The IASSL successfully organized the Third International Statistics Conference 2017, under the theme of "Statistics for Good Governance", jointly organized in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), USA, the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and National Science Foundation (NSF) of Sri Lanka held during 28-29 December, 2017 at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.
The objectives of the conference were to:
● Bring Applied Statisticians in diverse fields from various countries to a common platform in order to share their knowledge and experience towards good governance.
● Discuss new approaches and methodological tools directed towards improving statistical information and statistical analyses.
● Foster the development of effective and efficient official statistical services towards good governance.
Two pre-conference workshops:
(i) "Econometric Modelling and Forecasting" and
(ii) "Machine Learning & Modern Data Science with Business Applications" were conducted on 27th December, 2017 from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm at the IASSL conference room and seminar room A of the Organization of Professional Association (OPA) respectively.
The resource person for the workshop on, "Econometric Modelling and Forecasting" was Prof. N S Cooray, Professor of Economics & Associate Dean, Graduate School of International Relations, International University of Japan, Niigata, Japan. This was focused to uses of E- Views software in modelling economic time series for decision making. The real data was used to illustrate the methods. The resource person for the other workshop was Prof. Bala Rajaratnam, Department of Statistics, University of California, USA. This was mainly focused to senior managers who use information and inferences from big data for decision making.
There were about 200 participants from 15 countries. Of them about 70 are foreign participants. The countries represented are: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Oman. France, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Most of foreign participants came to highlight their solidarity with us in Sri Lanka. Their participation uplifted the morale of both young and experienced Sri Lankan statisticians.
Among the locals, the majority was from universities and all universities in Sri Lanka participated. There was some representation from the government sector, and private sector such as industry, banks, independent consultant firms.
The IASSL recognized the need to document, the proceedings of this conference and a special issue of our journal were released and the first copy was presented to the Chief Guest. The two issues released are:
- Proceedings of the International Statistics Conference 2017: Statistics for Good Governance - Abstracts of Invited and Contributed papers (ISBN: 978-955-0056-05-7)
- Sri Lankan Journal of Applied Statistics(2017), Vol. (18), Issue 2, -ISSN: 2424-6271. The URL is:https://sljastats.sljol.info/
There were two invited plenary speakers for each day of the conference and details are given below.
28 December 2017
● The Statistical Modeling of Self-reported and Proxy Observations in Longitudinal Studies by Prof. Nagaray Neerchal, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, UMBC, USA.
● Recent Developments of Multivariate Time Series Analysis and Applications by Prof. Shelton Peiris, Department of Statistics, University of Sydney, Australia.
29 December 2017
● Statistical Analysis in High-Level Computer Vision by Prof. Robert Paige, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Missouri University of Science & Technology, USA.
● Generalized Inference with Application to Business Analytics by Prof. Sam Weerahandi, Former Senior Director, Prizer Company, New Jersey, USA.
In this conference statisticians from various parts of the world get together and share their knowledge and experience in wider applications towards good governance. The conference provided an opportunity to present research papers for both undergraduates and postgraduates in various areas of statistics. It was a successful event. We had a full house attendance for all the presentations in each session The discussion after each paper generated enormous information to the researchers and participants to improve their knowledge and new and vital areas of research in statistics for the development of Sri Lanka.
The importance of the use of statisticians for government decision making has been recognized and it was highlighted that statisticians have a major role to play in good governance. All participants had numerous opportunities to interact with a wide audience. The conference was not merely a celebration for us. We identified our strength, weakness and future plan of the institute to provide our best service to the development of our country.