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Edinburgh Local group
Archives: 2001-2002

Wednesday 3rd October 2001, 5-7pm, University of Edinburgh, Paterson's Land 1.18, Old Moray House, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh.

Discussion Meeting on Devolution and Statistics
            Edgar Jardine, Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency
            Jeremy Peat, Royal Bank of Scotland
            Elaine Docherty, South Lanarkshire District Council
            Rob Wishart, Scottish Executive and Stephen Penneck, ONS

A meeting to examine the effect of devolution on statistical provision in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland now that the devolved administrations have been in existence for a while and begun to settle down. The main focus will be on the situation in Northern Ireland, and the views of users of statistics on devolved topics, and there will be discussants from the Scottish Executive and Office for National Statistics to respond to these views.

Tuesday 20th November 2001 at 6pm, International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, 14 India Street, Edinburgh

Microarray Data: A New Challenge for Statisticians
Claus-Dieter Mayer and Chris Glasbey, BioSS

DNA microarrays are a powerful new set of genomic methods for monitoring the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously. In a remarkably short space of time, microarrays have become a standard experimental tool in all life sciences.

In this talk we will discuss the statistical problems arising from this new type of data. These range from very basic questions of normalisation and standardisation to sophisticated highly multivariate tasks like finding out interactions between genes from these data. We will give an overview over some of the main contributions to this area so far. As an example we will present microarray data we are currently analysing in collaboration with the Scottish Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics in Edinburgh. In particular we will discuss methods that we have developed for this project. These cover robust filtering methods in the imaging process, as well as fitting mixtures of normal distributions in order to detect (differential) gene expression.

Tuesday 11th December 2001 at 6pm, International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, 14 India Street, Edinburgh

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll - Insights into Scottish Sexual Health and Maternity Data since 1922
Jim Chalmers, Neil Graham and Scott Heald, ISD Scotland

A light-hearted insight into the sexual health and maternity statistics collected and published by the Information & Statistics Division of NHSScotland. Find out the answers to these questions and more:
  •       is there a peak in the number of conceptions around the Christmas party season?
  •       how heavy was Scotland's heaviest baby?
  •       are mothers getting older?
  •       what's the relationship between mother's height and baby weight?
  •       how do the numbers of sexually transmitted infections in 1922 compare to today?
  • And, what do Madonna and the Spice Girls have to do with all this?

    Tuesday 15th January 2002 at 6pm, International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, 14 India Street, Edinburgh

    Financial Statistics

    Life and Death. What can we learn from them?
    Richard Mccullagh, The Standard Life Assurance Company

    Standard Life Assurance Company uses financial statistics extensively in Its major areas of work. This talk will give an overview of some of the areas where statistics are used. This will be followed by a more detailed look at the use of statistics when studying mortality. In a period when mortality rates are improving beyond expectations, how can we continue to model mortality accurately?

    Home Insurance - the fight for survival
    Kirsty Dalziel, Dunfermline Building Society, Alan Forrest, Base3 Systems

    We present a brief overview and a case study of how statistical methods are applied at the Dunfermline Building Society. The case study investigates the behaviour of the Society's general insurance customers, evaluating, in particular, customers' tenure of Buildings Insurance using survival analysis.

    Tuesday 12th March 2002 at 6pm, International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, 14 India Street, Edinburgh

    Data mining
    Tuesday 16th April 2002, 4-6pm in University of Edinburgh, Paterson's Land 1.18, Old Moray House, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh.

    Joint meeting with the Social Research Association Scotland
    Neighbourhood Statistics in Scotland

    Neighbourhood Statistics: Power to the People
    John McGinty, Office for National Statistics

    Recent developments in official statistics are increasingly being led by greater interest in smaller geographical areas. In particular, the development of Neighbourhood Statistics is being seen as one of the biggest steps forward in the official statistical systems of the UK for many years. Jon McGinty will give some background to the project, explain how it is innovating and leading statistical development, and describe how it will provide unprecedented power to enable statistics to be used to change the circumstances of individuals.

    Jon McGinty is currently the ONS Programme Director for the delivery of the recommendations of the PAT18 report, including those related to Neighbourhood Statistics. He is also Director of the newly created Regional and Local Statistics Division. All of his previous professional career has been spent in ONS, where he has been involved with Balance of Payment statistics, the retail prices index, social statistics strategy and, most recently, on the development of statistical policy including the Framework and Code of Practice for National Statistics.

    Neighbourhood Statistics: The Scottish Perspective
    Catriona McKay, Scottish Executive

    Many of the demands for local area information are the same throughout the UK, as are the developments which will such information a reality. Catriona McKay will focus on Scottish needs, highlighting where these require different solutions which reflect Scotland's social structures and statistical development.

    Catriona McKay has been working on Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics since the project began in April 2001. She has spent most of her career in the Scottish Executive working on social statistics, including housing, education and crime.

    Accessing Neighbourhood Statistics through Registered Social Landlords
    Mary Taylor, University of Stirling and Gillian Young, Communities Scotland

    This presentation will examine the opportunities for accessing statistics about neighbourhoods using data held by housing organisations and is based  on research commissioned by Scottish Homes (now Communities Scotland) to explore these issues in relation to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs). Gillian Young will explain the thinking behind the project and what actions have been taken since its completion. Mary Taylor will then discuss the findings regarding the potential of RSLs to provide meaningful data about the neighbourhoods in which they operate.

    Mary Taylor is currently a lecturer at the Housing Policy and Practice Unit at the University of Stirling. and has over 20 years' experience of Scottish housing, combining practical housing management, development, policy, and consultancy. Gillian Young is a Business Intelligence Manager at Communities Scotland.

    Monitoring the Impact of Area-based Social Inclusion Partnerships
    Lynette Carey, Glasgow Alliance

    Area-based Social Inclusion Partnerships (SIPs) need to obtain various types of data in order to meet their own monitoring agenda and that of the Scottish Executive. These data are required to demonstrate financial accountability, to provide operational and outcome indicators to monitor progress toward targets, and to identify the impact of the SIP on the quality of life of its population. In this presentation, Lynnette Carey will explore how recent research in Glasgow on the relative impacts of some determinants of quality of life, is beginning to inform this challenging component of the SIP monitoring agenda.

    Lynnette Carey is presently on a two-year secondment from NHS Greater Glasgow where she had responsibility for commissioning major population surveys and for providing advice and support to Social Inclusion Partnerships in their monitoring and evaluation activities. In her seconded post as Information Manager for the Glasgow Alliance, she continues that SIP support work and additionally facilitates information-sharing in Glasgow. She currently sits on the National Statistics Initiative Development Group and the Scottish Executive?s SIP Monitoring Review Steering Group.

    Wednesday 15th May 2002 at 6pm in the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences,14 India Street, Edinburgh

    AGM followed by:

    Amazing but is it true ? A simple Bayesian method for assessing the credibility of medical breakthroughs
    Robert Matthews, The Sunday Telegraph

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