Thilaksha Tharanganie, who is a PhD student in the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics at Monash University, wrote to share her experiences from the Australian Statistical Conference in conjunction with the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Annual Meeting 2014.

Thilaksha Tharanganie

In July 2014, I presented my PhD research work at the IMS–FPS Conference (Finance, Probability and Statistics conference, held 2–5 July, at the University of Technology, Sydney). This was an IMS co-sponsored satellite conference to the joint Australian Statistical Conference (ASC) in conjunction with the IMS Annual Meeting 2014, held 7–10 July at the Australian Technology Park, Sydney. I was fortunate enough to attend both conferences and I encountered invaluable experiences by attending the ASC–IMS 2014. There are no words to fully capture and articulate my gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Rob J Hyndman, for offering me funding.

Being an “apprentice researcher” who is aiming to become a fully independent researcher, my participation in conferences opens up doors to the wider world. The ASC–IMS 2014 brought together leading academic experts, practitioners and junior researchers, with a great turnout from 35 countries. The keynote speakers and invited sessions from eminent scholars, for instance Professors Terry Speed, Peter Hall and Alastair Scott, highlighted many aspects in the field of Statistics. The conference was well organized with numerous parallel sessions concentrating on important contributions and identifying emerging directions where Statistics will play an essential role in the future. Listening to various presentations obviously enhanced my confidence in being able to present professionally and deal with questions from the audience comfortably.

The 77th IMS Annual Meeting was open to all delegates; a key session was the IMS Presidential Address by then-President Professor Bin Yu, and the IMS Awards Session. Congratulations to all award recipients and a humble thank you to IMS for supporting new researchers who otherwise would not be able to attend the ASC–IMS 2014.

Apart from this, the IMS Reception, the SSAI International Engagement Dinner and Young Statisticians Dinner held on the first two days of the conference, were delightful social events. These spectacular events helped me to share research and working experiences with academic and industry professionals. Vitally, the network built with young statisticians from different parts of the world will carry throughout my whole life.

My thanks go to the conference organizers, SSAI and IMS, for a fruitful and enjoyable event.

Overall, my full participation in the ASC–IMS 2014 meeting was indeed a memorable experience and a terrific learning experience.