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Statistical Modelling Society



History and Style of the IWSM

The workshop grew out of two GLIM conferences held in London (1982) and Lancaster (1985), and a number of short courses organised by Murray Aitkin at Lancaster University in the early 1980s. The focus then was on Generalised Linear Modelling and many European statisticians were attracted to these activities. At this time, a group of Austrian, Italian and British statisticians saw both the opportunity and the need for a continuation of regular meetings of similar spirit. These meetings should focus on various aspects of statistical modelling in an informal workshop environment, specifically aimed at applied statistics, but also including theoretical developments and computational methods.

The inaugural workshop took place in Innsbruck in 1986, and brought together an enthusiastic group of about thirty European statisticians interested in statistical modelling. The programme focused on GLMs and was characterised by a number of features - a friendly and supportive academic atmosphere, tutorial sessions and invited speakers presenting new developments in statistical modelling. The academic programme allowed plenty of time for presentations and for discussions, and made available copies of all papers beforehand. A very well organised social programme complemented the activities.

Since then the organizers of the IWSM tried to preserve the spirit of the first workshop: Papers should be motivated by real life data and make novel contributions to the subject. Parallel sessions are avoided, allowing everyone both to learn and to contribute. The latter principle has also strongly supported the cross-fertilization of ideas from different statistical disciplines. Contributions from students early in their careers are always encouraged, discussion and exchange of ideas between junior and senior scientists is one of the key objectives of the IWSM.

Since the first meeting, the workshop has grown substantially, and now regularly attracts more than 150 participants. The scope of topics has broadened, reflecting the growth in the subject of statistical modelling over the years. Poster sessions are now held, and software demonstrations and displays are organised. Short courses on the day before the IWSM starts are a continuing activity.

Strong efforts were made to bring the IWSM to different places. Meanwhile the IWSM was held in 13 different European countries, travelled to the USA twice and even once to Australia.

For a complete list of previous International Workshops on Statistical Modelling please click here.



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