ICSDS 2022 “a huge success”; ICSDS 2023 will be in Lisbon, Portugal: Join Us!

Regina Liu and Annie Qu were the Co-organizers for the 2022 International Conference on Statistics and Data Science meeting. They write:

We are delighted to report that the inaugural ICSDS (International Conference on Statistics and Data Science), held in December 13–16 in Florence, Italy, was a huge success.

There were nearly 500 participants from more than 35 countries, ranging from students, to junior, mid-career and senior researchers and practitioners, affiliated with industry, government, and academia and covering broad areas of statistics and data science. The scientific program had four plenary sessions, 58 invited sessions, six contributed sessions. There was also a student travel award session and a poster session with 60 contributed posters.

Despite the alluring touristic attractions in Florence, the conference had strong attendance, even up to the last day of the conference. This, in addition to numerous positive comments conveyed to us, clearly attested to the quality of the conference program. The session topics were diverse and far-reaching, ranging from new machine learning methods and computing tools, to personalized medicine and genetics, big data visualization and graphics, network data, image and text data, electronic health records data, health policies and environmental statistics. Several sessions were so popular that some audience members had to sit on the floor.

Plenary sessions

The four plenary sessions featured the following speakers:

Emmanuel Candès (Stanford University) on Conformal Prediction in 2022: delivered with a lively rap (duetting with the session chair Peter Bühlmann) on conformal statistics and then with a sign-along from the audience, making this a rare rhythmic and captivating opening plenary talk;

Guido Imbens (Stanford University, and 2021 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics) on Multiple Randomization Designs: putting the classical experimental design and randomized controlled trial designs into modern experiments and usages;

Susan Murphy (Harvard University) on Inference for Longitudinal Data After Adaptive Sampling: addressing a variety of inferential questions using adaptive sampling methods to best use the real-time personalization of interventions in mobile health and education;

Sylvia Richardson (University of Cambridge) on Scaling up Bayesian Modeling and Computation for real-world biomedical and public health applications: discussing the adaptation of the divide-and-conquer approaches for large n to the inferential context of model choice and of mixture models—an adaptation that goes beyond the well-established divide-and-conquer approaches developed for posterior inference on a chosen model with fixed number of parameters.

All plenary sessions were well attended, in fact, standing room only! The plenary talks are available on the IMS YouTube Channel (search ICSDS 2022 Plenary Talk in YouTube).

Student Awards

The ICSDS presented 10 student travel awards, USD800 each. The awardees selected are diverse in their paper topics, genders, and countries of studies. They are: Arkaprabha Ganguli (Michigan State U. USA); Samantha Dean (Yale U., USA); Bertille Follain (Ecole Normale Supérieure/INRIA PARIS, France); Shimeng Huang (University of Copenhagen, Denmark); Takuya Koriyama (Rutgers U. USA); Hanâ Lbath (Univ. Grenoble Alpes, INRIA, France); Marcos Matabuena (U. Santiago de Compostela, Spain); Lorenzo Pacchiardi (U. of Oxford, UK); Javier Aguilar Romero (SimTech Stuttgart University, Germany); and Ye Tian (Columbia U., USA). [See their photos in the March 2023 Bulletin.]

Social Program

About 250 participants attended the conference banquet, held at the stunningly beautiful Palazzo Borghese on December 15. There were also two receptions. The conference reception was held at the conference venue concurrent with the poster session, and the banquet reception at the magnificent Palazzo Vecchio in the spectacular Salone dei Cinquecento (“Hall of the Five Hundred”). This reception began with an actor playing the role of Giorgio Vasari retelling the history of the Renaissance around the Cosimo de’ Medici period; then a few local dignitaries welcomed the conference participants and thanked the IMS for choosing Florence as the conference site. Finally, Peter Bühlmann, as the IMS President, thanked the local supporters and remarked on the aptness of holding ICSDS in Florence, known as the city of Renaissance, for the Renaissance of our field’s statistics and data science. [You can read Peter Bühlmann’s speech here.] Many of the participants expressed their awe at the glorious settings of the conference banquet and reception, and also their appreciation of having these opportunities to enjoy themselves as well as network with other participants after the long COVID confinement.


We are gratified to hear from many participants their praise for ICSDS 2022: several even told us that this was the best conference they had ever attended. But this success could not have been possible without the effort of many people. In particular, we are indebted to University of Florence and Florence Center for Data Science, especially the local committee chaired by Fabrizia Mealli, who also made it possible for us access the banquet venues at Palazzo Borghese and Palazzo Vecchio. We also thank our Program Committee (Genevera Allen, Ayan Basu, Arne Bathke, Gérard Biau, Merle Behr, Chun-houh Chen, Tim Cannings, Antonio Canale, Radu Craiu, Aurore Delaigle, Susanne Ditlevsen, Mathias Drton, Yingying Fan, Michele Guindani, Pauliina Ilmonen, Julie Josse, Liza Levina, Jialiang Li, Chae Young Lim, Po-Ling Loh, Gabor Lugosi, Taps Maiti, Alessandra Mattei, Hernando Ombao, Davy Paindaveine, Victor Panaretos, Saharon Rosset, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Aila Sarkka, Xiaotong Shen, Dylan Small, Francesco Stingo, Niansheng Tang, Lola Ugarte, Stéphanie van der Pas, Valeria Vitelli, Yin Xia, and Junhui Wang) for their contributions to the strong program. Moreover, IMS Director Elyse Gustafson supported us throughout. Finally, Qi Xu, PhD student in the Statistics Department at UC Irvine, worked tirelessly to help us on every aspect of this conference, managing the ICSDS website, responding to thousands of email requests, issuing official letters, making the program book, just to name a few. Qi is the unsung hero of this conference!

Looking ahead

Given that ICSDS is to be held as a series of annual IMS conferences, we have been striving to set a high standard for the conference program and to ensure a broad coverage of the diversity issues that motivated this conference series (i.e., diversity of countries, subjects, genders, etc.). It was with this in mind that we formed the program committee by including 41 members with different domains of expertise from 17 countries. We hope to learn from the success of this first ICSDS, and continue to maintain the high standard as well as broad coverage of the program. We have again set up a broad and strong program committee for the next ICSDS.

Next ICSDS Conferences

Save the date! The next ICSDS will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, December 18–21, 2023. The website for ICSDS 2023 is https://sites.google.com/view/icsds2023. The 2024 ICSDS will be in Nice, France, with the dates and conference venue to be determined.

Read Peter Bühlmann’s banquet speech, on the Renaissance of Italy and of our field, here. And check out some more photos on the IMS Facebook page, facebook.com/IMSTATI