Message from the president

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With the arrival of spring, near is the SSC annual meeting! In this message, I’d like to update you on this year’s annual meeting, and also draw your attention to some important current activities and news that may or may not have been communicated through the SSC email distribution by the time this article appears.

Unlike any previous year, this year’s annual meeting (SSC 2021) will take place virtually, running online over five days from June 7 to June 11, 2021. Six workshops are scheduled around the conference over three days—on June 6 and June 12–13. The ninth annual Canadian Statistics Student Conference (CSSC 2021) will also be virtual, and held on June 5, 2021.

Thanks to the virtual organizing committee, co-chaired by Shirley Mills and Asokan M. Variyath, and the scientific program committee, co-chaired by Michael Escobar and J. Concepción Loredo-Osti, SSC 2021 will have many unique features, including a long list of featured speakers as well as access to presentation recordings post-event:    

  • For the first time in the history of our annual meeting, registered participants will have the option to rewatch presentations, and this virtual platform will be accessible to all participants including those with disabilities.
  • The scientific program schedule is still being finalized, and the current plan is that SSC 2021 will commence with the SSC presidential invited address given by Jeffrey Rosenthal.
  • Due to the cancellation of SSC 2020, there will be award addresses given by both previous and current years’ winners. For the Gold Medal address, two plenary sessions will be scheduled with the 2019 and 2020 medalists, Bruno Rémillard (2019) and Paul Gustafson (2020). Other featured speakers for award addresses include W. John Braun (2020 Impact awardee), Erica Moodie (2020 CRM-SSC Prize winner), Matthew Stephenson (2020 CJS awardee), and the 2021 award winners (to be announced).   
  • A special panel session (see flyer, courtesy of Bouchra Nasi) organized by the SSC committee on equity, diversity and inclusion (SSC-EDI) features panelists Alejandro Adem (president of NSERC), Charmaine Dean (VP for Research at Waterloo), and Don Estep (director of CANSSI). The other panelists are representatives from the SSC-EDI committee, who are seeking input on EDI issues from all SSC members—please see the article “SSC-EDI wants to hear from you” in this issue of Liaison.


Further regarding EDI, SSC participated last year in the establishment of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) DEI Task Force, and Charmaine Dean is the SSC representative, and Robert Platt the COPSS representative, to this COPSS-DEI Task Force. On another related initiative, SSC also took part in the effort to create the COPSS Leadership Academy, an award intended to recognize emerging leaders in statistics—the SSC representatives to the Academy selection committee are David Haziza and Edward Susko.  

In response to the ongoing pandemic, SSC recently joined the organizing committee, composed of representatives from COPSS and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), for the COPSS-NISS COVID-19 Data Science Webinar Series, with Rob Deardon and Nathaniel Stevens as the SSC representatives. This bi-weekly webinar series features the latest COVID research, including new understanding and analysis of pandemic data, promoting data-driven research and decision-making to combat COVID-19. If you have missed the webinars, recordings and up-to-date schedules are available at the webinar’s website.

By the time you read this article, the 2021 SSC elections will be under way. Special thanks to the election committee, chaired by Bruce Smith, for putting together the slate of candidates. Information on the positions and all candidates' biographical sketches are available in the February issue of Liaison. Please consider casting your vote, if you have not done so already. Thank you for your ongoing support of SSC’s annual elections.

Before concluding my message, I’d like to note that since the 2020 December issue, the PDF version of Liaison has a new format thanks to Adam Kashlak, who took on the role of editor of Liaison after Reg Kulperger stepped down due to challenges associated with working remotely during the pandemic. I am grateful for Reg’s contributions and commitment during his term, and for his assistance during the transition. If you have any suggestions or comments regarding Liaison or the SSC, please do not hesitate to email or, respectively.

As we approach our annual gathering, I look forward to sharing more updates and announcements with you in the coming days, and to seeing/meeting you virtually at SSC 2021. Until then, please stay well.

Wendy Lou


Monday, March 29, 2021

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