[gov3009-l] Special Lecture by David Firth

Justin Grimmer jgrimmer at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Apr 7 17:45:12 EDT 2009

Dear Applied Statistics Community,

We are pleased to announce a special presentation that should be of
interest.  David Firth, Professor of Statistics at the University of
Warwick, will present on Quasi Variances this *Thursday* from 12-2 pm in
room K-354 in CGIS-Knafel (1737 Cambridge St, the usual meeting place for
the applied statistics workshop).  Professor Firth provided the following
abstract for his presentation:

The notion of quasi variances, as a device for both simplifying and
enhancing the presentation of additive categorical-predictor effects in
statistical models, was developed in Firth and de Menezes (Biometrika,
2004, 65-80). The approach generalizes the earlier idea of "floating
absolute risk" (Easton et al., Statistics in Medicine, 1991), which has
become rather controversial in epidemiology. In this talk I will outline and
exemplify the method, and discuss its extension to some other contexts such
as parameters that may be arbitrarily scaled and/or rotated.
Everyone (especially graduate students) is welcome and encouraged to attend.

A bit of background on Professor Firth.  He is Professor of Statistics at
the University of Warwick. He specializes in statistical theory and methods,
and has a particular interest in generalized linear models---especially as
applied to the social sciences. He has published extensively in the
discipline's major journals of record, such as JRSS and Biometrika, and has
written several packages for the R language and environment. He has made
several significant contributions to the field, and is well known as the
inventor of bias-reduced logistic regression (also known as 'Firthit').

He is at IQSS as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow (April 7--17), and will be
spending part of his time here working with Arthur Spirling on models of
momentum for contest data.

We hope everyone will be able to attend

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