Looking forward to Ottawa

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The World Statistics Congress is the world’s largest meeting of statisticians and data scientists from all walks of life. With over 200 high value sessions and talks that help shape the landscape of Statistics and Data Science, it provides a meeting place for statisticians and data scientists to come together for discussions of current and future topics.

What marks it out from other statistical meetings?

  • The Congress is truly international, drawing delegates from developing countries as well as the developed world;
  • It is truly comprehensive, bringing together academic, government and business statisticians;
  • And it’s not bound by any ‘themes’ or policy agenda – the Congress is truly independent and discusses issues of greatest interest to statisticians across the world.

The WSC has always been the forum for well-known statisticians to present their thinking. Sir David Cox, Bradley Efron, Nan Laird, Kerrie Mengersen, Robert Tibshirani, Reinaldo Arellano-Valle, and Jessica Utts are among those who have given distinguished lectures at recent Congresses. Their contributions have helped in taking statistical science forward, and WSC 2023 will continue this tradition.

My first WSC was in Florence in 1993. I still remember the trepidation as I prepared for this meeting, which I had not attended before – and the technology: physical transparencies with an overhead projector. The experience was invaluable. Feedback from colleagues from around the world, which helped me progress the work I was doing; informal contacts made; and a boost to my confidence in presenting before large audiences.

This year’s WSC is in Ottawa in Canada. Ottawa is the ideal place to come together; a peaceful, friendly city with many historical and cultural landmarks. Ottawa is on the boundary of Ontario and Quebec, and is bilingual – with French widely spoken. I am sure this will be an attraction for many of our French-speaking members, while the history of the region brings its cultural attractions.

We are organising a walking tour of the city and Tourism Ottawa will be on hand at the Convention Centre to assist visitors. I am looking forward to revisiting the Parliament Building, the Rideau Canal and the Canadian Museum of History, as well as looking out for cultural events and music in the city. Further afield there are options to explore the historic cities of Montreal and Quebec, while the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls are not far away.

Ottawa is an ideal statistical community too, the home of Statistics Canada, one of the world’s leading centres of official statistics, who will be sure to be bringing a great deal of statistical thinking to the event. And also the home to four universities, with the nine universities of Montreal and Quebec City nearby, which will be sure to be contributing.

We are meeting in the Shaw Centre, in the heart of the city, with lunchtime and dinner venues nearby. Of course, the main attraction of the Congress lies in the Scientific Programme, and I am very grateful to the Programme Committee for the excellent work they have done. Over 200 excellent sessions are planned together with poster displays. I shall be picking out my top ten to visit over the coming weeks.

Don’t forget the early bird rate for registrations closes at the end of March, so make sure you register soon to get the reduced rate.

Bring your ideas to Ottawa and share them with your fellow statisticians and data scientists. I will be there to welcome you at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa in July.


Visit WSC website


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