Message from the president

Bruce Smith

A year has come and gone, and my term as president of the Society will soon conclude.

The last several months have flown by, as we have all been dramatically affected by the Covid-19 crisis, juggling activities and schedules to stay afloat. My sincerest hope is that you and your families are well, and coping with the situation as best as possible.

It was very unfortunate that we had to cancel our 2020 annual meeting, which was to have been held at Carleton University. A number of you contacted me to express your support in my having had to make the difficult decision to cancel. I appreciated your thoughts, but to be honest, this was among the easiest decisions I have ever made.

I was terribly saddened, however, that hard work of the local organizing committee, led by Shirley Mills and Yiqiang Zhao, the program committee, led by J. C. Loredo-Osti, our executive assistant Michele Benoit, and our administrative assistant Marie-Pierre Nantel, was for naught. These individuals, and a host of others, put in an incredible amount of work in organizing what would have been a spectacular meeting, and I give my sincerest thanks to all involved.

All was not lost. There were a number of conference activities which moved online.

We had two superb online presentations—the presidential invited address by David Dohono, and the Pierre Robillard Award address by Shixio Zhang. These talks were recorded and  made available for later viewing.

A number of other conference related activities were moved in entirety to an online format: 

- The Canadian Statistics Student Conference, always a feature of our annual meeting, is organized entirely by students—this year led by co-chairs Steve Ferreira Guerra and Thai-Son Tang.

- The Case Studies in Data Analysis Competition, organized by Pingzhao Hu.

- A number of workshops, including those organized by the Biostatistics Section, the Section on Business and Industrial Statistics, the Section on Data Science and Analytics, and a forthcoming workshop of the Survey Methods Section.

Details on all of the 2020 online conference events can be found here.

I would like to thank all of the individuals involved in organizing and contributing to these activities. You have given the SSC an online presence—one that we can build on—a silver lining to an otherwise very dark cloud.

A highlight of our yearly conference is the presentation of awards at our annual meeting banquet. The 2020 award presentations will be made together with the 2021 award presentations at the 2021 annual meeting, to be held at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the 2020 award talks, apart from the Robillard address which was streamed, will be included in the 2021 program.

July 1 is a time of transition. I would like to thank all outgoing board and committee members, and welcome those of you who will be taking up these many roles. Without your volunteer efforts, we would cease to function as a Society.

Special thanks to Changbao Wu, who is completing his term as meetings coordinator, and welcome to Nadia Ghazzali, who joins us in that role. A personal thank you to Robert Platt, who finishes his term as past president, and who has given me such able guidance during the past year, and a very special thank you to our executive secretary, Llwellyn Armstrong, who keeps not only the president, but all other executive and board members, informed and on track.

Welcome to Grace Yi, who joins us as president elect, and to Wendy Lou, who transitions to president. We are in extremely capable hands.

I look forward to seeing you at SSC 2021 in St. John's.

Bruce Smith

Friday, June 5, 2020

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