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Royal Statistical Society
Edinburgh Local Group

Welcome to the webpages of the Edinburgh local group of the Royal Statistical Society. We arrange an annual programme of talks and workshops intended to appeal to anyone with an interest in statistics. All of our events are free, and are open both to members of the RSS and to non-members. We typically organise 6-8 events per year, which are usually held on a Tuesday evening. Refreshments are available beforehand, and events are usually followed by a trip to either a pub or a restaurant.

Forthcoming Events

Event in October: Big Data from Two Perspectives

Thursday 16 October 2014, 6 - 7:45pm

A joint event with the University of Edinburgh Business School on "Big Data from Two Perspectives":

Venue: The University of Edinburgh Business School (29 Buccleuch Place, EH8 9JS)
Social: Tea & coffee available from 6pm,talks start at 6:30pm, and a network drink reception is from 7:45pm afterwards.
The event is free and open to everyone, registration is required. Please (REGISTER) for this event.

Two speakers will offer their perspectives on:
Speaker one: Prof Marian Scott.
Affiliation: School of Maths and Statistics, University of Glasgow.
Title: Are there New Challenges in Environmetrics Arising from "Big Data?"

In this presentation, I will consider current and some future statistical challenges in describing, modelling and forecasting the state of the environment from a statistical perspective. Examples will be drawn from air, water and soil.

Speaker two:Prof Mark Keane.
Affiliation: UCD & Insight: Centre for Data Analytics, Chair of Computer Science,School of Computer Science & Informatics, University College Dublin.
Title: (Big) Data Analytics: From Word Counts to Population Opinions.

Behind the hype surrounding the commercial promise of Big Data, a very real change has occurred in the type of research being done in Data Analytics. Though many of the statistical techniques used are not particularly surprising or new, often the way they are used, combined with advances in their computational tractability, make them seem quite novel. A second key novelty in this research development is the shift to considering "non-traditional", unstructured data sources such as text, tweets, web-searches, facebook ratings and so on. This talk will review some current interesting examples of Data Analytics, with a specific emphasis on text analytics.

Presentations from Recent Events

Event in 2014:

"Perceptions of the Weight of Statistical Evidence among Scientists" on Monday 19 May 2014

Richard D. Morey (From personal website)

"The Early History of Bayesian Statistics" on Tuesday 15 April 2014

Tom Leonard (slides) (.pptx file)

"Scotland's Referendum: Statistical Perspectives" on Wednesday 26th March 2014

Jim Cuthbert (statistician) & Margaret Cuthbert (economist) - The medium is (very much) the message (.ppt file)
David Walsh (GCPH, Glasgow) - Scotland: health, its determinants, and the potential implications of independence (.pdf file)
Roger Halliday (Chief Statistician) - The production of official statistics (.pptx file)
John Curtice (Strathclyde University) - The performance of the polls (.pptx file)

"Census 2011: Results so far and innovative ways to access data " on Tuesday 25 February 2014

Sandy Taylor - Scotland's Census 2011 (. file)
Justin Hayes - New and easier ways of working with aggregate data and geographies from UK censuses (. file)

Event in 2013:

"Freeing the power of administrative data" on Tuesday 12 November 2013

Dr Stephen Pavis (slides) (.pptx file)

"Bayesian computing with INLA" on Thursday 19 Sept 2013

Dr Andrew Lawson (slides) (.pdf file)
Dr Janine Illian (slides) (.pdf file)

"Stories and Statistics: what can the Sally Clark case tell us about the psychology of evidential reasoning?" on Tuesday 11 June 2013

Slides (.ppt file)

"The mysterious case of the disappearing crime in Scotland" on Tuesday 30 April 2013

Prof Susan McVie: slides (.pdf file)

"Using statistics to study wildlife" on Monday 18 February 2013

Dr Ruth King: slides (.pdf file)
Dr Kate Searle: slides (.pptx file)

Event in 2012:

"Alcohol in Scotland: from evidence to action" on Tuesday 13 November 2012

Slides (.ppt file)

"Matching of administrative data to validate the 2011 Census in England and Wales" on Wednesday 31 October 2012

Slides (.pptx file)

Royal Statistical Society Interdisciplinary Debate on Tuesday 12 June 2012:
Randomized controlled trials in medical research - gold standard or unhealthy fixation?

Professor Nancy Cartwright: slides (.pptx file)
Professor Nancy Cartwright: talk (.docx file)
Professor Gillian Raab: talk (.docx file)
Professor Gillian Raab: notes (.docx file)

How much does statistical illiteracy cost? GetStats event on Tuesday 27th March 2012

David Walker: slides (.pptx file)

Local Group Committee

Committee for 2014 session

Currently on maternity break:

>>> Wiki for committee members (password protected)

Past Meetings

Details of past meetings are available here:

Further information

If you would like to receive email notifications of events that are organised by the group then please contact Adam Butler and ask to be added to the mailing list. Announcements of meetings are also posted to the ALLSTAT mailing list two weeks prior to the meeting.  

This page is maintained by Adam Butler. Last updated 16 April 2014.