CANSSI’s Evolution

There’s a lot happening behind the scenes at CANSSI. In May we incorporated as a federal not-for-profit corporation, under the names “The Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute” and “Institut canadien des sciences statistiques”;  CANSSI, Inc. and INCASS, Inc. for short. In June we filed our Bylaw No. 1 with Corporations Canada, following the first meeting of the Members of the Corporation. If you visit the CANSSI Headquarters at Simon Fraser University, you can find a handsome leather “minute book” which stores hard copies of these documents, and, of course, the minutes of our meetings. Being incorporated establishes CANSSI as a legal entity and gives it autonomy, and responsibility, in negotiating agreements and managing our affairs.

On June 15 we signed a formal collaboration agreement with Simon Fraser University, to establish our headquarters there. On December 7 we officially opened the SFU Headquarters, which is in handsomely renovated space in SFU’s Big Data Hub in the Applied Sciences Building, close to the Department of Statistics and right next door to its Statistical Consulting Service. A highlight of the opening ceremonies was a series of “lightning talks” from CANSSI researchers across the country. An article about the opening was posted on Dec 12 at SFU News Online: https://bit.ly/2CpltwD.

You may recall that we sent out a call for expressions of interest in hosting CANSSI in fall 2016. The response to that call was very strong — at the fall 2017 meeting the Board reviewed five bids. At that time the Board of Directors recommended that we capitalize on this enthusiasm and interest in CANSSI by encouraging both Concordia University and the University of Toronto to become Regional Centres for their provinces. The goals are to maintain the national character of the institute, and to enable CANSSI to apply for provincial funding. The collaboration agreement with Concordia was signed on December 17. A collaboration agreement with the University of Toronto is currently being negotiated.  

Interest in establishing regional centres has been expressed by both Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba, and the Board recommended at its most recent meeting that we again take advantage of this expressed interest to encourage the development of further collaboration agreements for the creation of CANSSI Atlantic and CANSSI Central Canada. The vision of CANSSI is to be Canada’s catalyst for discovery and innovation in the statistical sciences. Our mission emphasizes the development, application and communication of statistical and data science research and training, building multi-disciplinary collaborations, and facilitating new linkages among researchers in academia, industry and government. The development of regional centres contributes to this vision and mission by strengthening the national reach of CANSSI and its community of statistical scientists, and by serving as focal points for activity in their regions.

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