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ISOSS Conference Held in Indonesia

3 March 2015 No Comment
Shahjahan Khan, University of Southern Queensland and ICCS-13 International Organising Committee Chair

The biennial 13th Islamic Countries Conference on Statistical Sciences (ICCS-13) was held at the IPB International Convention Centre in Bogor, Indonesia, December 18–21, 2014. The theme of the conference was “Statistics for Better Life.”

During the opening session, chair of the national organizing committee and vice chancellor of Trilogi University, Asep Saefuddin, welcomed participants and thanked Bogor Agricultural University (BAU) and the Islamic Countries Society of Statistical Sciences (ISOSS) for their support in holding ICCS-13.

Savas Alpay, director general of the Statistical, Economic, and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), emphasized the importance of statistical capacity building and cooperation between the national statistics offices and professional organizations such as ISOSS.

Acting president of ISOSS, Shahjahan Khan, explained the role of ISOSS in bringing together practicing statisticians and researchers of diverse backgrounds to improve the quality and development of statistics to serve humanity.

Founding president of ISOSS, Munir Ahmad, gave a brief history of ISOSS and noted its significant effect on the international statistical community over the years.

Illah Sailah—director of the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education of Indonesia—emphasized the need for timely and high-quality statistics for the formulation of government policies. Sailah announced that Indonesia has created a separate statistics subject cluster under the new research quality framework.

Deputy chief statistician for production of statistics in Indonesia, Adi Lumaksono, discussed the activities of the National Statistics Office and its engagement with government departments.

The vice rector of BAU, Hermanto Siregar, focused on the significant scientific contributions of the university during the last 50 years.

Haryono Suyono, a former Indonesia minister of population, presented the first keynote address, focusing on the history of developing an appropriate index to measure the fertility of Indonesia and how the program was successful in managing population growth.

M. Ashraf Memon of the University of Queensland presented a panel session on medical meta-analysis, covering issues related to current meta-analytic methods in the context of three meta-analyses on surgical data.

Two workshops were included in the conference: “Big Data Analysis” by S. Ejaz Ahmed of Canada and “Essentials of 21st-Century Undergraduate Statistics Curriculum” by Khan. The focus of the second workshop was to use educational technologies and adopt appropriate changes to teaching statistics through data analysis, as well as ensure graduates know statistical computing—including database management, multivariable calculus, and statistical methods—with the ability to communicate technical knowledge in a global context.

The conference dinner was hosted by the Bogor mayor, Bima Arya Sugiarto, who is a political scientist and an alumnus of Australian National University. He welcomed the participants and noted how important statistics is in planning and evaluation, confessing he was not a very good student of statistics.

The conference tour to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park)—a park containing history, culture, and geographical aspects of all 34 states of Indonesia—was highly enjoyed by participants. The park contains a miniature map of Indonesia and many museums representing different aspects of the Indonesian nation, nature, and culture.

In the business session of the conference, Abdul Ghapor Hussin of the National Defence University of Malaysia was elected the fourth president of ISOSS. He will serve for the next two years.

Khan’s proposal to establish a statistics center of excellence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was unanimously adopted by the delegates. They agreed to work together with other international statistical organizations on joint activities. Ahmad’s motion to launch a new journal also was approved.

The ISOSS Gold Medal was awarded to Saefuddin for his outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of statistics in Indonesia and beyond and to M. Hanif Mian for his contribution to the promotion of ISOSS and development of numerous sample survey techniques.

The next Islamic Countries Conference on Statistical Sciences (ICCS-14) will be held at the Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, December 17–20, 2016.

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