More than Surveys and Guinness: The IASS at the ISI WSC in Dublin
Surveys statisticians had a busy time at the ISI World Statistics Congress in Dublin. Firstly, they had to walk along the River Liffey, enjoy Irish song and dance, try some Guinness and admire the impressive Convention Centre. Secondly, they could participate in one or more of the IASS short courses preceding the WSC. Leyla Mohadjer, IASS Scientific Secretary, provides a detailed report. Thirdly, they could attend the IASS General Assembly meeting during which long-standing Council Members (among whom Leyla) stepped down and new ones were introduced. It is clear that it will be difficult to succeed a team that was so successful. At the General Assembly meeting, a number of important topics were introduced and discussed, among which were the steps being taken to modernize the IASS website, the short courses programme in Hong Kong in 2013, and the move of the IASS office from the INSEE Office in Libourne, France, to the ISI Permanent Office in The Hague. Luckily, Cathérine Meunier will continue to support the IASS as Executive Director while this important move takes place, with the most immediate consequence being that the ISI Permanent Office will be dealing with IASS subscriptions from 2012.
However, the main activity at the ISI WSC in Dublin was of course the invited and contributed paper sessions. The IASS organized or co-organized 13 Invited Paper Sessions. Some of these focused on specific sectors (healthcare, agriculture, environment). Others were devoted to methodological issues such as complex analysis, inference and estimation. There were sessions on the Census, small-area estimation, confidentiality, data mining and paradata. The focus was on more than surveys here as well. In particular, linking administrative files to survey data is becoming increasingly important, as was shown by sessions on “Legal, ethical and privacy issues arising out of increasing use of linked administrative files”, and “Record linking and imputation in administrative data”. Finally, there was the session where the winner of the 2011 Cochran-Hansen Prize, Dr. Solange Correa Onel of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, presented the ground-breaking research that won her the award. Many congratulations to Solange!
So we had a busy time, but we learned a lot, enjoyed ourselves a great deal, went home tired and inspired and looking forward to seeing each other again in Hong Kong!