2016 Belz Lecture and Dinner – Distinguished Professor Louise Ryan

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SSA Victoria – Belz Lecture and Dinner 2016

Tuesday 25th October 2016

The Maurice H. Belz Lecture is an annual lecture established by the Statistical Society to honour the work of Professor Belz in establishing and advancing the science of statistics in Australia. Maurice Belz was the Foundation Professor of Statistics at the University of Melbourne (1955 to 1963).

The 2016 Belz Lecture will be given by Distinguished Professor Louise Ryan, at 5:45pm on Tuesday 25th October in the J H Michell Theatre, Richard Berry Building, The University of Melbourne.

But I’m a data scientist too, aren’t I?

The statistics profession is in a period of disruptive change, heralded by explosive growth in information technology and the “big data” revolution.  New specialties such as machine learning, data science and analytics seem to go from strength to strength and sometimes it seems like statistics is being discarded like one of last decade’s fashion embarrassments.  In this presentation, I will offer some perspectives on the changing landscape for statistical science.  I’ll draw on some of my own recent projects where “statistics as usual” falls short and outline some of the areas where I think there are great opportunities for our profession to strengthen our role in the data science arena.  I’ll also discuss some of the ideas outlined in David Donoho’s address last year at a conference honoring one of my heroes, the late John Tukey.  You can find a transcript of David’s speech at  http://courses.csail.mit.edu/18.337/2015/docs/50YearsDataScience.pdf.

About Professor Ryan

Louise Ryan is Distinguished Professor of Statistics at the University Of Technology Sydney (UTS). After completing her undergraduate degree in statistics and mathematics at Macquarie University, she left Australia in 1979 to pursue her PhD in statistics at Harvard University in the United States.  In 1983, Louise then took up a postdoctoral fellowship in Biostatistics, jointly between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health.  She was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1985, eventually becoming the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard.  Louise returned to Australia in early 2009 to take up the role as Chief of CSIRO’s Division of Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics.  In 2012, she joined UTS as a Distinguished Professor of Statistics in the School of Mathematical Sciences.  Louise is well known for her methodological contributions to statistical methods in cancer and environmental health research.  She loves the challenge and satisfaction of multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Belz Dinner

The Belz Dinner follows the lecture. This year’s dinner with wine will be at University House, Professors Walk, The University of Melbourne. The all-inclusive cost is $60 per head for SSA members, $30 per head for SSA student members and $90 per head for non-members.  The cost of an SSA student membership is $20.  Belz Dinner booking form here.

Please RSVP for the Belz dinner by 21st October 2016 (earlier registration appreciated).

Thank you.

Charles Gray


SSA Victorian Branch


2016 Belz Lecture and Dinner - Distinguished Professor Louise Ryan
When: 25/10/2016
Time: 5:45 pm - 7:15 pm
Cost: Free
Location: J H Michell Theatre,
Richard Berry Building,
The University of Melbourne,
Victoria 3010

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