Last November 23 2015, The UP Los Baños Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) and the UP Diliman School of Statistics (UPSS) held the 16th Joint Student-Faculty Conference on Statistical Sciences at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). With the theme “Statistics in the Age of Data and Opportunities,” paper presentations focused on the importance of statistical procedures in extracting valuable information from a mass of data. The conference showcased paper presentations of research activities, special problems and thesis of both faculty and students from different universities. It also served as venue for scholarly exchange of ideas and issues in statistics among students of various schools. Aside from UPSS and UPLB INSTAT constituents, a number of faculty members and students of the Central Luzon State University, De La Salle University,Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, and Caraga State University had their share of paper presentations.
ESTA KORO, official choir of INSTAT, set the ambiance for the Conference with an inspiring rendition, followed by a warm welcome from INSTAT Director Dr. Consorcia E. Reano. Distinguished plenary speakers were Dr. Dalisay S. Maligalig, Associate Professor of Statistics and former Principal Statistician of the Asian Development Bank, and Dr. Dennis Claire S. Mapa, Associate Professor and Dean of UPD School of Statistics. Dr. Maligalig discussed the boom of big data, its relevance in the society and its future implications. She engaged the audience with a fact that an emerging field, Data Science, opens up opportunities for statisticians. can be a star while she also However, she also warned of the dangers if being cautious will not be prioritized on working under this profession.
Dr. Mapa shared his research findings on the factors that influence hunger incidence in the Philippines using data from the SWS quarterly surveys. Among the potential determinants of hunger incidence are changes in the price of rice and job misery index. The latter being the sum of the employment and unemployment rates. Dr. Mapa emphasized that an increase in the price of rice in the preceding quarter leads to an increase in hunger incidence in the succeeding quarter. After the plenary talks, Prof. Roselle V. Collado of INSTAT, facilitated the open forum where students and faculty members were given the chance to clarify some points in the papers.
The afternoon session heard a total of 30 paper presentations spread across parallel sessions on Statistics on Economics, Environmental Statistics, Statistics in Social Sciences and Education, Computational Methods in Statistics, Statistics in Health and Nutrition, and Business Statistics.
The Conference was capped by a goodwill dinner sponsored by the UPLB Graduate School and highlighted by Best Paper awards. CLSU’s Enrie Manuel S. Gatchalian garnered the Best Paper award for the paper entitled “Hybrid Seasonal ARIMA and Non-linear Autoregressive Neural Network in Forecasting of Monthly Average Ozone Layer Depletion from 1958-2014”. Runners-up were the team of Adelbert Choi, Vio Jianu Mojica, Robert Neil Leong and Frumencio F. Co of DLSU; and Reimann Caro of UPLB INSTAT. This year’s board of judges was comprised of three experts in the field of statistics, namely: Philippine Institute for Development Studies Research Fellow and Philippine Statistical Association, Inc. President, Dr. Jose Ramon G. Albert; former NSCB Chair Dr. Romulo A. Virola; and former Director of PSA Region IV-A, Dr. Rosalinda P. Bautista.
Dean Jose V. Camacho, Jr. welcomed the participants and shared information on opportunities for graduate studies in statistics offered by the UPLB Graduate School. The participants were also treated to the dancing prowess of dance sport team, Nolando V. Solis and Christabelle Alesandra Bueno, both BS Statistics students. Finally, the participants were treated to a video review of the conference-long events provided by the UPLB Statistical Society.