NSW Branch – YSC travel grant winners

The NSW branch provided travel grants to two students to attend the 2017 Young Statisticians Conference in September. Hao Wu and WeiChang Yu reported on their experience.


Hao Wu

The Young Statisticians Conference provides a fantastic opportunity to engage with graduate students and early career researchers in statistics. The conference was impeccably organised, with a formal schedule, a pre-conference workshop and social events to allow us to know many like-minded peers and hear professionals’ excellent advice on research and careers related to statistics. The speeches of four keynote speakers were impressive and the talk ‘Solving the Equation Through a Nonlinear Career’ of Professor Bronwyn Harch in particular intensified my interest in pursuing a career as a professional statistician.

The conference also provides us a great opportunity to show the research we’ve done and expose us to different aspects of statistics. The topics of interests include but are not limited to Biostatistics, Time Series, Biometrics, Modelling and Bayesian, which reminded me of the beauty and versatility of statistics. I presented my research at the conference, gaining experience and exposure. I also got to see what other people were doing and know various statistical methodologies. There were also plenty of opportunities to ask any other random questions and network with professionals and other attendees. I strongly recommend this conference to graduate students in statistics. In addition, the conference was mainly held in a great hotel, Mantra Twin Towns, provided with great rooms and delicious food. Lastly I would like to thank Statistical Society of Australia New South Wales branch for sponsoring me to attend the conference.



WeiChang Yu

During this conference, I was honoured to be given an opportunity to present the new classifier which I have developed – Variational Discriminant Analysis with Feature Selection. The preparation for the presentation itself has helped me gain a clear overview of this PhD project. During the talk, I was able to deliver the key aspects of the classifier and its results. I was also asked about the computational efficiency. This gave me ideas on how I can improve my presentation in the future and what the audience would like to find out about it. In addition to my own presentation, I was impressed by the research of other young statisticians and managed to pose several questions and suggestions during the Q&A.

I benefitted greatly from the Young Statisticians Conference 2017 held on the Gold Coast. Even though I was initially hesitant about it due to my introverted nature, it took me only a short while to warm up and get acquainted with fellow young statisticians. This opportunity gave me better confidence to network with delegates at other conferences in the future. It also opened up future possible collaborations.

In summary, I am greatly impressed by the organising team for the success of the event and would even like to know how I may play a part in organising the next YSC. Also, I am very grateful to the SSA NSW branch for making this trip (and experience) possible.


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