Section and local group webinars

RSS local groups and sections host webinars and face-to-face meetings such as talks, events and social activities to promote particular branches and applications of statistics. Virtual events typically run for 60-90 minutes with speakers and Q&A sessions.

Meeting papers and slides are available on our website at least a week ahead of an event.

Future events

Coming soon.

Past events

  • 2017-2018

    11 October 2018, Merseyside local group
    Predictions within Sport - watch video (YouTube)
    Kevin Brosnan (University of Limerick)
    False Starts Disqualifications in Elite Athletics: Are the rules fair?
    Are we sure that when an athlete is disqualified for a false start, in an Olympic 100 m event say, that they have actually false started? More importantly are we sure that an athlete that is not disqualified hasn't false started? This research focuses on using statistical modelling and false start data collated from World and European athletics championships in an effort to provide accurate false start rules. This presentation will discuss the statistical research to date, some interest findings and examples from the 2016 Rio Olympics and details of what's next for fair play in elite athletics.
    Dr Sean Williams (University of Bath)
    Tackling safety issues in professional Rugby Union: Can we reduce the risk of injury?
    Since becoming a professional sport in 1995, Rugby Union has come under increasing scrutiny due to its perceived high risk of injury in comparison with other popular team sports. There are clear health, performance, financial, and legal arguments for prioritising the prevention of injuries in professional sports. The England Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) was first commissioned by the Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby Limited in 2002, to conduct injury surveillance across all Premiership and England teams. The PRISP is now conducted annually, and is the world’s largest study of professional Rugby Union injuries and training practices. These longitudinal data, detailing players’ injury history and playing exposure using consistent methodology, provide an excellent platform for investigating risk factors for injury in this population. This talk will discuss our current understanding of injury risk in professional Rugby Union, as well as potential avenues for reducing the level of risk in the game.

    26 September 2018, Quality Improvement Section
    Lean & Six Sigma Webinar for Young Statisticians - watch video (YouTube)
    Presenters: Tony Bendell, Roland Caulcutt and Omar McCarthy

    9 March 2018, Statistics in Sports section 
    False Starts in Elite Athletics - watch video (YouTube)
    Speaker: Kevin Brosnan, PhD Candidate, Mathematics and Statistics Department,
    Abstract: The 100 ms ruling for false start disqualification at athletic competitions governed by the International Association of Athletics Federations has been in force since the early 1990s. Throughout this period, there have been marked changes to the rules that govern the disqualification of athletes from sprint events incorporating starts from blocks. This study analysed all available World and European Championship response-time (RT) data from 1999 to 2014 to examine effects of rule changes on competition RT at major championships. The exponentially modified Gaussian distribution was used to model RT and make comparisons relative to athletes’ sex, ruling periods and competition rounds. Results will include a revision of the false start disqualification limits and question some results in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    15th March 2017, Northern Ireland local group
    Structural Equation Modelling - watch video (YouTube)
    Speaker: Dr Jainjun Tang (Queen's University Belfast)
    Abstract: Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is a statistical modelling technique that measures latent variables, i.e. those constructs that are known to exist but cannot be directly observed, and their relationships with observed variables within an integrated framework. It was first applied in psychological studies but has been extended to a wide range of fields including economics, behavioural sciences and public health. During the seminar the basic principles of SEM will be introduced, followed by two examples illustrating its applications in the area of public health.

    8th February 2017, Northern Ireland Local Group
    Extreme Value Theory: An Impact Case Study for International Shipping Standards - watch video (YouTube)
    Prof. Jonathan Tawn, Lancaster University
    Abstract/Description: Research on extreme value methods proved critical in determining the conclusions of the UK High Court’s investigation of the sinking of the M.V. Derbyshire (the UK’s largest ship lost at sea) and identified that design standards for hatch covers of ocean-going carriers needed to be increased by 35%. This new level was then set as a new worldwide mandatory standard. This talk describes my involvement in this work starting with the estimation of the probability of the M.V. Derbyshire having sunk from a structural failure, resulting from large wave impacts on the ship, for each of a range of possible sea-state and vessel conditions; through experiences of presenting evidence to the High Court; and subsequent work aimed at setting new design standards for ocean-going carriers.

    January 2017, Northern Ireland Local Group 
    A civil expert witness: life and death - watch video (Youtube)
    Prof Jane Hutton, The University of Warwick
    I frequently provide expert witness reports on estimates of life expectancy, and occasionally on other matters such as side effects of drugs and putatively avoidable deaths.
    If a compensation case arises from an injury, which might be caused by medical error or an industrial or traffic accident, the
    award will often depend on the expected reduction in life expectancy. I shall discuss approaches to estimating life expectancy when factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption have to be considered as well as the main motivation of the claim. Estimates of effects of injury and life style factors are published in many forms. I will comment on the challenges I have faced, and the solutions I have adopted.

    7th December 2016
    40 years as a statistical general practitioner: The Industry Years (1974 – 1995)- watch video (Youtube)
    Mr Mike Stevenson, formerly Queen's University Belfast
    I finished college on 21st June 1974 and started my first post degree job in Short Bros & Harland (SB&H) just three days later.  There I got involved in fortune telling.  The serious stuff was trying to predict where wage and material escalation would be in three months’ time.  But first I was given a serious project - to predict next Saturday’s score draws!  Now SB&H more wanted me to be a management accountant rather than a statistician, but I still yearned to be practising what I had been taught at University College London.  So my tenure at SB&H lasted only 19 months and on 12th January 1976 I joined local tobacco firm Gallaher Ltd, working in their Research &Development Division.  At that time Gallaher employed more graduate and junior statisticians than did Queen’s University Belfast. I was initially employed as Statistician, Laboratory Statistics.