Statistics in Sports section
Wednesday, 29 March 
False Starts in Elite Athletics - watch video (YouTube)
Speaker: Kevin Brosnan, PhD Candidate, Mathematics and Statistics Department,
Abstract: The 100 ms ruling for false start disqualification at athletic competitions governed by the International Association of Athletics Federations has been in force since the early 1990s. Throughout this period, there have been marked changes to the rules that govern the disqualification of athletes from sprint events incorporating starts from blocks. This study analysed all available World and European Championship response-time (RT) data from 1999 to 2014 to examine effects of rule changes on competition RT at major championships. The exponentially modified Gaussian distribution was used to model RT and make comparisons relative to athletes’ sex, ruling periods and competition rounds. Results will include a revision of the false start disqualification limits and question some results in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Download slides (PDF) 

Northern Ireland Local Group webinars
Wednesday 15th March 2017
Structural Equation Modelling - watch video (YouTube)
Speaker: Dr Jainjun Tang (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is a statistical modelling technique that measures latent variables, i.e. those constructs that are known to exist but cannot be directly observed, and their relationships with observed variables within an integrated framework. It was first applied in psychological studies but has been extended to a wide range of fields including economics, behavioural sciences and public health. During the seminar the basic principles of SEM will be introduced, followed by two examples illustrating its applications in the area of public health.

Northern Ireland Local Group webinars
Wednesday 8th February 2017
Extreme Value Theory: An Impact Case Study for International Shipping Standards - watch video (YouTube)
Prof. Jonathan Tawn, Lancaster University
Abstract/Description: Research on extreme value methods proved critical in determining the conclusions of the UK High Court’s investigation of the sinking of the M.V. Derbyshire (the UK’s largest ship lost at sea) and identified that design standards for hatch covers of ocean-going carriers needed to be increased by 35%. This new level was then set as a new worldwide mandatory standard. This talk describes my involvement in this work starting with the estimation of the probability of the M.V. Derbyshire having sunk from a structural failure, resulting from large wave impacts on the ship, for each of a range of possible sea-state and vessel conditions; through experiences of presenting evidence to the High Court; and subsequent work aimed at setting new design standards for ocean-going carriers.

Northern Ireland Local Group webinars
A civil expert witness: life and death - watch video (Youtube)
Prof Jane Hutton, The University of Warwick
Abstract/Description:
I frequently provide expert witness reports on estimates of life expectancy, and occasionally on other matters such as side effects of drugs and putatively avoidable deaths.
If a compensation case arises from an injury, which might be caused by medical error or an industrial or traffic accident, the
award will often depend on the expected reduction in life expectancy. I shall discuss approaches to estimating life expectancy when factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption have to be considered as well as the main motivation of the claim. Estimates of effects of injury and life style factors are published in many forms. I will comment on the challenges I have faced, and the solutions I have adopted. Wednesday 7th December 2016
40 years as a statistical general practitioner: The Industry Years (1974 – 1995)- watch video (Youtube)
Mr Mike Stevenson, formerly Queen's University Belfast
Abstract/Description:
I finished college on 21st June 1974 and started my first post degree job in Short Bros & Harland (SB&H) just three days later.  There I got involved in fortune telling.  The serious stuff was trying to predict where wage and material escalation would be in three months’ time.  But first I was given a serious project - to predict next Saturday’s score draws!  Now SB&H more wanted me to be a management accountant rather than a statistician, but I still yearned to be practising what I had been taught at University College London.  So my tenure at SB&H lasted only 19 months and on 12th January 1976 I joined local tobacco firm Gallaher Ltd, working in their Research &Development Division.  At that time Gallaher employed more graduate and junior statisticians than did Queen’s University Belfast. I was initially employed as Statistician, Laboratory Statistics...........