International Year of Statistics Public Lecture Series

U of T celebrated the 2013 International Year of Statistics with series of interdisciplinary lectures

The purpose of the International Year of Statistics was to promote the importance of Statistics, through the combined energies of societies and organisations worldwide, to the broader scientific community, business and government data users, the media, policy makers, employers, students, and the general public. (For more information, see

In response, the department hosted a series of public lectures, as follows:

January 21, 2013, 4pm: Prof Stephen Fienberg, “On the Causes of Effects”

March 7, 2013, 12pm: Doug Nychka, “Uncertain Weather, Uncertain Climate”

April 1, 2013, 4pm: Prof Noel A. Cressie, Department of Statistics, The Ohio State University, “Hot Enough for You? Uncertainty Quantification for Regional Climate Projections in North America”

September 12, 2013, 4pm  Prof Rob Tibshirani, Department of Statistics and Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, “Statistics: the new sexy?”

October 10, 2013, 4pm  Robert Gentleman, Senior Director, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Genentech Inc., “Computationally Intensive Biology Problems”

November 21, 2013, 4pm  Prof Susan Murphy, H.E. Robbins Professor of Statistics and Professor of Psychiatry, Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, “Smart Use of Smart Phones and other Mobile Devices to Improve Health”

As explained in an article in The Varsity Magazine:

“Professor James Stafford, chair of the Department of Statistical Sciences at U of T, confirms that public outreach was a major goal in organizing the lecture series: “I wanted the audience to be people I didn’t recognize,” he says. “I didn’t want it to be a seminar series.” For Stafford, statistics is “by its very nature interdisciplinary,” a science that has applications in many fields, including biology, computer science, political science, and even the study of medieval manuscripts.”

For the full article in The Varsity Magazine, see:

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