The Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute Annual Meeting scientific
sessions were held on May 25, 2013 at the Alumni House, University of
Alberta in Edmonton. This year's theme was Spatial and Temporal
Modeling in Climate Science and Public Health. The two speakers
were Richard L. Smith of the University of North Carolina and SAMSI and
Patrick Brown of the University of Toronto and Cancer Care Ontario.
Richard Smith spoke about the influence of climate change on extreme
weather events. Patrick Brown gave an overview of spatial
statistics in public health. Both talks were excellent and
generated a fair amount of discussion, both formally and
Of the 38 attendees, 13 were students from the University of Alberta and
4 were students from other universities in Ontario and Quebec.
The remainder was mainly university faculty from across Canada.
A contribution from PIMS supported this event including the facility
rental and catering. A barbeque offered an opportunity for
networking and further discussion. A poster provided by PIMS was
distributed to all PIMS associated departments. Dr. K. C. Chough
of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences organized all
the local arrangements. Comments from the attendees were
generally very positive. We are grateful to PIMS and the
University of Alberta for their contributions to this meeting.
This conference was held at the University of Waterloo, July 31 to
August 2, 2013, to celebrate the International Year of Statistics and
the launch of CANSSI. It was co-sponsored by the University of
Waterloo, the Fields Institute, CANSSI, and the Statistical Society of
Canada. There were over 100 registrants, about 40% of whom
There were altogether six sessions over the two-and-one-half days of the
conference, on social networks, statistics in health, exploring complex
models, modeling risk, modeling dependence, and statistical learning.
Although the themes of the sessions were different, there
were several common threads: network concepts, dependence
modeling, high-dimensional data with sparse structure, and complex
models for dealing with data from a variety of sources and experimental
plans. In each of the sessions, the invited talks were
followed by panel discussions. The speakers were David Banks of
Duke University, Barry Wellman of the University of Toronto, François
Théberge of the Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing (TIMC) and
the University of Ottawa, Michael Kosorok of the University of North
Carolina Chapel Hill, Richard Cook of the University of Waterloo,
Thérèse Stukel of the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative
Sciences, Derek Bingham of Simon Fraser University, Rob Deardon of the
University of Guelph, Hansjoerg Albrecher of l'Université de
Lausanne, Gordon Willmot of the University of Waterloo, Claudia Czado of
the Technische Universität München, Ruodu Wang of the University of
Waterloo, Marina Vannucci of Rice University, Steven Scott of Google,
and Bala Rajaratnam of Stanford University.
The session topics were in areas that are expected to be important to
CANSSI in the next few years, and all presentations were of a very high
standard. Using the space outside the large lecture
hall in the new Mathematics 3 building, furnished with round tables and
chairs, provided excellent opportunities for discussing and networking
at breaks and lunches. The banquet furnished an opportunity to
recognize three Statistical Society of Canada Presidents (John Brewster,
Christian Léger and Don McLeish) whose efforts had made CANSSI
Since late summer, by far the largest event has been the writing of the fifteen-page CANSSI Appendix to the applications of the three mathematical sciences institutes (PIMS, Fields and CRM) to the Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics (CTRMS) program of NSERC. The applications were due November 1. The amount being requested from NSERC is $405,000 per year on average for the period 2014-2019, as pledged collectively by the three institutes. The Fields Institute has promised an additional $100,000. The strong support that CANSSI has received from the SSC and from universities across the country has been and will be very important in this process. The traditional institute site visits have been replaced this time by meetings with the review committees at NSERC's headquarters in Ottawa in January.
The first annual competition for CANSSI Collaborative Research Team
(CRT) projects is winding up, with final recommendations of the CANSSI
Scientific Advisory Committee expected to be approved for funding at the
December Board meeting, subject to renewal of NSERC support of the
mathematical sciences institutes.
The call for Letters of Intent for the next competition is expected to
be issued in November, with a due date of April 30, 2014. An
information session is being developed to assist researchers interested
in applying, and the timing will be announced at a later date.