President's message


It is a pleasure and privilege to write my first article for Liaison as SSC president. July 1 marks the transition of memberships on the SSC’s board, sections, and committees. Thanks to Grace Yi who has completed her term as past president; while no longer on the board, Grace will still be involved with SSC duties this year as chair of the awards committee. Thanks also to Wendy Lou (past past president) who headed that committee this past year. These two ladies had particularly difficult presidencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic; their leadership was crucial to sustaining SSC operations during that time.

The Society has been operating smoothly this past year thanks to the stewardship of Bruno Rémillard (president 2022–23). Bruno will be chairing the SSC election committee this year; be sure to send him nominations for SSC positions!

A most sincere thanks are due to the members who completed their terms on the SSC board at the end of June: Grace Yi (past president), Patrick Brown (treasurer), Nadia Ghazzali (meeting coordinator), and regional representatives Wilson Lu, Johanna Nešlehová, Denis Talbot, Kelly Burkett, Zhihui (Amy) Liu, Melody Ghahramani, and Jinko Graham. Your service to our Society is most appreciated. On July 1, we welcomed newly elected members who are joining the SSC board as either executive committee members or regional representatives—a heartfelt welcome to Erica Moodie (president-elect), Wesley Yung (treasurer), Xin Gao (meetings coordinator), and the regional representatives: Asokan Mulayath Variyath, Christian Léger, Bouchra Nasri, Camila de Souza, Hanna Jankowski, Juxin Liu, and Daniel J. McDonald.

A sincere thank you also to those who are continuing to serve on the board this year: Bruno Rémillard (past-president), Henrik Stryhn (executive secretary), Rhonda Rosychuk (public relations officer), and regional representatives Tessema Astatkie, Celia Greenwood, Mirieille Schnitzer, Tony Panzarella, Zilin Wang, Mahmoud Torabi, and Bei Jiang. Thank you too to our dedicated appointed officers Angelo Canty (electronic services manager), Johanna Nešlehová (editor CJS), Bouchra Nasri (managing editor CJS, who is now stepping down from this role), Adam Kashlak (Liaison editor), and Richard Lockhart (SSC editor for Statistics Surveys). Their work is so very fundamental to SSC operations, and each has willingly given much of their time and effort to SSC activities. Your work on behalf of SSC is very much appreciated.

At this time, I also want to extend a very warm welcome to the new committee chairs and members and thank those who are continuing to serve SSC on our committees. The willingness and enthusiasm of our SSC members who generously agree to contribute their time and expertise to serve on various committees is heartening. I am also very grateful for colleagues who volunteered or offered suggestions to me and recommended names for filling the many committee vacancies.

In addition to the contributions from these volunteers, the functioning of the SSC depends very much on the work of the SSC office staff—Jack Gambino (executive director), Larysa Valachko (associate executive director) Michelle Benoit (executive assistant), and Clayton Forrest (administrative assistant). Thank you to all of you for your dedication to SSC!

While I have been involved in SSC activities for decades, for the past 12 years I have served the SSC in a voluntary capacity as executive director and therefore have been working extremely closely with SSC boards and staff during that time. Your tremendous support, advice, and assistance during these past years has been deeply appreciated. I assumed the new role of president-elect on July 1, 2022, and happily passed executive director duties to Jack Gambino when he joined SSC staff in January 2023. Thank you, Jack, for accepting this responsibility! While Jack and I continue to work closely together, this has permitted me to concentrate on preparing for my presidency (and cochairing local arrangements for SSC 2023!).

The conclusion of the SSC 2023 conference at Carleton University in May marked the first in-person SSC conference in 3 years! The conference attracted over 600 registrants and featured over 300 talks. It was wonderful to see the energy and joy as we were once again able to assemble in person. I hope you were able to participate—to connect with old friends, attend workshops, share research ideas, discuss ideas and collaboration, and make new acquaintances. I must take this moment to recognize and thank the hard work of so many volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at SSC 2023. A big thank you to the scientific program committee led by its chair, Sévérien Nkurunziza, who brought us a series of stimulating scientific sessions. A sincere thank you to my cochair of local arrangements, Yiqiang Zhao, and the 40 highly enthusiastic and friendly volunteers at Carleton University, whose extraordinary efforts made SSC 2023 run so smoothly. Huge thanks are owed to Angelo CantyLarysa Valachko, Michelle Benoit, and Clayton Forrest who worked diligently on conference logistics including registration, website posting, and the conference in-person setup. A huge thank you also to the bilingualism committee chaired by Thierry Chekouo Tekougan, which did such a stellar job on translations for the conference. The success of this conference would not have been possible without voluntary work from session organizers, chairs, and judges for the case studies, students’ and new researchers’ events. Thank you all for participating in this conference in various capacities, as speakers, panelists, audience, employers or as sponsors. SSC also owes a particular debt of gratitude to CANSSI and to Carleton University for their Platinum-level sponsorship of this annual meeting.  

Our student conference CSSC 2023 was also a fantastic success thanks to the work of Luke Hagar, Vanessa McNealis, and their team of graduate student volunteers. The conference was held on May 27 and attracted well over 120 registrants. It provided excellent opportunities for students to network and discuss their work. Congratulations to the committee on hosting such a successful event! 

Looking forward, we have work to do. Preparations and projects are underway, guided by very capable hands. To highlight four events:

  • The 2023 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Toronto from August 5–10 with Derek Bingham (SFU) serving as the SSC representative on the JSM program committee, and with a SSC reception on the evening of August 8. Four invited sessions are sponsored by the SSC and several SSC members are speaking at JSM. Thank you also to those who kindly volunteered to sit at the SSC booth and spread the word about SSC.
  • The 2024 JSM is scheduled to take place in Portland, Oregon August 3–8, 2024, with Tim Swartz (SFU) representing the SSC on the JSM program committee.
  • Our 2024 SSC Annual Meeting is slated for Memorial University June 2–5, 2024, with scientific program chair Tessema Astatkie (Dalhousie University and local arrangements cochairs Asokan Mulayath Variyath and Zhaozhi Fan (Memorial University).
  • In conjunction with SSC 2024 will be the 2024 CSSC Annual Meeting, cochaired by Kyle McRae (Concordia) and Yuan Bian (UWO) on June 1, 2024.

This year the Society will be updating its strategic plan and exploring collaborative initiatives. SSC sections and committees will be encouraged to explore new initiatives and organize activities falling within their mandates. Statistical science is growing rapidly in scope and recent years have provided clear evidence of its crucial importance in all fields of research and application. The SSC will focus on its mission of “educating” about the statistical sciences in the broadest sense—encouraging the development and use of statistics and probability, promoting the development and dissemination of statistical methodology, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas between theoreticians and practitioners of statistics, providing networking and learning opportunities, and working to raise public awareness of the value and importance of statistical thinking. My goal is to work to make the SSC the professional home in Canada for a wide range of statistical scientists. To that end, I encourage you to send me constructive comments and ideas. I also encourage you to speak to your colleagues about joining the SSC if they have not already done so.

Finally, I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying a safe and healthy summer. I am looking forward to serving the SSC in the coming year. 

Shirley Mills (
SSC President
July 31, 2023



Tuesday, August 1, 2023

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