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ISI President’s Message

September 2013

 

 

Dear Colleagues:

 

Those of you who were in Hong Kong would agree with me that it was one of the best World Statistics Congresses ever. The Hong Kong Team, under the leadership of Mrs. Lily Ou-Yang, Commissioner for Census and Statistics, did a magnificent job. The scientific and local program committees, chaired by Xuming He and Kai Ng respectively, put together a rich and diverse technical program. The Short Course Committee, under the direction of Steven Heeringa, and the Organizing Committee of the Young Statisticians’ Satellite Meeting, under the leadership of Wai-Keung Li, made exceptional contributions.  Jae C. Lee, the outgoing President, and I would like to express our appreciation to all of them for a job well done. We are also grateful to the University of Hong Kong for hosting the Young Statisticians’ Satellite Meeting and the Short Courses.

 

The WSC marks the passing of the baton for ISI leadership, and it is a huge honor for me that you have entrusted the Presidency of the ISI in my hands. This is my seventh consecutive year on the ISI Executive Committee, so I have a pretty good understanding of the opportunities as well as the challenges facing our society. We have accomplished a lot over the past four years: opening up ISI membership, starting efforts to build statistical capacity in developing countries, founding a new research journal, launching the Karl Pearson Prize for contemporary research contribution, and modernizing our statutes and by-laws, to name a few. We worked closely with other major statistical societies to establish 2013 as the International Year of Statistics, and it has been a resounding success.

 

But there is a lot more to be done before the ISI will realize its full potential. It is the international nature of our society that makes us unique. We must continue to exploit our advantages and find effective ways to build bridges between the developing and developed worlds of statistics. In this regard, we will be accelerating our efforts in statistical capacity building (SCB), an area where the ISI has a lot to contribute and one that resonates with many ISI members. The ISI Council launched a new Committee on SCB in Hong Kong. This committee, chaired by former President Jef Teugels, met in Hong Kong and also held an open meeting where we received a lot of useful ideas. The ISI is currently examining different models for capacity building, assessing our strengths and resources, and looking for potential collaborators and funding opportunities. This will be one of our major strategic initiatives over the next two years, and we will be calling on interested members for help.

 

We also have to increase ISI’s footprint, by enlarging our membership base while also providing additional value and benefits for members. It is especially important to get more members from developing countries and increase the representation of women and young statisticians. ISI can help in career development by sharing best practices, providing a platform to discuss opportunities and exchange information. We have to collaborate with national organizations in developing countries and sister societies in developed regions to achieve these goals.

 

These are just two examples of the bridges that I hope we can build over the next few years. I’m sure you will have your own ideas on what the ISI can and should be doing to better serve you and our profession. I would very much like to hear from you. The ISI Executive Committee and Council members really need your input and suggestions. Remember that the main task of a society’s leadership team is to serve the needs and wishes of its members. So please e-mail me (at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your suggestions.

 

One of the benefits of being active in an international society is that you get to make friends with people from around the world. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of you, and I hope to get to know many more over the next two years.

 

Finally, I want to thank the outgoing executive committee and council members for their excellent service to the ISI over the last few years. I am especially grateful to have had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, the past two Presidents, Jae C Lee and Jef Teugels.

 

Mark your calendars for July 26-31, 2015 for the 60th ISI World Statistics Congress in Rio de Janeiro. The Rio organizers have promised a memorable conference!

 

Till next time...................................Vijay Nair(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 

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