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In the days since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, there has been a lot of discussion on what is going to happen now - whether President Obama should or should not nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy in the supreme court. As I write this, FoxNews reports that Americans are almost 2:1 in favor of a nomination by President Obama, politifact has rated the claim from the Republican rumour mill of an `80 year old tradition to not nominate a supreme court candidate during an election’ as half right (which could also be read as half wrong, just to indicate my side of things).

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I’m sitting watching cricket tonight, the first day of the Australia vs West Indies Boxing Day test. Just now video of retired batsman Chris Rogers being honored was played, along with a plot of his batting record, shown on screen similar to this one below: Howzat? What are they trying to show? What’s the data in this plot? Is it a bar chart? A histogram? What does color mean?

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This week I have been visiting the Department of Statistical Sciences at Cornell University. This is the home of many venerable statisticians. At first sight it appears that statisticians are spread all over the university, and technically they are because funding comes from many directions, but almost all are actually located in a suite in Comstock Hall. Professor Paul Velleman is one of the pioneers of data-centrist thinking about statistics. He produced the software called DataDesk in the early 90s that some saw as rivaling LispStat and particularly JMP for introductory statistics classes.

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This week I have been visiting the new Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence. The center involves four universities, CMU, ISU, UC-Irvine, U. Virginia, and is a NIST Center of Excellence. The kickoff event occurred over Oct 26-27 at ISU, organized by Center Director, Professor Alicia Carriquiry. The speaker list included Barry Scheck (Co-Founder, The Innocence Project), Jo Handelsman (The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy), Philip Dawid (Emeritus Professor of Statistics, University of Cambridge), Anil Jain (Michigan State University) and Stephen Feinberg (CMU).

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Spent a couple of hours this morning talking at the http://it.monash.edu/data-science workshop organised by Michael Brand from Monash University. Good questions, good discussion.

Here is a link to my slides.

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Projects

foRwards

Leading the R community forwards in widening the participation of women and other under-represented groups.

NUMBAT

Non-Uniform Monash Business Analytics Team: This is a research working group consisting of facutly, post-docs and students in Econometrics and Business Statistics at Monash University. The group meets regularly to discuss current research and host visitors talking to the group. If you would like to visit and present your work to the group, send email numbats@googlegroups.com.

useR! 2018

The conference useR! 2018 will be held in Australia July 10-13, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is the first time that it has been held outside Europe or North America.

Teaching

I am the instructor for the following courses at Monash University:

My current and recent PhD students are:

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