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Canberra branch meeting -- Functional Shape Analysis of Empathic Accuracy

  • 19 May 2023 12:04 PM
    Message # 13203756
    Francis Hui (Administrator)

    SSA Canberra Branch will be holding its next meeting on Tuesday 30th May in person and via Zoom, where we are delighted to host Dr Linh Nghiem from the University of Sydney who will disucss his recent work on statistics for quantify empathy!

    There will be the opportunity to meet for dinner afterwards in Civic.

    Date: Tuesday 30 May 2023

    Time: 5:45pm   

    VenueRoom 4.05 in Marie Reay Teaching Centre, Australian National University (MRTC ANU),  or via Zoom.

    Zoom link:

    The zoom link will be open from 5.30pm. RSVP is not required. Full zoom details given at the end of the email.

    Speaker: Dr. Linh Nghiem, University of Sydney

    Topic: Functional Shape Analysis of Empathic Accuracy


    Empathic accuracy (EA) is the ability of one person to accurately understand the thoughts and emotions of others. A widely used computer-based paradigm to measure EA for a subject is to compare the subject’s continuous ratings of a target’s feelings with the ratings given by the target themselves. Nevertheless, current measures of EA are based only on pointwise comparison between the two curves. As a result, these measures are not reliable when misalignments occur in the observed curves, which arise commonly due to the nature of EA studies. In this work, we propose new measures for EA by accounting for the global shape of both the subject’s curve and the target’s curve, which motivate the use of time warping functions in modelling the observed curves. These warping functions are able to accommodate a wide range of misalignments and can be incorporated naturally into many statistical models of functional data with efficient estimation algorithms. We will discuss the new EA measures in social and musical EA studies.   


    Linh Nghiem is a Lecturer in Statistics from the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney. As a methodological and applied statistician, Linh is interested in developing novel statistical methodologies to address complex scientific questions using data. His current methodological interests are measurement error models, dimension reduction, and graphical models. On the applied side, Linh is collaborating with scientists to investigate human perception of music as well as how music can be used to improve social empathy among people in society. 


    After the talk we will be holding a dinner at 7.15pm at Madam Lu Malaysian Restaurant, 20/42 West Row, Canberra (Madam Lu Malaysian Restaurant | Facebook). 

    If you are interested in attending the dinner, please let us know by 6pm Monday 29 May by entering your details at SSA Canberra Branch dinner attendance sheet or contacting Warren Muller ( ; 0407 916 868). Please regard this as a firm commitment, not just an intention. For withdrawals after the deadline, please remove your name from the sheet and phone or text Warren (0407 916 868).

    NOTE: We are offering discounts to SSA early career and student members who attend dinner! For this meeting, dinners will be a fixed charge of $10 for student members and $20 for early career members. 

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