Home » Featured

Friends of Australasia Creates Statistics Workshop Series in Pacific Islands

1 November 2011 988 views No Comment

Australasia comprises 35 million people in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. Some of these nations have thriving statistics communities, while statisticians in others are working to establish theirs. In November of 2010, members of the American Statistical Association launched Friends of Australasia (FoA), an outreach group with the broad objective of facilitating communication and collaboration between ASA members and members of various Australasian statistics communities.

Delegates of the International Conference for Health Statistics in the Pacific Islands gather during a break between sessions.

Delegates of the International Conference for Health Statistics in the Pacific Islands gather during a break between sessions.

One way in which FoA members have striven to meet this objective is by establishing a conference series. The first of these conferences, the International Conference for Health Statistics in the Pacific Islands (ICHSPI), was held in Fiji from July 5–8.

FoA co-chairs Mark Griffin of the University of Queensland and James Cochran of Louisiana Tech University served as conference chair and program chair, respectively. ICHSPI was divided into an introductory stream for clinical researchers seeking to develop a solid foundation in statistics and an advanced stream for statisticians in the region who are eager to enhance their statistical skills through contact with renowned members of the international statistics community.

The introductory stream featured workshops on the role of statistics in research and society, basics of statistical inference, an introduction to linear regression, fundamentals of clinical trials, handling data with spreadsheets, beginning design of experiments, basics of panel data, graphs and displays of data, and an introduction to logistic regression.

Workshops featured in the advanced stream included mixed effects and clustered data, applied multivariate statistical analysis, operations research/constrained optimization, basic environmental epidemiology, effective communication of designs and results, operations research/mathematical programming, and introductory survey sampling. Seminars in which specific applications were discussed by researchers were also a major component of both streams.

In addition to Griffin and Cochran, the list of speakers included Grazyna Badowski (University of Guam), Chris Barker (Statistical Planning and Analysis Services, Inc.), Steve Bowe (Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council of Victoria, Australia), Dongseok Choi (Oregon Health and Science University), Jeremy Dorovolomo (University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji), Justin Fisher (U.S. Government Accountability Office), Mary W. Gray (American University Department of Mathematics and Statistics), Jodi Lapidus (Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Division of Biostatistics at Oregon Health & Science University), Karuna Reddy (University of Fiji Saweni Campus, Lautoka, Fiji Islands), Duncan Thomas (University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine), Ian Westbrooke (New Zealand Department of Conservation), Lynne Wilkens (University of Hawaii Cancer Center), Marcy Winget (Alberta Health Services and the School of Public Health, University of Alberta), Peter Wollan (Olmsted Medical Center), and Yutaka Yasui (University of Alberta Department of Public Health Sciences).

Communicate, Collaborate
Friends of Australasia use an email list to increase communication and collaboration. The list provides an opportunity for statisticians in various Australasian countries to reach out to each other and facilitates communication between Australasian statisticians and statisticians throughout the rest of the world. To add your name to this list and receive regular emails about FoA activities, see Friends of Australasia.

ICHSPI attracted 50 delegates from the Pacific Islands and 15 from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. As the first conference in this series, it was groundbreaking with respect to bringing together statisticians, health professionals, and associated researchers and staff. The conference established a strong foundation upon which FoA and the Pacific Islands statistics communities can build.

Plans for the next conference—to be held in Madang, Papua New Guinea, in July 2012—are well under way. However, the conference was renamed the Joint Oceanic Conference for Statistics and Information Systems (JOCSIS) to reflect the broader scope of future FoA conferences. Get involved with 2012 JOCSIS. If you have questions, email Griffin at m.griffin@adasis-oz.com or Cochran at jcochran@latech.edu.

This conference series is jointly organized by members of the FoA, Statistics Without Borders, the Statistical Society of Australia, the Australian Development Agency for Statistics and Information Systems, and the New Zealand Statistical Association.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Comments are closed.