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Conference Format

1) Three plenary speakers who each give 50 minutes talks during the conference to the full delegate audience. These are international guests, experts, in their field, chosen by the SASA community and are funded from conference funding. The proposed plenary speakers are:

  • Prof Din Chen ( Biostatistician, Rochester University, USA;
  • Walter Radermacher ( Director General of Eurostat and Chief Statistician of the European Union;
  • Dr Robert N. Rodriguez, SAS Institute, Senior Director, Research and Development, SAS; 2012 President, American Statistical Association.

2) Parallel special sessions in which a mini-plenary speaker is invited for each to give a 40 minute talk as the expert of that field. A chair of the special session is approached early on in the year and is responsible for funding the mini-plenary speaker (most likely, but not limited to, an international guest) for that special session. The idea is to cover all major research fields in South African Statistics’ Departments as well as industry but focus them into special sessions. More information on the special sessions can be accessed here.

This is an open call for parallel special sessions, if you are interested to organise such a session, please complete this template and email it to the LOC.Due date: 31 May 2015. Your role as chair of the special session is:

  • To ensure that you have a discussant for your session;
  • Responsible for funding to cover all the expenses of the mini-plenary speaker for the conference;
  • Responsible for the travel and accommodation arrangements of the mini-plenary speaker that you approach for your special session;
  • Inform the LOC of the arrangements regularly;
  • You are also welcome to present a contributed talk in this session.

3) Contributed talks: Included in the parallel special sessions are presentations from broader South African statistical community. These talks will follow the 40 minute mini-plenary and are allocated 20 minutes each. We envisage 3-4 contributed talks per special session and you are invited to submit an abstract for one of these sessions. Please note that if your planned conference talk is not covered by these identified sessions, there is the special session named “Statistical methodology and techniques” that will provide a platform for these cases to ensure the most inclusivity as possible.

4) Poster sessions: Poster presentations consisting of short 5 minutes talks will cater for contributed papers where the maximum number of contributors exceeds the allowable time for a session. Delegates are also welcome to submit only a poster and please indicate so when submitting your abstract.  

5) Research review discussions: At the end of each special session there will be a 20 minute discussion on all the presented talks and posters within the parallel special session in order to facilitate a scientific discussion on the research approached in that field to enhance the research activities in that field. Note that for the special sessions “Statistical methodology and techniques” as well as the “Young statistician’s stream” a question  opportunity will follow each presentation and not the research review discussion at the end of the session. (Please note that if your planned conference talk is not covered by the identified sessions, then use the special session named “Statistical methodology and techniques”.)

See below the format of the special sessions as described above.


Special Session Structure


Mini-plenary lecture

40 minutes

Contributed Talks

20 minutes x 3 or 4

Poster presentations

5 minutes x 5 (or less) = 25 minutes

Research review discussion session

20 minutes


Total (Approximately): 2h45minutes

Tea and coffee break  during the session or afterwards-

depends on the timeslots available (The delegates that have

poster presentations in this session will be at their posters for the duration

of the tea break in the same hall where tea is served)


Special Session Structure (Statistical methodology and

techniques and Young Statistician's Stream)


Contributed Talks

15 minutes each with discussion followed after each talk of

5 minutes

Poster presentations

5 minutes x 5 (or less) = 25 minutes

Tea and coffee break afterwards (The delegates that have  poster presentations in this session will be at their posters for the duration of the tea break in the same hall where tea is served)


6) Young statistician’s stream:

  • Presentation of 15 minutes for Doctoral students. The importance of developing the young academics is vital and this stream allows for this. The best presentation by a student is awarded a prize. Should a Masters student wish to partake they are more than welcome but will be judged together with the Doctoral students for the best presentation competition.
  • Posters for Honours and Masters students - poster cocktail event for all these students who will stand by their posters for questions. The best poster for an honours student and a Masters student will also receive a prize. 

7) Pre- and Post-Workshops: Workshops will take place on Saturday 28 November 2015 and Sunday 29 November 2015 before the conference as well as Thursday 3 December 2015 and Friday 4 December 2015 after the conference.  More information on the workshops can be accessed here.