Message from the president

Wendy Lou at SSC 2018

The month of July was a time of transition for our Society, and I was honoured to receive the baton from Bruce Smith, to whom I am grateful for his guidance during my term as president-elect and for his exemplary leadership on multiple fronts, including many difficult decisions associated with SSC 2020. With Bruce, I had the pleasure working alongside Robert Platt, who has just completed his term as past president, and to whom I am thankful for sharing generously his experience and wisdom. Following Bruce’s and Robert’s able stewardship, I have big shoes to fill and am excited to welcome Grace Yi as the president-elect to join the executive committee.

As I welcome new board members, I want to extend my gracious thank-you to outgoing members Henrik StryhnThierry DuchesneLorna DeethKatherine Davies, and Karen Kopciuk for their time and contributions serving on the board as regional representatives. Also, my special heartfelt thank-you to Changbo Wu for his tireless effort as meeting coordinator for the past five years!

In addition, I want to express my gratitude to section officers and regional association executive members, as well as all other volunteers who served, continue serving and/or agreed to serve on various committees—your efforts, ideas, and contributions have a positive impact on our Society. If you are interested in volunteering or becoming further involved in SSC activities, or if you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

There are usually two major annual SSC gathering events: the SSC annual conference and the SSC reception during the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). It’s an unusual year for both events.

While SSC 2020 was unfortunately cancelled, a few invited sessions and award presentations initially planned will be integrated into the SSC 2021 scientific program. J. C. Loredo-Osti, who chaired the SSC 2020 program committee, is now co-chair of the SSC 2021 program committee to share his experience and to join efforts with co-chair Michael Escobar. Both have been working together with Nadia Ghazzali, who succeeded Changbao as the meeting coordinator, and with the local organizing committee, co-chaired by Asokan Mulayath Variyath and Zhaozhi Fan. SSC 2021 is scheduled to take place at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s from June 5 to June 9, 2021. Stay tuned for more details regarding SSC 2021!

JSM 2020, which was to be held in Philadelphia, was moved online, and hence the annual JSM-SSC reception was cancelled. To provide an opportunity to connect with members, an inaugural SSC Virtual Social Mixer was successfully launched with virtual entertainment. I am greatly indebted to Jeffrey Rosenthal for putting together the mixer with me and for being the emcee that evening, and to Thai-son Tang for his technical assistance before and during the event. One of the highlights of the mixer was a spoof song performed live by Jeff (lyrics can be found at “Each Canadian Statistician”).

Next year’s JSM will take place in Seattle. I am thankful to Nancy Heckman for being the SSC representative to the JSM 2021 program committee, and to Ying Zhang for completing the same role for JSM 2020.

On another front, the SSC representatives (Bruce, Robert, Shirley Mills, and I) to the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) participated in the discussion and decision to retire the COPSS R.A. Fisher Award and Lectureship (now known as the COPSS Distinguished Achievement Award and Lectureship). As one of the founding societies of COPSS, SSC has been working with COPSS on the establishment of a diverse committee that will suggest “action-oriented strategies to increase and commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our profession.” More information will be shared with you when available.

This summer had many firsts for us, such as the first virtual Canadian Statistics Student Conference (CSSC) and the first SSC Virtual Social Mixer. As I write my first message as SSC president, I look forward to working with you and to serving the SSC and our profession over the coming year!

Wendy Lou

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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