they have access to the best statistical tools available. As statisticians, we need to engage in the development of these statistical tools, and talk to statisticians from all parts of the world to work out how we can best impact on these activities. ISI 2009 is the perfect place for this! We are trying very hard to ensure that all countries are represented at the Session.
Africa has started programmes to address the 2010 round of censuses, to build capacity among young statisticians and within National Statistics Offices. Training programmes have been initiated by various groups such as the South African Development Community and SPAS. The UN Economic Commission for Africa has appointed Prof. Ben Kiregyera as the Director of the new Africa Centre for Statistics. We are looking at developing our young statisticians and building strong statistics associations in African countries. Strengthening Statistics Councils to ensure the independence of National Statistics Offices is another thrust within Africa.
Within South Africa (SA), we started working on mathematics and statistics skills for school teachers at the Sixth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS-6). The programme has continued. One thrust of Statistics SA’s ISIbalo (a Nguni word meaning a “mathematical sum”) project looks at other aspects of maths and stats and school children, and includes South African participation in the IASE’s International Statistical Literary Project competition, the finals of which will be held at ISI 2009. Other priorities look at women in statistics and young statisticians – for more information, see www.statssa.gov.za/isi2009.
We are in discussions with the Chair of the ISI Sports Statistics Committee to see how they can most effectively contribute to the Session – ISI 2009 is a year before the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. This is our opportunity to use sports to promote statistics and statistical literacy through sports, not only in Africa, but in the world. Playing football/soccer involves trigonometry, looking at team performance involves mentally processing data! The finals of a football/soccer maths/stats competition will be held at the Session. How can we use other sports to enhance statistical literacy?
We need to get the media on board, and to EDUCATE them. Also, people in government – finance ministers must buy into the need for good official statistics. Ministers of Parliament need to understand stats to make decisions. We are planning programmes for this.
These activities will, of course, be in vain if we do not ensure that the scientific programme also emphasises the development of the theory of our subject, via close collaboration of more theoretically oriented statisticians across the world. We need the tools to meet the challenges of these issues – we cannot tackle climate change or the food crises without advances in statistical theory. Without ‘blue sky’ research, we cannot prepare for unknown challenges in the future.
We need YOU to help us to use the 2009 ISI Session to get us (the statisticians of the world) to contribute to the solution of these and other issues.
By the time you read this article, detailed information will be available on www.statssa.gov.za/isi2009, and the registration and abstract management processes will be open. Book these dates and join us for the next instalment of African hospitality!
Executive Secretary: ISI 2009
Report of the Programme Coordinating Committee for the 57th ISI Session 16-22 August 2009, Durban, South Africa
Committee and subcommittee chairs:
2009 PCC John Kovar firstname.lastname@example.org ISI General Topics Committee Dennis Trewin email@example.com Local Programme Committee Timothy Dunne Tim.Dunne@uct.ac.za Bernoulli Society Ursula Gather firstname.lastname@example.org IAOS Nancy McBeth Nancy.McBeth@stats.govt.nz IASE Helen MacGililvray email@example.com IASS Leyla Mohadjer LeylaMohadjer@Westat.com IASC Yutaka Tanaka
ISBIS Vijay Nair firstname.lastname@example.org
The ISI Programme Coordinating Committee (PCC) for the 57th Session of the ISI to be held in Durban, South Africa, is preparing the Programme of the Invited Paper Meetings (IPMs) for the Session. Below is a list of the proposed meetings with their titles and sponsors, and organisers with their coordinates. Organisers of the IPM’s are responsible for developing the programme for each meeting, inviting authors and discussants, and providing them with the necessary background information. They are also expected to attend the ISI Session in Durban and Chair the meeting that they organised. More information for the organisers, presenters and discussants is available at http://www.statssa.gov.za/isi2009/index.aspx under the tab labelled “IPM Instructions, guidelines and deadlines”.
A large number of speakers and discussants has already been identified and confirmed. This information will be provided as it becomes available throughout the summer of 2008.
Chair, ISI Programme Coordinating Committee
Invited Paper Meetings for the 57th ISI Session, Durban, South Africa
Download this list with IPMs (PDF or DOC)
News of Members
Professor James Durbin
The Royal Statistical Society has awarded the Guy Medal in Gold to Professor James (Jim) Durbin. The citation of the Medal reads: The Guy Medal in Gold is awarded to Professor James Durbin FBA for a lifetime of highly influential contributions which have given him outstanding international recognition as a leader in our field, taking particular account of his pioneering work on testing for serial correlation in regression, on estimating equations, on Brownian motion and other processes crossing curved boundaries, on goodness of fit tests with estimated parameters, and on many aspects of times series analysis especially in areas relevant to econometrics, and also his remarkable service to the wider statistical profession on the international stage.
Professor Durbin was elected to the ISI in 1955 and has served as Treasurer of the Bernoulli Society (1975-1981) and as the ISI President (1983-1985). He received ISI Honorary membership in 1999.
Dr. Ivan P. Fellegi
On 15th of February 2008, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Stephen Harper announced that former ISI President Dr. Ivan P. Fellegi will retire as Chief Statistician of Canada. Dr. Fellegi has accepted to continue as Chief Statistician Emeritus from 16th of June 2008. ISI elected member, IAOS and IASS member Dr. Fellegi writes: I have enjoyed more than I can tell you our numerous occasions of collaboration in various fora. My very warmest thanks to you for having been such wonderful colleagues and friends. I do sincerely hope that there will continue to be occasions when I can enjoy the pleasure of your company both as a friend and as a colleague.
Professor Dr. Tom A.B. Snijders and Mr. Johan Dragt became Knights of the Order of the Dutch Lion on 25th April 2008. Professor Snijders is Professor of Statistics in the Social Sciences at the University of Oxford, Professor of Methodology and Statistics in the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen, as well as an ISI elected member and Bernoulli Society member. Mr. Johan Dragt, former Head of the Statistics Department of the City of Utrecht, generously serves as a volunteer at the ISI Permanent Office, contributing to the ISI for more than 15 years.
Mr. Walter J. Radermacher
ISI elected member, IASC and IAOS member Mr. Walter J. Radermacher has been appointed Chief Statistician of the European Union and Director-General of Eurostat, the EU's statistics office. He will ensure the overall strategic guidance and management of Eurostat, under the authority of the responsible Commissioner. In his new role as Chief Statistician, Mr. Radermacher will oversee the Eurostat work programmes, assist in developing the European Statistical System and its integration into the global statistical system, and improve the programming and evaluation of statistical products and services in support of EU policies, especially with regard to simplification and reduction of the regulatory burden. He will maintain communication channels with Eurostat's main clients in order to monitor user needs, and ensure close cooperation on statistical matters with international organizations and non-EU countries.
Currently, Mr. Radermacher is President of the German Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) and ex officio returning officer for the elections in Germany to the European Parliament and to the German federal parliament. In this capacity, he is also responsible for the official statement of election results. Mr. Radermacher has held a wide variety of posts at the German Statistical Office during his thirty-year career there, notably in the fields of environmental and economic statistics. He has been President since December 2006, and was Vice-President between 2003 and 2006. During the 2007 German Presidency, he was Chair of the Council's working group on statistics. He has also chaired the UN Committee on Environmental–Economic Accounting. Mr. Radermacher holds degrees in business economics from the University of Münster and the RWTH Aachen University.
Professor Calyampudi R. Rao
Professor Calyampudi R. Rao, Emeritus Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics and Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis at Pennsylvania State University was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Madras at the convocation held during the sesquicentennial celebrations of the establishment of the university. The citation reads: by reason of his eminence and attainments; for his intuitive gaze into the order, rhythm, and sequence of dancing numbers; for his formulations of multivariate methodology and their applications; and for his steadfast work in the growth of health, communication, computer technology, and energy in India. This is Professor Rao’s 32nd honorary degree.
Professor Rao is a former ISI President as well as member of the National Academies of Science in USA, UK, India and Lithuania. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to statistical science. He was honoured by the President of United States with the award of the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to an American Scientist for achievements in scientific research.
The ISI regrets to announce the death of our colleagues:
Born Elected Deceased Professor Paul Koichi Ito 1924 1976 27 December 2007 Professor Sándor Csörgö 1947 1988 14 February 2008 Mr. Raymond Lévy-Bruhl 1922 1979 20 February 2008 Professor Christopher C. Heyde 1939 1972 6 March 2008 Professor Dr. Johannes Theo Runnenburg 1932 1965 16 April 2008
Professor Sándor Csörgö
Sándor Csörgő passed away on Thursday, February 14th, 2008, after a valiant but losing battle with cancer. He was the Professor in the Department of Stochastics of the Bolyai Institute, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary. His death is a tragic loss to the probability and mathematical statistics community.
He was born in Egerfarmos, Hungary, on July 16th, 1947. He graduated from high school in the city of Eger and went on to study mathematics at the University of Szeged, where he earned his university diploma. He completed his doctorate under the guidance of Professor Károly Tandori in 1972 with Professor Béla Szőkefalvi-Nagy serving on his examination committee. He obtained his Candidate Degree in 1975 at the Kiev State University under the supervision of Anatoli V. Skorohod and he earned the Doctor of Science Degree in 1984.
Professor Csörgő’s scientific career was closely tied to the Bolyai Institute. He became an assistant in 1970, teaching assistant in 1972, Assistant Professor in 1975, and Associate Professor in 1978. He was appointed Full Professor at the Bolyai Institute in 1987.
Professor Csörgő also held one-year visiting appointments at the University of California, San Diego (1984-85) and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1989-90). He also served as Professor in the Department of Statistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, during the eight academic years in the period 1990-1998.
Professor Csörgő’s wide-ranging research interests included major areas of probability theory and mathematical statistics. He opened several new fields of research; his contributions to the theory of limit theorems form his most lasting mathematical legacy. He is the co-author of one research monograph and author of 163 research articles published in international scientific journals.
He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 1984 and later an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He is one of the three Hungarian mathematicians who appear on the ISI-Highly Cited list of the Science Citation Index. In 2001, he was elected a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and in 2007 full member.
Professor Csörgő founded the Graduate School of Stochastics at the University of Szeged. In fact, he was the first to pursue research in probability theory and mathematical statistics at the Bolyai Institute. Due to his ground-breaking research in this area, his school soon won international recognition. One of his duties as Head of the Bolyai Institute’s Stochastics Programme was to design, develop and maintain all undergraduate and graduate probability and statistics courses at the University of Szeged. He was a dedicated and inspiring teacher and therefore had the ability to attract and influence talented students that he launched early on successful scientific careers. Six of his students won prizes at the Hungarian National Scientific Students’ Associations Conferences. Furthermore, four University of Szeged Doctorates, one Candidate Degree and four Ph.D.s were earned under his supervision. He also advised one Ph.D. student during his tenure at the University of Michigan.
Professor Csörgő was a prominent and active member of the mathematical community. He served on the editorial boards of several international journals and he contributed regularly his services as a referee for research papers and doctoral dissertations. In particular, he served as Associate Editor for the Annals of Statistics from 1986-88 under the Editorship of Willem van Zwet. He sat on a number of important university and national mathematical education committees, and had served as the Vice-President of the Mathematics Section of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2005.
For his distinguished scientific and educational achievements, he was awarded the Rényi Kató Memorial Prize in 1970, the Grünwald Géza Memorial Prize in 1974, the Erdős Pál Mathematical Award in 1986, the Award of the Academy in 1999, the Szele Tibor Memorial Prize in 2004, the Master Professor Award of the Hungarian National Conference of Scientific Students’ Associations in 2005, and the Szent-Györgyi Albert Prize in 2005. In 2007, he was awarded the Grand Prize of the Foundation for Szeged. The photograph below shows him accepting this prize.
On March 15th, 2008, Professor Sándor Csörgő posthumously received the prestigious Széchenyi Prize. The Széchenyi Prize is the highest honour awarded to researchers by the Government of the Republic of Hungary; it is usually presented by the President, the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament on the 15th of March, which is a national holiday. His widow, Zsuzsi, accepted it in his name.
His untimely death clearly ended a brilliant and highly productive scientific career. His mind was full of research plans until the very end. He continued working with his graduate students even after he became gravely ill. Sadly, his monograph on the St. Petersburg paradox, which he was writing in collaboration with Professor Gordon Simons of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, remains unfinished. His strong and engaging personality, good humour and his unfailing sense of justice and fair play will be sorely missed at the Bolyai Institute as well as in the greater international academic community.
Bolyai Institute, University of Szeged
David M. Mason, University of Delaware
Professor Christopher C. Heyde
Christopher Charles Heyde was born in Sydney, Australia, the son of Gilbert Christoph von der Heyde and Alice Dann Wessing. His great-grandfather had come to Australia in the 1840’s from the Lueneburger Heide area of Germany. Chris’s parents separated when he was very young, and Chris was brought up essentially by his mother. He went to school at Barker College, Hornsby (a suburb of Sydney), where he excelled at sports, particularly swimming. A damaged Achilles tendon on the football field and a gifted mathematics teacher led him to redirect his energy to academic pursuits.
He completed fourth-year Honours in Mathematical Statistics in the first full year, 1960, of the existence of the Department of Mathematical Statistics, in which H.O. (Oliver) Lancaster (1913-2001; an ISI member elected in 1961) was the foundation Professor. Chris graduated with First Class Honours and University Medal in 1961. He continued his studies at Sydney, and received his MSc in 1962 for a thesis on the "Theory of characteristic functions and the classical moment problem". His note, published in 1963, in which he showed that the lognormal distribution is not determined by its moments is from this period. It became a classic, and, in turn, achieved the accolade of being cited in William Feller’s classic Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications, Vol. 2.
In 1961, Chris began to work in P.A.P. (Pat) Moran's Department of Statistics on a PhD thesis at the Australian National University (ANU). He was awarded his PhD in Statistics in 1965, and later that year married Elizabeth (Beth) James, whom he had met at ANU, while both were engaged in their PhD studies. The mutually supportive marriage was remarkably happy. They had two boys, Neil born in 1967 and Eric born in 1969. At the time of Chris's death, he and Beth were the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.
In September 1964, Chris joined Joe Gani, then also a member of Pat Moran's Department, in moving to the Department of Statistics at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing. When Joe Gani left MSU to take up the Chair of Probability and Statistics at the University of Sheffield, UK, at the end of 1965, Chris followed him there and was soon promoted to Special Lecturer in charge of the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Manchester in 1967, when the Manchester-Sheffield School of Probability and Statistics was formed.
Chris returned to Australia in September 1968, where he took up a Readership in E.J. (Ted) Hannan's Department of Statistics in the School of General Studies (SGS) at the ANU. He had by then produced some 30 papers, a dominant theme of which was the refinement of classical limit theory involving large and small deviations, rates of convergence and domains of attraction, while displaying a breadth of interest in the contemporary issues in probability. There were strong links between Ted's teaching department and Pat Moran's purely-research department in the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS). The SGS Department, which had considerable strength in research, stimulated Chris's interests in new directions, notably the theory of branching processes statistical inference for them, and population genetics models related to them. In addition to a number of papers written individually by Chris, there were several joint papers with Eugene Seneta on these topics, and with Ted Hannan on time series analysis. In this work, a principal focus by Chris was the martingale concept. He was to become widely known for work on the theory and application of martingale methods, not least in estimation for stochastic processes. In 1973, he was awarded a DSc by ANU.
In January 1975, Chris joined the Canberra-based Division of Mathematics and Statistics of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). On Joe Gani’s departure as Chief, Chris took over as Acting Chief in 1981 until September 1983, when he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Statistics at the University of Melbourne. He was instrumental in creating the Statistical Computing Centre there, and, in 1985, of a Key Centre for Statistical Science, of which he became the Foundation Director. This was a joint enterprise of LaTrobe, Monash and Melbourne Universities, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
In May 1986, Chris returned to the ANU, and was Professor and Head of the ANU Department of Statistics in the Institute of Advanced Studies from July 1986 to December 1988. Pat Moran had retired in 1982, and Ted Hannan, Head till July, had retired in December 1986. From 1989 to 1992, Chris was the Foundation Dean of the ANU School of Mathematical Sciences (now the Mathematical Sciences Institute), which consisted of all mathematically oriented groups in both undergraduate and graduate sections of the ANU. Since 1993, while continuing at ANU, he was also a Professor in the Department of Statistics at Columbia University, New York. He taught there for their Fall semester each year (September to December) until 2007, and was the Director of the University's Center for Applied Probability.
Chris took a serious interest in the development of Mathematics and Statistics both in Australia and internationally. His publications list contains invited articles that attest to his ongoing concern about public perception and future of mathematical and statistical science, presented from his authoritatively perceptive standpoint. He was a Member of the Statistical Society of Australia's (SSA) Central Council in 1973-86, and the Society's Federal President in 1985-86.
He fulfilled many functions associated with the ISI, to which he had been elected as member in 1972. He was Associate Editor of the International Statistical Review in 1980-87; and was Vice-President in 1985-87 and again in 1993-95. Additional ISI Offices held were as Member of the ISIRC Steering Committee; Member of the Nominations Committee (1989); Member of the ISI Programme Committee for the 49th Session; and Chair of the Membership Committee. His official ISI record records his listing of his interests as: Probability Theory, Limit Theorems in Mathematical Statistics.
One of my memories is of the excellently organized ISI Session in Amsterdam in 1985. On one of the several excursions Chris and I indulged ourselves as art critics in the Van Gogh Museum, and had a beer afterwards near a canal to celebrate our “expertise” and discuss some of the conference presentations. Another excursion took us to Monschau across the German border, my first time in Germany since I left it with my parents as a child in early 1949 for a life in Australia.
Chris was also a member of the ISI's Bernoulli Society Council in 1979-87, its President-Elect in 1983-85, and its President in 1985-87. In the Committee for Conferences on Stochastic Processes of the Bernoulli Society, he was a Member 1973-83 and 1985-93; Chairman 1979-81 and 1981-83.
He was awarded an ISI Service Certificate at the Berlin Session of the ISI in 2003 and the Sydney Session in 2005.
Chris had a close association with the Applied Probability Trust from its inception. He was Editor-in-Chief of J.Appl.Prob. and Adv.Appl.Prob. from 1990 to 2007, jointly with Soren Asmussen from May 2005.
Other editorial positions included positions as Associate Editor of the J.Aust.Math.Soc., responsible for probability and statistics, in 1972-74, Editor of the Austral. J. Statist. in 1973-78, Associate Editor of Ann. Probab. in 1974-81, of Maths.Operat.Res. in 1976-90. He was also Associate Editor of Stoch. Proc. Applns. in 1972-82, and its Editor in 1983-89. He was one of the Editors of the Springer series of books in Probability and its Applications since 1985.
Chris's research ranged over many areas of probability and statistics. He authored and edited twelve books. Three are historical, namely I.J. Bienaymé: Statistical Theory Anticipated (1977), the Bicentennial History Issue of the Austral.J.Statist, 30B (1988), and Statisticians of the Centuries (2001). The first was co-authored, and the other two co-edited with Eugene Seneta. Their book on Bienaymé was effectively a history of probability and statistics in the 19th century, perhaps the first of a modern resurgence of books on the history of statistics. The third was published under the auspices of the ISI.
Six of the twelve books are edited collections of papers for special issues of journals, Festschrifts, or overviews of particular topics such as the Special Issue on Long-range Dependence of the J.Statist.Planning Inference 80 (1999) co-edited with V.V. Anh. Two are contributions to probability and statistics: Martingale Limit Theory and its Applications (1980) with Peter Hall, and the later Quasi-likelihood and its Applications (1997).
Topics such as stochastic processes with long range dependence, inference for time series, robustness of limit theorems, fractal scaling and generalizations of Merton-Black-Scholes theory are within the context of a more recent sphere of activity, financial modelling. His ideas of introducing dependence to models for financial returns, and treatment of heavy-tailedness of their distribution, have been hugely influential, and carried on by a group of students, collaborators and disciples.
His high standards, efficiency and integrity as editor, author and co-author were always greatly respected by his professional colleagues.
Chris continued to receive well-merited recognition for his contributions to probability and statistics. A Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 1973; he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in 1977. He delivered the Fisher Lecture at an Invited Paper Meeting at the 47th Session of the ISI in Paris. He was awarded the SSA's Pitman Medal in 1988, the Hannan Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 1994, and its Ranken Lyle Medal in 1995. The University of Sydney conferred a DSc, Honoris Causa, upon him in 1998, and he became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2003, for his services to Mathematics, more particularly to Statistics and Applied Probability. In recognition of his contribution to the social sciences, he was also elected to Fellowship of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA) in 2003.
On the occasion of his 65th birthday, his colleagues, friends and former students offered him a Festschrift [J.Gani and E. Seneta (eds.) Stochastic Methods and Their Applications. Papers in Honour of Chris Heyde. J. Appl. Prob., Special Volume 41A, 2004]. A list of his publications to 2003, which contains a number of invited encyclopaedia entries, was appended to the editors' introduction of that Festschrift of 2004 and is updated in an obituary to appear in J.Appl. Prob. (2008). His papers cover a huge variety of topics, testifying to a great breadth of interest and, in particular, to a remarkable ability to assimilate new directions in probability and its applications, and to enhance them.
He was diagnosed with hairy-cell leukaemia 11 years before his death, and underwent periods of treatment followed by lengthy periods of remission. He completed his normal activities at Columbia University in the Fall of 2007, but early in 2008 metastatic melanoma was diagnosed in Canberra. In an e-mail message dated January 20th, 2008, to the undersigned, he wrote:
Whatever happens, I certainly feel that I have had a fortunate life. I will be happy to have more, … but if not, I have had a good innings and can go in peace.
I saw him in Canberra Hospital a few days before a scheduled operation to relieve pain from bone fracture below the hip. He died just over a day after the operation, in the early morning of March 6th. We had been colleagues, co-authors and friends for almost 40 years.
He will be painfully missed by his wife and family, his many friends, and the statistical community worldwide.
Chris Heyde was one of the greats of probability theory of our time. His influence will remain.
Professor D.G. Kendall (1918-2007)
Professor David G. Kendall FRS, first Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge and the founding father and grand old man of British probability, has died aged 89.
David George Kendall was born in Ripon, Yorkshire, on 15th of January 1918. He attended Ripon Grammar School, where he became interested in astronomy. His mathematical talents were recognized early and encouraged – one teacher gave Kendall his Cambridge Part I lecture notes, and he was reading scholarship material in his early teens. He won a scholarship to Queen’s College Oxford in 1936.
At Queen’s, he was tutored by U.S. Haslam-Jones, encouraged in his astronomical interests by the astronomer Professor E.A. Milne, and taught analysis by Professor E.C. Titchmarsh. When he graduated in 1939, he won a scholarship for research in astronomy (he had already published his first paper in the field in 1938), but with mixed feelings as he was deeply in love with mathematics, particularly analysis. As he put it, “I was still torn between the two subjects and couldn’t see how the conflict would be resolved, but Hitler resolved it for me”.
Professor Kendall (1918-2007) and Professor Huiling Le in Uppsala during the Second Bernoulli World Congress in 1990
Like other brilliant young mathematicians of the time, Kendall soon became involved in war work. In March 1940, he began work with the Projectile Development Establishment, where he worked on rockets. As a result of the forced evacuations from Dunkirk and Norway, the British Army had to abandon most of its heavy equipment, in particular artillery. Rocket development acquired a high priority to fill this gap, since less metal and heavy engineering is needed. But, on the other hand, rockets are inherently less accurate than artillery shells, which are guided on their way by the gun barrel – just as a rifle is more accurate than a pistol. Study of the errors, or deviations from the intended trajectory, was crucially important, and as these errors are random, this made a study of the mathematics of randomness – probability and statistics – of prime importance. Kendall had to learn this material from scratch. These efforts led to the successful development of rockets used in massed batteries from assault ships on D-Day, and the deadly deployment of rocket-firing Typhoon fighters as tank-busters in Normandy.
After the War, Kendall naturally wished to return to academia, and on the strength of his wartime work, still classified, he was appointed as Mathematics Tutor at Magdalene College Oxford in 1946, a post he filled happily for sixteen years. His research, now and for the rest of his life firmly focussed on probability and statistics, flourished during this period. One highlight was his pioneering work of 1949 on stochastic (or random) processes for population growth. Another was his classic 1951 paper on queuing theory, which was motivated by the scheduling problems of aircraft and runways during the Berlin Air Lift of 1948-9. A third was a series of penetrating studies, with G.E.H. Reuter, of Markov processes (roughly, random processes without memory).
The University of Cambridge had had a Statistical Laboratory, de facto since 1947 and officially since 1953, and, in the early sixties, it was decided to appoint a Professor of Mathematical Statistics. Despite his being primarily a probabilist rather than a statistician, Kendall was appointed in 1962 and became a fellow of the then still new Churchill College. He held the Chair till his retirement in 1985, aged 67. During this time, the Stats Lab grew in both numbers and influence, as part of DPMMS, the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. Kendall worked, as usual for him, on a wide variety of problems, and encouraged others to do likewise; under his leadership, the Stats Lab developed into a wonderfully stimulating working environment. Some of Kendall’s problems were very applied – such as his work on epidemics, on bird navigation and on archaeology, including problems on arranging ancient Egyptian graves in chronological order, based on the varying style of the artefacts they contained. One of his favourites was his study of parish records from Otmoor, near Oxford: he was able to reconstruct the relative positions of the parishes from data on inter-marriages between them. He also continued to work on pure probability: renewal, regeneration, random sets, Markov processes, factorization of probability laws. His last major interest was the theory of shape, much of it in collaboration with Huiling Le, culminating in his book (with Barden, Karne and Le) of 1999. Part of the original motivation for this was the question of whether the number of near-alignments of ancient standing stones, for example in Cornwall, could have arisen by chance alone.
While statistics has long been very strong in Britain, and probability has traditionally been strong in Russia and France, Kendall was the first British mathematician of the first rank to specialize in probability. He is widely regarded as the founding father of British probability, since so many British probabilists are his mathematical descendants. Two of his most brilliant pupils were Sir John Kingman, formerly Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University, and David Williams, who succeeded him in his Cambridge Chair.
He enjoyed his retirement, and remained mathematically and physically active for a long time, though he began to suffer from memory loss in his final years. He died of inoperable cancer after a brief illness.
Kendall was widely honoured. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1964, was President of the London Mathematical Society (1972-4), and received the Guy Medal in Silver (1955) and in Gold (1981) from the Royal Statistical Society, and the Sylvester Medal of the Royal Society (1976), as well as several honorary degrees and other academic distinctions.
He married Diana Fletcher in 1952; they have two sons and four daughters. The eldest son, Wilfrid, is a Professor of Statistics at Warwick, and has collaborated with his father. The eldest daughter is the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall. He died in Cambridge on 23rd of October. He is survived by Diana, six children and eight grandchildren.
Please refer to this page regarding David Kendall’s role in the Bernoulli Society
ISI Officers' Elections 2009-2011
The following article presents the statements of the candidates for the Offices of President-Elect and Vice-Presidents for the 2009-2011 Executive Committee term. Additional biographical details and interests of the candidates will eventually be included in the election ballots which will be mailed out to all ISI members eligible to vote.
All candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
DAVID, Isidoro P. (Philippines)
Freelance Consultant since 2000 to national statistical offices (Bhutan, Philippines, Sri Lanka) and international agencies (ADB, Asian Productivity Organization – Japan, UNESCAP, UNSD, UNDP, UNFAO, World Bank); Adjunct Professor, University of the Philippines at Los Bańos; Director, Philippine Statistical Association Project that Trains College Teachers of Basic Statistics.
Name: Isidoro P. David
Country of Nationality: Philippines
Education: PhD (Statistics), Iowa State University
ISI Positions Held and Awards Received: Elected Member (1976) and Council Member (1993-97); Spallart-Von Neumann Medal for Outstanding Service (1995); Chairman, Gregor Mendel Committee on Agricultural Statistics (2001-05); Organizer and Presenter in Invited Papers Meetings; Member of Scientific Program Committees for the 1st and 3rd ISI co-sponsored International Conferences on Agricultural Statistics; 3rd Mahalanobis International Award (2007).
Section Membership: IASS, IASE
Section Offices Held: IASS Council Member (1989-93) and Vice President (1991-93); Member in IASS (1991) and IAOS (2003) Scientific Program Committees.
Other Relevant Professional Activities: President, Philippine Statistical Association (1987, 2006-07); Consultant to 1st (1986-87) and Member of 2nd (2007-08) High Level Special Committees to Review the Philippine Statistical System.
Relevant Work Experience: Instructor, rising to Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Statistics, University of the Philippines at Los Bańos (1963-80); Visiting Associate Professor, Ohio State University (1978-79); Statistician, rising to Chief Statistician, Asian Development Bank, (1980-2000).
Current Professional Activities: Free Lance Consultant since 2000 to national statistical offices (Bhutan, Philippines, Sri Lanka) and international agencies ( ADB, Asian Productivity Organization – Japan, UNESCAP, UNSD, UNDP, UNFAO, World Bank); Adjunct Professor, University of the Philippines at Los Bańos; Director, Philippine Statistical Association Project that Trains College Teachers of Basic Statistics.
My lifelong statistics work has ranged from teaching and research; manage university and international agency departments and a national statistics society; help build statistical capacities in developing countries; and most recently help improve a country’s statistics cadre and statistical literacy through training of statistics teachers. I hope to bring this experience to ISI and make its programmes and activities closer to international and national statistical interests, with particular relevance to developing countries.
LEE, Jae Chang (Korea)
Professor Emeritus, Korea University, Korea
Name: Jae Chang Lee
Country of Nationality: Korea
Professional Position: Professor Emeritus, Korea University, Korea.
Current Section Membership: IASC, IAOS
ISI Offices held: Council Member (1993-97), Chair of Membership Committee(1995-99), Member of the Program Coordinating Committee for the 50th Session(1995), Chair of the Local Program Committee for the 53rd Session(2001), Vice-President (2001-03) (2003-05).
Section Offices held: IACS Council member (1989-93), Chair of Program Committee (1993-95), President Elect (1999-2001), President (2001-2003), Co-Editor (2004- ) of CSDA, an official journal of IASC.
Other Professional Activities: Member of the National Statistical Council, the Republic of Korea (1987- 07), Chair of the Statistical Standards and Coordination Sub-Committee of the Korean National Statistical Office (2000-07), Chair of the Quality Assurance Sub-Committee of the KNSO (2002-07), Advisor to the Korean Central Bank (1987-93), Board Member of Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (1993-2007), Elected member of Korean Academy of Science and Technology since 1994, Editor of the Journal(1984-85) and President(1992-93) of Korean Statistical Society, President of Korean Classification Society (1995), Founding President of Korean Association of Official Statistics(1995-1999), Founding Co-Organizer for Biennial Korea-Japan Joint Statistical Conferences (1983), Organized ISI Cutting Edge Conference on "Demographic Problems of Countries Changing to a Market Economy" in Seoul (1997), Organized the 2004 ISI Special Conference on “the Vital Role of Statistical Science in Assuring National Prosperity” in Daejeon, Korea.
If elected President of the International Statistical Institute, my highest priority will be Statistics education – for school children, university students, young researchers and working statisticians; for the wider community, and in Developed and Less Developed countries.
My next door neighbor, who is in high school, told me that no one in his class takes Statistics as an elective course, because statistics is a most boring and dull subject, and his statistics teacher has killed off any residual interest he may have had in Statistics. I believe that students have a right to be taught Statistics in a way that shows them the excitement of the subject, and that it is a worthy major in college. (1) If elected, I will make it an important issue to improve the image of Statistics in the early stage of education. ISI can work at the national level with professional statistical associations and educational authorities to provide improved support to teachers of Statistics and to increase the enrolment rate in Statistics in their respective countries.
A few years ago, I visited a developed country where an academic colleague told me that they had serious problem with recruiting students. I asked him why. He told me that it is hard for Statistics majors to get jobs after they graduate. And even if they get a job, their salary level is much lower than that of graduates in areas like business, engineering and medicine. How then do we improve the career prospects for our graduates? To help them, we need to promote understanding of the wide range of rewarding careers in Statistics. (2) If elected, I will do my best to make ISI a place to discuss these problems and, together with national associations, work to identify and implement practical ways to address them.
Young statisticians, particularly young research statisticians, may attend meetings of their national society, but not many participate in ISI activities. It is a common problem for all the countries. One reason is that ISI participation does not help them with their career development; another is that they don’t have the resources to attend ISI Sessions. (3) I would like to see the ISI taking real steps towards helping them publish research papers in ISI journals and participating in ISI Sessions, for example by lowering registration fees. The ISI needs to engage actively with emerging new areas of Statistics such as gene mapping, medical genetics, quantitative analytics in finance and business, and so on, where there are fascinating and well-paid jobs. This way we make the ISI more attractive to young statisticians.
All countries, whether they are developed or developing, face a major challenge in how to communicate to the general community the vital role that Statistics plays in all aspects of their lives. There is much to gain by sharing information between the professional societies of different countries about how to do this. (4) I will work with the ISI Executive and Council to help raise awareness of the importance of statistical activities.
These four actions are entirely consistent with the Objectives in the ISI’s Strategic Plan, so that as President, I shall continue to ensuring that the ISI’s resources are focused on its highest strategic goals. My past experience as a member of ISI Council, ISI Vice-President, IASC President and Co-Editor of the IASC journal will be very useful in achieving these goals while at the same time keeping the ISI on a sound financial basis.
CHARRE DE TRABUCHI, Clyde (Argentina)
Chief statistician in the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) (2006-present); National Coordinator of the European Community - MERCOSUR Project in the subject Statistics II (2003-2006) National Director of the Living Conditions Statistics Department (1989-2002); Director of the Current Population Survey Department (EPH)
Name: Clyde Charre de Trabuchi
Country of Nationality: Argentina
Professional Position: (2006 - present) Chief statistician in the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC), National Coordinator of the European Community - MERCOSUR Project in the subject Statistics II. (2003 – 2006) National Director of the Living Conditions Statistics Department. (1989– 2002) Director of the Current Population Survey Department (EPH).
Current Section Membership: IASS
ISI Offices held: 2007 ISI Elections Committee Member. 2006 ISI Elections Committee Member
Section Offices held: (1996-1998) Vice-President of the International Association of Survey Statistician (IASS). (1985-1989) Council Member in the International Association of Survey Statistician (IASS).
Other Professional Activities: (2008–2010) President of the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI). (2006–2007) Elected President of the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI). (2003–2005) Second Vice-President of the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI). (1999 –2003) Vice- President of the Argentine Statistical Society (SAE). (2003 - present) Editor of Estadística, the Journal of the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI).
Interests: official and social statistics
I have dedicated my entire professional life to work on official statistics; through the years I have come to appreciate the importance of a good working relationship between the practitioners of official statistics and those working on academic aspects of statistics. These two areas complement each other and there is a big loss when the efforts in applications and theoretical developments are not coordinated. Through the ISI, I could help to coordinate efforts in these areas to maximize their output; in particular I am interested in using current methodology and technology to help developing countries to improve the quality of their official statistics.
The ISI has played an important role in promoting ethical standards, transparency, and independence in the practice of statistics. I would like to continue this effort to maintain and enhance the role of ISI in this crucial area and to reinforce the collaboration on this and other matters with regional organizations like the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI). I am currently the President of the IASI (my term ends in January 2010); as President and member of the Executive Committee of the IASI, I have played an important role in promoting good practices in the field of official statistics through the organization of several meeting in Official Statistics. I also have experience in publications as Editor and Associate Editor of the Estadística journal.
CHEN, Louis H.Y. (Singapore)
Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor; Director, Institute for Mathematical Sciences, National University of Singapore
Name: Louis H.Y. CHEN
Country of Nationality: Singapore
Born: 1940 Elected: 1999
• Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor, National University of Singapore
• Director, Institute for Mathematical Sciences, National University of Singapore
Current Section Membership: Bernoulli Society
ISI Offices held:
• Council Member (1997-1999);
• Member, Program Committee for the Bernoulli Society section of the 55th ISI Sessions, 5 - 12 April 2005, Sydney, Australia.
Section Offices held:
• President, Bernoulli Society (1997-1999);
• Chair (2001-2003) and Member (2003- 2005), East Asian and Pacific Regional Committee (EAPRC);
• Chair, Working Committee for the Revival of EAPRC (1995-1997);
• Member, Committee for Conferences on Stochastic Processes (1993-1999);
• Chair, Local Organizing Committee and member, Scientific Program Committee, 7th World Congress in Probability and Statistics, jointly sponsored by the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 14 – 19 July 2008, Singapore;
• Member, Program Committee, Bernoulli Society EAPR Conference, 18 - 20 December 2003, Hong Kong;
• Member, Advisory Committee, 2002 Taipei International Statistical Symposium and Bernoulli Society EAPR Conference, 7 – 10 July 2002, Taipei, Taiwan;
• Member, Scientific Program Committee, 28th Conference on Stochastic Processes and their Applications, 1-5 July 2002, University of Melbourne, Australia;
• Member, Program Committee, International Conference on Recent Developments in Statistics and Its Applications, 26 - 28 June 2001, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Bernoulli Society EAPR Conference);
• Co-chair, Program Committee, International Conference on Probability and Its Applications, 24-26 February, 1998, Taejon, Korea (Bernoulli Society EAPR Conference);
• Chair, Local Organizing Committee and Member, Program Committee, 23rd Conference on Stochastic Processes and their Applications, 19 - 23 June 1995, Singapore;
• Session organizer, 3rd World Congress of the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability and the 57th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 20 - 25 June 1994, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;
• Associate Editor, Bernoulli (1993-2000).
Other Professional Activities:
• President, Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) (2004-2005);
• Member, Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (2003 – 2006);
• Member, Corporation of National Institute for Statistical Sciences (U.S.A.) (2004 - 2005);
• Member, Committee on Nominations, Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1996-1997 and 2000-2001);
• President, Singapore Mathematical Society (1984 - 85 and 1988 - 91);
• President, Singapore Institute of Statistics (1982 - 83);
• Fellow, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World;
• Fellow, Institute of Mathematical Statistics;
• Member, American Mathematical Society;
• Member, International Chinese Statistical Association (ICSA);
• Member, Southeast Asian Mathematical Society;
• Member, Program Committee, IMS Annual Meeting, 9 -13 August 2010,"Gothenburg, Sweden;
• Member, Scientific Program Committee, 2008 International Workshop on Applied Probability (IWAP), July 7-10 2008, University of Technology of Compičgne, France;
• Member, Executive Committee, Fourth International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM), 17-22 December, Hangzhou, China;
• Member, Program Committee, 9th International Vilnius Conference on Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics, 25 - 30 June 2006, Vilnius, Lithuania;
• Member, Scientific Committee, Second International Conference on Abstract and Applied Analysis, 4 – 9 June 2005, Quy Nhon, Vietnam;
• Member, Program Committee, Conference on Stochastic Modelling of Complex Systems, 10 - 16 July 2005, Daydream Island, Queensland, Australia;
• Member, Executive Committee, Third International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians (ICCM), 17-22 December 2004, Hong Kong;
• Chair, Local Organizing Committee and Member, Program Committee, Sixth ICSA International Conference, 21 - 23 July 2004, Singapore;
• Member, Scientific Committee, International Workshop on Applied Probability, 22 - 25 March 2004, Piraeus, Greece;
• Member, Advisory Committee, Abstract and Applied Analysis, 13 – 17 August 2002, Hanoi;
• Session Organizer, International Workshop on Applied Probability (IWAP), 14 - 17 January, 2002, Caracas, Venezuela;
• Session Organizer, Fifth ICSA International Conference, 17 -19 August 2000, Hong Kong;
• Chair, Local Organizing Committee, International Conference on Fundamental Sciences: Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, 13 – 17 March 2000, Singapore;
• Session Organizer, Recent Advances in Statistics and Probability, 29 December 1997 - 1 January 1998, Calcutta, India;
• Chair, Local Organizing Committee, Probability Conference, 8 - 16 June, 1989, Singapore;
• Contributing Editor, IMS Bulletin (2006 -);
• Member, Editorial Board, Methodology and Computing in Applied Probability, (1997- );
• Advisor to World Scientific in Mathematics (1996 - );
• Associate Editor, Statistica Sinica, (1988-1996).
Research Interests: Applied probability and computational biology; has done fundamental work in Stein’s method and in Poisson approximation which has wide ranging applications in mathematics and science.
I believe that ISI should continue to reach out to statisticians in the developing countries and, in particular, in Asia. ISI should continue to collaborate with national statistical societies in these countries in promoting statistics and its applications. I would also like to see ISI and its Sections play an active role in promoting activities and scientific meetings in the developing countries. Having served as President of the Bernoulli Society in 1997-99 and as President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2004-05, I would be able to draw on my experience to facilitate these processes and assist the ISI Executive Committee in making strategic decisions, in addition to working with the Committee in fulfilling the overall mission of ISI. My experience in serving on many international committees and in organizing a large number of international and regional meetings over the past twenty years would also be helpful.
LEHOHLA, Pali J. (South Africa)
Statistician-General of Statistics South Africa since 2000
Name: Pali J. Lehohla
Country of Nationality: South Africa
Present Position: Statistician-General since 2000
Former Positions and Years of Appointments:
1995-2000: Chief Director, The Central Statistics Office
1992-1995: Director of Statistics, The North West Office
1988-1991: Development Researcher, Agricultural Development Corporation, Bophuthatswana
1982-1988: Senior Professional Officer, Statistics Office Bophuthatswana
Current Section Membership: IAOS
Offices Held in National Societies:
Membership of International Societies, International Association for Official Statistics,
Membership of (Inter)Governmental Commissions, Forum of South Africa, Directors General
Services to Statistics in Other Countries or at International level, Short mission of the United Nations to Cambodia Census in 1998, Serves on the monitoring committee of Sudan census 2007, Chairperson of the Africa Symposia for Statistical Development (ASSD), Chairperson of the UN Statistics Commission 2008-2009, Chairperson of the African Statistics Commission 2008, Chairperson of the Friends of the Economic Commission for Africa 2006 to present, Rapporteur for the United Nations Statistics Commission 2002 and 2005,
Other Professional Activities: Honorary President of South African Statistics Association
Interests: Statistics, Information and Political conflict
As the ISI convenes in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time in 122 years, it gives the collective and I who advocated and presented the credentials of South Africa as an appropriate host of the 57th Session of the ISI great pleasure. This is particularly so after enduring six years of working on the possibility for making this 57th Session in South Africa a reality.
We are also mindful of the burden we imposed on those who sat and made the decision to have South Africa host the 57th Session of the ISI. Such choices have been made on the basis of what South Africa and the continent has had to offer in terms of the intellectual and practical challenges that the statistical profession faces on the continent. These challenges should be sufficient to engage the global village of statisticians and establish a legacy that Africa will cherish and reference as the watershed for elevating the intellectual horizons of the continent by establishing lasting professional relationships within Africa and the rest of the world. Of significance in South Africa should be the establishment of the Statistics Training Institute, which should be an intellectual home for the continent where practitioners and theoretical statisticians should immerse themselves in explicating the complex human phenomena through the application of the most robust statistical methods. To those of us in Africa the ISI and positions of office in the ISI bring with them greater responsibility to advance understanding of the problems and challenges that confront Africa. The ISI becomes the platform through which mobilisation of intellectual capabilities can be expressed and implemented. In preparation for the ISI, we embarked on the ISIbalo drive through its multiplicity of programmes that have amongst others culminated in the Young African Statistician Convention, which will convene every two years, Women in statistics, Statistics and the girl child.
As a Vice-President of the ISI, I know that the 57th Session of the ISI has brought to South Africa and Africa not only the conference but a lasting platform for building intellectual capabilities in the field of statistics, and I am pleased to carry the flame and hand it over to generations to come.
We are aware of the troubled times of xenophobia in South Africa currently, however, we believe that our relationship as a community is strong and lasting, and has defeated apartheid and should as the Government of South Africa has committed, and I have also made a commitment to the ISI, shall defeat xenophobia and xenophobia will not and does not have a place in the ISI community.
NAIR, Vijayan N. (Malaysia/USA)
Donald A. Darling Professor of Statistics and Professor of Industrial & Operations Engineering; Chair, Department of Statistics; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Name: Vijayan N. Nair
Country of Nationality: USA
Donald A. Darling Professor of Statistics and Professor of Industrial & Operations Engineering; Chair, Department of Statistics; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
ISI Offices held:
Member of Council, 1993-97;
Member of Program Committee for ISI Biennial Session, Durban, South Africa, 2009;
Chair, Committee on Statistics in Industry (which is now the section --International Society for Business and Industrial Statistics, 1995-99;
Joint-Editor, International Statistical Review, 1996-99;
Member of Publications Committee, 1997-99;
Member of Program Committee for ISI Biennial Session, Florence, 1993
Other Professional Activities:
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science;
Fellow of the American Statistical Association;
Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics;
Former Editor, Technometrics, 1990-92;
Chair of Publications Committee, American Statistical Association, 2000-02;
Chair of Nomination Committee, Institute of Mathematical Statistics 2001-02;
Chair of Fellows Committee, Institute of Mathematical Statistics 1993 and 1994;
Chair of Board of Trustees, National Institute of Statistical Sciences, USA 2004-08;
Member, US National Research Council’s Committee on National Statistics, 2004-08
I can contribute to the ISI in the following areas:
• Outreach to statistical practitioners and new researchers in developing countries: The ISI and the Sections should continue to develop close collaborations with national/regional societies in developing countries, help to promote statistics in these regions, provide support to practitioners as well as mentoring to new researchers. This is one of the main areas that the current ISI Executive Committee (of which I am a member) has been focusing on for the past year or so. I have also been involved in the ISI's activities in industrial and business statistics for 15 years (organizing conferences and workshops and developing links in various regions) and was instrumental in starting ISBIS, the new section.
• Publications/educational efforts: The ISI family has very good archival journals for researchers but there is a need for publications that help to promote statistics and best practices as well as technology transfer. E-publications can be an effective medium for these. As a member of the current ISI Executive Committee, I have worked over the past year to restructure the ISI Publications Committee to have stronger representation from the Sections and to better coordinate publication efforts. I am also chairing a taskforce to identify ways to focus the International Statistical Review as a top review journal. I have past experience in publications as former editor of IS Review and Technometrics and former chair of the ASA Committee on Publications and member of ASA Electronic Publications Task Force.
SNORRASON, Hallgrímur (Iceland)
Retired on 1 January 2008 from the post of Director-General of Statistics Iceland having served in that position since 1985 or for 23 years. Presently employed as independent consultant.
Name: Hallgrímur Snorrason
Born: Reykjavik, Iceland on 29 January 1947
Elected: 1994 (ex-officio member 1985-2007)
Professional position: Retired on 1 January 2008 from the post of Director-General of Statistics Iceland having served in that position since 1985 or for 23 years. Presently employed as independent consultant.
Current section membership: Has been a member of the IAOS since 1990.
Section Offices held: IAOS President-Elect 1991-1993, IAOS President 1993-1995.
Other professional activities: Very active in international and European statistical cooperation in 1985-2007, such as the Conference of European Statisticians, the EU Statistical Programme Committee, the UN Statistical Commission, the OECD Statistics Committee and the Nordic Statistical Cooperation. Has been involved in statistical capacity building projects in several countries (Baltic States, Palestine, Eritrea, Angola) and acted in advisory capacity in various parts of the world (Balkan countries, East Caribbean, Arab countries).
Interests: Statistical capacity building, development, organisation and management of central statistical offices and official statistics systems, statistical legislation and best practices in official statistics on the professional level. Outdoor life, fishing and classical music on the private level.
I have been associated with the ISI and the IAOS for a long time and participated actively in their affairs over the years, in particular as President of the IAOS, the main organiser of the IOAS-AFSA Conference in Addis Ababa in 1995, the IAOS conference in Reykjavik in 1996 and most recently as member of the ISI Restructuring Committee in 2006-2007 and member of the ISI Investment Committee since 2008. I am interested in continuing to work on ISI matters having more time on my hands since retirement from heading the central statistical office of Iceland for more than two decades. For me, the ISI is especially interesting as it unites under one umbrella such a variety of statistical disciplines and professions. I am particularly interested in the restructuring of the ISI that I see as prerequisite for the continued and reinforced multi-dimensional and multi-cultural cooperation of statisticians from all corners of the world within one association. Furthermore, I am especially interested in statistical capacity building in the developing parts of the world and sharing of experience by statisticians from countries of different levels of statistical development.
Awards, Prizes and Competitions
The Fourth ISI Mahalanobis Prize 2009
The Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, representing the Indian Government, is continuing its biennial initiative to award the P.C. Mahalanobis Prize in memory of this eminent Indian statistician. The Prize is to be awarded to a statistician who comes from a developing country and has worked there in recognition of his/her lifetime achievement in statistics and the promotion of best statistical practices. This initiative will serve the double purpose of keeping the memory of P.C. Mahalanobis alive and of recognising and stimulating progress in statistics in developing countries. The previous winners of the Prize are Prof. C.R. Rao, Prof. Benjamin Kiregyera and Dr. Isidoro David.
At the request of the Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation for the Government of India, the International Statistical Institute has again established a Committee to propose a candidate for this Prize, according to the Memorandum of Understanding. The ISI administers a Fund of € 52,000 provided by the Indian Government, of which the interest will be used to award the Prize, which will consist of an economy class return airplane ticket to the ISI Durban Session, a per diem payment for accommodation and other living expenses while in Durban, and a Euro currency equivalent prize of US$ 5,000. The prize will be awarded at the ISI Session in Durban (August 16-22, 2009).
The Mahalanobis Committee Jury invites you to propose a candidate to the Committee, with arguments supporting the proposed candidate. Proposals can be sent to Ms. Shabani Mehta at the ISI Permanent Office (@cbs.nl) before August 1, 2008.
Jan Tinbergen Awards: Competition for Young Statisticians from
Developing Countries 2009
The International Statistical Institute announces the fourteenth Competition among young statisticians from developing countries who are invited to submit a paper on any topic within the broad field of statistics, for possible presentation at the 57th Session of the ISI to be held in Durban, South Africa, in August 2009.
Participation in the Competition is open to nationals of developing countries who are living in a developing country, and who were born in 1977 or later (see https://www.isi-web.org/404?tinbergen/2009papers.htm). Developing countries will be defined as countries with an annual GDP per capita of less than US$ 4,000 (U.N. 2006); see the list at https://www.isi-web.org/404?developing.htm.
Previous winners of the Award are prohibited to compete again. Papers submitted must be unpublished original works, which may include material from participants’ university theses. The papers submitted will be examined by an International Jury of distinguished statisticians, who will select the three best papers presented in the Competition. Their decision will be final.
Each author of a winning paper will receive the Jan Tinbergen Award in the amount of € 2,269 and will be invited to present his/her paper at the Durban Session of the ISI, with all expenses paid (i.e. round trip economy airline ticket from his/her place of residence to Durban, plus a lump sum to cover living expenses).
Manuscripts for the Competition should be submitted in time to reach the ISI no later than January 1, 2009.
The rules governing the preparation of papers, application forms and full details are available on request from the ISI Permanent Office. The address is as follows:
The Director of the Permanent Office
International Statistical Institute
428 Prinses Beatrixlaan
2273 XZ Voorburg, The Netherlands
Fax: +31 70 386 0025; E-mail: @cbs.nl
Cochran-Hansen Prize 2009: Competition for Young Survey Statisticians from
Developing and Transitional Countries
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the International Association of Survey Statisticians established the Cochran-Hansen Prize to be awarded every two years to the best paper on survey research methods submitted by a young statistician from a developing or transitional country. Participation in the competition for the Prize is open to nationals of developing or transitional countries who are living in such countries and who were born in 1969 or later.
Papers submitted must be unpublished original works. They may include materials from the participant's university thesis. They should be in either English or French. Papers for consideration should be submitted to the IASS Secretariat at the address given below and to arrive by December 29, 2008. Each submission should be accompanied by a cover letter that gives the participant's year of birth, nationality, and country of residence. The cover letter must also indicate if the work submitted is the result of a PhD thesis and, in the case of joint papers, the prize candidate must state clearly what his/her contribution to the paper is.
The papers submitted will be examined by the Cochran-Hansen Prize Committee appointed by the IASS. The decision of the Committee is final.
The winner of the Prize will be invited to present his/her paper at the 57th Session of the International Statistical Institute to be held in Durban, South Africa, August 16-22, 2009, and the name of the winner will be announced at the ISI General Assembly in Durban.
The author of the winning paper will receive the Cochran-Hansen Prize in the form of books and journal subscriptions to the value of about € 500, and will have reasonable travel and living expenses paid in order to present the paper at the ISI Session in Durban.
For further information, please contact:
Madame Claude Olivier
International Association of Survey Statisticians
CEFIL-INSEE, 3 rue de la Cité, 33500 Libourne, France
Tel: +33 5 57 55 56 17, Fax: +33 5 57 55 56 20
ISI Committee Matters: Committee for Women in Statistics
Request for Reports on Indicators of Violence against Women
Of particular interest to the ISI Committee on Women in Statistics (CWS) was a joint meeting in February between the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN Statistics Commission addressing progress on indicators of violence against women. At a previous joint meeting of the two Commissions in 2007, participants had noted the difficulty of collecting data on various forms of violence against women at the national level through comprehensive surveys. To further this work, several international organizations commissioned a meeting of experts in Geneva in October of 2007 to propose a set of international indicators to measure violence against women. The linked document provides the indicators: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw52/issuespapers/Issues paperVAW_final.pdf. The 2008 joint meeting reported on the recommendations of the expert group. That included indicators relating to physical violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and harmful practices (e.g. female genital mutilation, early marriage). The full report is at:
Subsequent to that meeting, the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN sponsored a seminar through the UN Division for the Advancement of Women entitled “Getting the facts to make the change: how violence against women surveys lead to change”, where a report was provided on an international survey (International Violence Survey) that was conducted in 2003 in the following countries: the Philippines, Greece, Denmark, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Australia, Poland, Switzerland, Mozambique. Representatives from Finland and Canada provided context for the effort that led to the survey. Questions on the survey addressed issues of both physical and sexual violence. There are numerous methodological issues to be addressed in multi-country research, which are compounded by the difficulties in collecting data on sensitive topics as this is. The methodological issues include: culture, political, subjectivity, translation, differences in mode of interviewing, and response related issues.
The results of the survey have recently been issued in a book published by Springer. Some countries who would likely be interested in participating in a comparative survey already have there own surveys that incorporate information on violence against women. In particular, these include both Canada and Finland – two countries very involved in the design of this international survey, as well as the U.S. and Australia. Sansao Buque (Mozambique) and Monserrat Sagat (Costa Rica) reported on how useful the results of the survey have been in establishing programmes and policies in their countries. This was followed by questions and comments from the audience.
The ISI Committee on Women in Statistics would like to follow up on this topic by requesting that ISI members who have knowledge of efforts in their countries to collect data or publish indicators of violence against women inform the Committee Chair, Cynthia Clark (email@example.com). The Committee will make any information that it collects available on its website so that a dialogue can be established (http://www.nass.usda.gov/cws). If enough interesting studies are found, the Committee will organize a special topic contributed session at the 2009 ISI Session in Durban. For planning purposes, it would be desirable to hear from anyone with information by the 15th of July.
Dr. Cynthia Clark
Historical Anniversaries: Student’s t – test (1908)
Perhaps the best known of all statistical tools is the ‘Student’s’ t – statistic, which enables inferences to be made, irrespective of sample size, about a mean of a (normal) population through the use of (1) the natural descriptive quantities: sample size, sample mean, and sample standard deviation, calculated from a random sample taken from the population; and (2) a tabulation or computation a relevant quantile of the t – distribution. The name dates to the paper: Student (1908) The probable error of a mean, in Biometrika, 6, 1-25, which contains the derivation (apart from some technical gaps) of the sampling distribution of the t – statistic.
As is well-known now, “Student” was the pseudonym of William Sealy Gossett (1876-1937) a researcher working for the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, who was a contemporary of the great English statisticians Karl Pearson (K.P.) (1857-1936) and Ronald A. Fisher (1890-1962) by whom he has been overshadowed in his contributions to the evolutionary direction of mathematical statistics. This has been compensated by Egon S. Pearson (E.S.P.) (1895-1980), the son of K.P. and co-founder of the Neyman-Pearson theory of statistical hypothesis testing, who knew Gossett well and chose to devote some of the time of the last years of his life to systematizing Gossett’s correspondence with himself and K.P. The project was unfinished at the time of E.S.P.’s death. Its material was edited and integrated with earlier source material and Gossett’s correspondence with R.A. Fisher in R.L. Plackett and G.A. Barnard (Eds.) ‘Student’: A Statistical Biography of William Sealy Gossett. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990. A subsequent briefer biographical study of Gossett and his contributions (as of K.P., R.A. Fisher, and E.S.P) is available in C.C. Heyde and E. Seneta (Eds.) Statisticians of the Centuries, Springer, New York, 2004, published under the auspices of the ISI.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gossett’s paper in March, the March 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Statistical Association has a paper on the mathematical and historical aspects entitled: On Student’s 1908 paper “The probable error of the mean”, by S.L. Zabell. This is accompanied by several “Comment” papers. Since a belated Karl Pearson issue of the International Statistical Review is planned for early 2009 in line with the various celebrations of K.P’s 150th birthday in 2007, the present commemoration in 2008 of Gossett’s famous paper is timely, especially since there is a link with the work in financial mathematics in recent years of Professor C.C. Heyde, whose death occurred in March 2008, and whose obituary appears in the present Newsletter.
Student’s methodological approach via moments to guessing that under normal sampling of size n, the distribution of sample variance S2 suitably scaled has a chi-square distribution (a Pearson Type III distribution) with n -1 degrees of freedom, on the basis of third and fourth moments, and his approach to the independence of the sample mean and S2 by establishing uncorrelatedness again using moments, remained an acceptable means of justification for many years. Markov and Chuprov in their correspondence of 1916-1917 (Ondar, Kh.O., Ed.) (1981) The Correspondence between A.A. Markov and A.A. Chuprov on the Theory of Probability and Mathematical Statistics, Springer, New York) were led by moment arguments to conjecture a limiting Pearson Type III distribution, when like Student they considered the distribution of a ratio of random variables.
There was a second paper by Student [Probable error of a correlation coefficient, Biometrika, 6 (1908) 1-25] in that year, which was also very influential.
A theme which runs through Sandy Zabell’s meticulously researched account is that of Bayesian context, not least in Student’s thinking. Particularly interesting is the remark to Fisher of April 3rd, 1922, that the only prior that Student found acceptable round the time of preparing his two 1908 papers was the uniform, which was not only consistent with Fisher’s own maximum likelihood method of estimation, but enabled Student to handle the mathematics.
Student laments in a letter to Fisher in 1934 that in pre-Fisher days no one paid the slightest attention to the first 1908 paper. People in the emerging Statistical School of the Russian Empire did however pay attention to the second 1908 paper as early as 1912, and soon after to other papers.
At the time, Student was working on the two 1908 papers, the ideas of Karl Pearson’s English Biometric School were gaining currency among the statisticians of the Russian Empire. In 1912, there was a book: The Theory of Correlation and Elements of the Study of Curves of Distribution (in Russian), by Evgenii Evgenievich Slutsky whose name was to become famous in econometrics as well as in mathematical statistics. The second (and main) part of the book is on the theory of correlation. Within this theory, which is in effect large-sample based with underlying approximate normality of estimators, the probable error of the sample correlation coefficient r is given by:
where N is the sample size. In his account, it is the second 1908 paper of Student that is of interest to Slutsky. He studied it meticulously, and he cites its main conclusions over pp. 96-98:
“According to the investigations of “Student”, [the above] formula… may be applied at values of N no less than 30. For smaller samples it cannot be relied on, and another method of assessment must be applied ... . As a practical rule, for N between 20 and 30 the sample correlation coefficient should be no less than 0.5 [in absolute value] in order to speak of existence of non-zero [population] correlation with some degree of certainty ... . In conclusion we must admit with regret that on the basis of tables constructed according to “Student”’s formula, the statistician should not apply correlational theory at all to samples of size less than 20.”
The fact that the Student t – distribution is variance-mixing on the normal variance, the mixing distribution being inverse gamma; and the heaviness of its Pareto-type tails (a property manifested in the non-existence of higher moments) has led to its resurgence, as a symmetric scaled model for the distribution of financial returns (log-price increments) in preference to the normal distribution, in recent decades. The resurgence probably dates to a paper of Praetz [J. Business, 45 (1972) 49-55]. Empirical investigations initiated by Heyde [J.Appl Prob., 36 (1999) 1234-1239] tend to favour non-existence of higher moments for a model of returns.
Conference on Climate Change and Official Statistics
The Conference on Climate Change and Official Statistics, organized by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) in collaboration with the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the World Bank, was held in Oslo, Norway, from 14 to 16 April 2008. The Conference was hosted by Statistics Norway.
Climate change is high on the political agenda at all levels. The official statistics community presently engages the issues of climate change in an ad hoc manner. Some national statistical offices are heavily engaged and provide all official estimates required in the monitoring efforts. Some engage only in analytical efforts, principally to investigate the effects of mitigation protocols on the national economy or the impact of climate change in planning scenarios. Many others have no activities at all related to this topic. The Conference was designed to discuss how official statistics can contribute to the measurement and monitoring of the different aspects of climate change and to try to agree on an agenda for future work.
The Conference was attended by 116 participants representing 55 countries (national statistical offices and environmental ministries) and 15 international organizations. Five participants from developing countries were funded as a result of fellowships provided by the ISI, with funding support from the World Bank, for which the participants were extremely grateful.
The Conference was opened by Kristin Halvorsen, Minister of Finance for Norway. It had seven sessions. These were:
1. Setting the scope;
2. Greenhouse gas emission calculations as part of official statistics;
3. What is the role of official statistics in the measurement of the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change?
4. Carbon emission trading and other mitigation strategies;
5. How can official statistics support climate change scenario development and modelling and better inform the IPCC Fifth assessment Round;
6. Bringing it all together;
7. Conclusions and recommendations.
Paul Cheung, Director of the UN Statistics Division (UNSD) gave a summary of the conclusions of the Conference. The presentations and the discussion showed that there is a huge demand for new, more, better statistics to understand the driving forces, pressures, impacts of and responses to climate change. However, a lot of this demand is beyond the competence of official statistics and national statistical offices. Many offices do not have the resources to deal with these issues and do not even have environment statistics programmes. On the other hand, the existence of national climate change strategies in more and more countries, as well as the high interest in the conference, suggest that there is a change in momentum and the countries’ interest in environment statistics is increasing.
From left to right: Mr. Walter J. Radermacher,
Mr. Řystein Olsen, Prof. Paul Cheung, Mr. Olav Ljones and Mr. Dennis Trewin
The main possibilities were identified as follows:
1. A lot of basic statistics are collected that could be used for greenhouse gas emission calculations, but greater effort has to be made to organise these data. Statistical offices have to understand the methodology of these calculations. It is proposed to develop a knowledge base of the practices of national statistical offices in this area.
2. In relation to the measurement of the impacts and vulnerability the role, competence and strength of official statistics is not so straightforward. A major task will be to gather and compile examples of good practices.
3. There is an important role for statistical offices in the understanding of emission trading schemes and other mitigation measures. This requires sophisticated, advanced analysis of standard tools such as the input-output tables or energy supply and use tables, the existence of which is the prerequisite to the analysis.
4. More work will be done for the further development and implementation of the System of integrated Environmental-Economic Accounts. It is a framework that has proven its potential and added value in many areas of environmental-economic analysis.
5. Much more has to be done on the use of geographical information systems and on the development of spatial data infrastructures. The examples of Mexico and Brazil show that there is a great potential in the use of GIS for spatial analysis of the impacts of and vulnerability to climate change and for the integrated analysis of different types of information.
The papers of the Conference and other materials are available on the UNSD website.
Memories of the ISI's Past
Accompanying participants at the 13th ISI Session in The Hague in 1911.
Statistics Netherlands is moving to a new building in The Hague-Leidschenveen and the ISI is pleased to be moving with them.
New Offices under Construction
Photograph taken by: Dr. Jurriën Vroom
New ISI Permanent Office Postal & Visitors Addresses
Please note that our telephone/fax numbers will remain unchanged
• From August 24th, 2008, our new visitors address will be:
Henri Faasdreef 312
• From August 24th, 2008, our new postal address will be:
P.O. Box 24070
2490 AB Den Haag
News from ISI Sections: Bernoulli Society IAOS IASC IASE IASS IFC ISBIS
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News from ISI sections Volume 32, Number 2 (95) 2008
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