The Young Statisticians Conference 2019 (YSC19) – a forum designed for students and early-career statisticians – was held during 1-2 October in Manuka Oval, Canberra. Presentations were given by invited keynote speakers Teresa Dickinson (ABS), Calvin Hung (QuantumBlack), Alison Presmanes Hill (RStudio), and Margarita Moreno-Betancur (VicBiostat). Each elucidated the current trends in their respective fields, but laced their presentations with stories of experience, highlighting their own career-related journeys while giving little nuggets of wisdom to our enthralled audience. YSC19’s Careers Panel consisted of Louise Ryan (UTS), Teresa Neeman (ANU), Warren Muller (CSIRO), and Smitha Ramaswamy (Teachers Mutual Bank/UniBank). The invited speakers and panellists provided a much-needed insight for YSC19 delegates, with each demonstrating the multiple and diverse career paths available for our young statisticians.
In addition to the excellent presentations by our seasoned professionals, the talent amongst our delegates became evident very quickly, with demonstrated statistical applications ranging from agriculture to computer science. Amid the plethora of excellent works, Sarah Romanes from the University of Sydney won the Louise Ryan Best Presenters Award, the first ever named award in YSC history. The second and third Louise Ryan Best Presenters Award was awarded to Sayani Gupta from Monash University and Laura Cartwright from University of Wollongong. Details of their presentations are available in the above-mentioned website.
A video competition was established for students/early-career researchers who were unable to attend YSC19 but wished to be a part of the action. First prize went to Tan Jing Yi Joshua (Singapore Management University) for his video titled ‘Remember.For.Me’. Joshua and his colleagues conducted surveys to evaluate the degree of misunderstanding regarding dementia among the Singaporean population. The runner-up was Mustafa Shaheer Hamid (Monash University). Mustafa’s video, titled ‘Employing Semantic Segmentation Using Neural Networks’, used the segmentation method on the data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to remove noise from a particle shower, which results in more accurate energy measurements of the particles.
With hard work comes a little bit of play. The YSC19 dinner, held at the Kingston Hotel, was a hit. YSC19’s social media guru, Kylie-Ann Mallitt (UNSW), hosted a Wiki-a-thon. The objective: to create Wikipedia pages for influential women in statistics using our smartphones. SSA President Adrian Barnett (QUT) conducted a mini competition to draw a perfect normal distribution. The winners were Rushani Wijesuriya and Nicholas Tierney.
It was an incredibly productive, engaging, and entertaining conference, to say the least. Special thanks to SSA, particularly Marie-Louise Rankin, whose tireless efforts ensured the success of this amazing conference. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the keynote speakers, panellists, Adrian Barnett, and our YSC19 delegates. We hope to see you all at our next YSC conference.