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Statistics underpinning Science, Technology and Industry

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Automatic procedures for problems of measurement errors

Measurement errors arise in all kinds of situations where data can not be observed accurately, and analysing contaminated data without taking the errors into account can have important consequences on conclusions drawn. For example, a substance can be thought to be less toxic than it really is. Aurore Delaigle and Peter Hall have developed a fully automatic procedure for general estimators in the context of measurement errors. In their paper, which has just appeared in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, they apply their technique to study the relation between incidence of heart disease and systolic blood pressure. Read more...

The Statistics Group has won major strategic funding in the form of a Science and Innovation Award from the EPSRC. The 3.5 million pound grant — one of the largest ever awarded to a mathematics department — will fund a new initiative entitled SuSTaIn (Statistics underpinning Science, Technology and Industry), to be led by Peter Green FRS, Guy Nason, Christophe Andrieu and Sean Collins. It will support an ambitious programme to conduct and disseminate internationally-leading research in mathematical statistics, equipping the discipline to face the challenges of future applications. In partnership with the University of Bristol, the Award will fund a new Chair of Statistics, several Lectureships, Postdocs and Studentships, and activities including workshops and research kitchens, visitor support, an international conference and a comprehensive programme of research training for graduate students.

University Press Release | EPSRC Press Release

Statistics in Britain is seen by policy makers as extremely strong in scientific achievement but in danger demographically. As with other traditional core subjects, statistics is encountering declining numbers of entrants. The discipline is a victim of its own success: graduates leave academia to pursue lucrative careers in fields such as finance and genetic research. This in turn affects the base of academic staff in universities which impacts on the nation's capacity to produce the well-trained statisticians and research leaders of tomorrow.

SuSTaIn will create a new centre of research activity at Bristol encouraging and supporting innovative approaches to statistics research. A key criterion of SuSTaIn is to appoint talented researchers working at the highest level in rigorous mathematical statistics, but aimed towards future statistical methodology and applications, not those doing mathematics for its own sake.