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Simon Barry (1965 - 2023)

  • 2 Aug 2023 3:39 PM
    Message # 13235421

    Simon Christopher Barry

    12 February 1965 – 16 July 2023

    Simon Barry died in a car accident on July 16th, aged 57.

    Simon graduated with first class honours in statistics from ANU in 1990.  He worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) before completing a PhD on truncated data with Terry O'Neill at ANU (1996).  He then worked at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra, followed by ANU, both as a Statistical Consultant and as a Lecturer, before moving to the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) in 1999.  Simon moved again in 2008 to CSIRO where he held a variety of roles, including Research Director, Analytics and Decision Science in Data61.  He also recently became an Honorary Professor at ANU.

    Simon passionately promoted the use of statistics to support and improve decision making.   He strove to use statistics to make a difference.  He contributed to the New Atlas of Australian Birds for Birdlife Australia that won the 2003 Eureka Prize, was recognised (with others) for his contribution to activities that led to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) being awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and contributed to a project to map continental land use.  Simon was involved in international fisheries negotiations through the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.  He was particularly interested in biosecurity risk, including risk assessment for introduced pest species and the control of ballast water from commercial shipping. He was very interested in digital technologies, machine learning and artificial intelligence; he discussed synthetic data at the MODSIM2023 conference held shortly before his death.  Simon also did practically-motivated theoretical work on capture-recapture methods, zero-inflation, distance sampling, info-gap decision theory and presence-only data.

    The Society expresses its condolences to his family and friends.

    Ian Gordon
    President, SSA

    (Thanks to Alan Welsh for preparing this notice.)

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