From the President

Hugh Chipman


Practically everyone I talk to seems to be saying "It's a busy time of year".  Certainly, for the SSC, there's a lot going on, and there will be lots of activity between now and the annual meeting in June.  I'd like to let you know about a few things going on in the SSC.

Fundraising and other support for the statistical community
The support of SSC members for both Canadian and international causes is truly inspiring, and has exceeded expectations more than once.  An article by Mary Thompson elsewhere in this issue, on the 2017 fundraising campaign, indicates that last year a total of \$13,893 was contributed to the SSC.  Three projects and an endowment have just been approved.  I’m looking forward to seeing what these projects will accomplish. 

The generosity of our members isn’t limited to the SSC.  After I emailed SSC members about a crowdfunding campaign to contribute to the legal expenses of Andreas Georgou, former head of the Greek National Statistical Office, there was a noticeable increase in donations, and a good number of contributions were from Canada.  In the last Liaison, we learned from Janet MacDougal that 1,925 statistics books were donated to the library in Alexandria, Egypt by statisticians in Canada. 

Thank you, everyone, for your generosity!

Committee for a respectful SSC
In a separate article, I provide an update on the important topic of sexual assault and harassment, and respectful behaviour, and proactive efforts to address this issue.

By the time you are reading this, the SSC elections will be under way.  Please take a few moments to consider the slate of candidates for Executive, Board and Accredited positions, and cast your vote!

Annual Meeting
The June 3 - 7 Annual Meeting of the SSC in Montreal promises to be one of the largest in recent years.  The local arrangements committee, co-chaired by Andrea Benedetti and Russell Steele, are working hard on plans for the meeting, and looking forward to welcoming everyone to Montreal in a few months.  The Program Committee, led by Matias Salibian-Barrera, has assembled a diverse and interesting program.  Keynote addresses will include a presentation by the 2017 Gold Medal winner, Richard Cook, and the President’s Invited Address, on Deep Learning, will be given by Yoshua Bengio.  Just before the Annual Meeting, on Saturday, June 2, the sixth annual Canadian Statistics Student Conference will be held in Montreal.  Co-chairs Janie Coulombe and Katherine Daignault have assembled a rich program, ranging from practical career advice to technical research presentations.  It’s sure to be an excellent opportunity for students to share their research, to learn and network.


It’s hard to believe that I’ve served more than half of my term as President already.  Although I see examples every day, I never cease to be impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of so many members of our society.  I can’t put it any better than a former SSC president recently did: “Serving the SSC is an honour and a pleasure. It’s family after all.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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