Back to top

Alumni Newsletter

01 Jan 70


The next Alumni Event will be held on Saturday 21st September 2019 at the Department of Statistics. Coffee and pastries will be provided from 10.30 am with the talk starting at 11.00 am. Please see below for details:

Speaker:   Prof Jennifer Rogers, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford

Title:         Living is a Risky Business

Abstract: Real life involves risks, whether it’s cycling without a helmet, travelling to a country with contagious diseases, or living in a house next to a river. Sometimes your perception of risk is distorted, making you think some things are more – or less – risky than is actually the case. How statistically significant are the risks that we see? What do the numbers mean? And what are own personal relationships with risk? Jen Rogers delves into the numbers to show you how statistics can help you to make better decisions about risky activities.

For catering purposes, please can you complete the online booking form to register your attendance at this event:



We are delighted to announce that Sir David Spiegelhalter will give the 2019 Florence Nightingale Lecture on Tuesday 30th April 2019.

Title:         What would Florence Nightingale make of the way data is being used today?

Abstract:  Florence Nightingale is popularly known for her role in nursing, but statisticians know her as a prime innovator in using statistical evidence, forcefully communicated, as a basis for public policy. If alive today, she might be overjoyed at the availability of data and the widespread use of powerful graphics, particularly in understanding international development. She saw the primary purpose of statistics as a means of understanding God’s work, so she might not be so impressed with misinformation and manipulation with numbers. But the crucial question remains: would she use Twitter or not?

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the ground floor social area.  To book your place, please email .

This event is kindly being sponsored by XTX Markets Ltd



2020 will be the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and the Department is pleased to be part of the 2020 Partners group who are planning a wide range of celebrations throughout the UK and beyond.

As part of the Department of Statistics’ celebrations, we are planning a ‘super event’ for Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th March 2019 which will include our 10th Florence Nightingale Lecture and two days of outreach events for both primary and secondary school children.  Professor Deborah Ashby, President of the Royal Statistical Society, will give the Lecture.

We are also delighted to be hosting a temporary display of correspondence between Florence Nightingale and Benjamin Jowett, Warden of Balliol College.  Our thanks go to Balliol College for agreeing to loan the correspondence to the Department.



The Department is delighted to announce the following successful CDT bids:

  • StatML is a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) based at Imperial and Oxford. It will train the next generation of researchers in statistics and statistical machine learning. The CDT will be run by Judith Rousseau and Arnaud Doucet at the Department of Statistics.
  • Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Sciences (SABS) is a continuing DTC programme run by Garrett Morris and Charlotte Deane at the Department of Statistics. It is an innovative open collaboration between the University of Oxford and 22 partner industrial organisations, working together to develop novel computational and mathematical techniques to solve biomedical research problems.
  • Health Data Science (with the Big Data Institute) is for driven individuals who want to use data science to build tools to advance human health, whether that is predicting and diagnosing disease, determining the effectiveness of existing treatments, or improving the quality and affordability of care. The CDT is lead by the Department of Computer Science in coordination with the Department of Statistics and Engineering, with the support of the Nuffield Department of Population Health and the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
  • Mathematics of Random Systems offers a 4-year comprehensive training programme at the frontier of scientific research in Probability, Stochastic Analysis, Stochastic Modelling, stochastic computational methods and applications in physics, finance, biology, healthcare and data science through a partnership between the Oxford Mathematical Institute, the Oxford Department of Statistics and the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London.
  • AIMS provides graduates with the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise in autonomous intelligent systems. The CDT Programme is being run by Engineering and Computer Science.



The Oxford University Statistical Consulting unit (OUSC) was launched on 27th September 2017. Providing comprehensive support and analysis to a cross-section of internal and external businesses, OUSC operates across a wide range of sectors and offers experience in all aspects of data-based research, allowing businesses and academics access to the University’s world leading expertise in computational statistics, statistical methodology, applied probability, bioinformatics and mathematical genetics.

Professor Jennifer Rogers is Director of the Oxford University Statistical Consultancy.

Further details can be found below:

Contact: +44 (0) 1865 281279 /




Professor Gesine Reinert was elected Chair of the RSS Applied Probability Section.  Her term of office started on 1st January 2019. Bernard Silverman, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Oxford University and lately Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, was knighted in the New Year Honours List 2018 for public service and services to Science.
Professor Alison Etheridge, FRS, Professor of Probability at the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics and Fellow of Magdalen College, was appointed OBE for services to science.  



Christl Donnelly

Professor Christl Donnelly CBE FMedSci FRS took up her position as Chair of Applied Statistics on 1st August 2018.  She is also a fellow of St Peter’s College.

Christl Donnelly is a statistician and epidemiologist studying the spread and control of infectious diseases, with a particular interest in outbreaks. She studied mathematics as an undergraduate at Oberlin College and biostatistics as a graduate student at Harvard School of Public Health, graduating in 1992. She worked in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Edinburgh from 1992 to 1995 and in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Epidemiology of Infectious Disease (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford) from 1995 to 2000. Since 2000, she has worked at Imperial College London where she is Professor of Statistical Epidemiology.  Christl has studied Zika virus, Ebola, MERS, influenza, SARS, bovine TB, foot-and-mouth disease, rabies, cholera, dengue, BSE/vCJD, malaria and HIV/AIDS. She was a leading member of the WHO Ebola Response Team (2014-2016). She was also deputy chair of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (1998-2007) which designed, oversaw and analysed the Randomised Badger Culling Trial. In addition to epidemiology and disease control, she has applied interests in conservation and animal welfare. She was awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for her work on epidemiology and control of infectious diseases.


Judith Rousseau

Professor Judith Rousseau joined the Department in September 2017 as Professor of Statistics.  Judith was previously Professor of Statistics at CEREMADE, Universite Paris Dauphine.  Her research interests focus on Bayesian statistics and the interaction between Bayesian and frequentist approaches.

Judith is also Associate Editor for a number of journals, including Annals of Statistics, Bernoulli, ANZJS and stats, and is a fellow of IMS and ISBA.



Patrick Rebeschini

Patrick Rebeschini joined the Department in June 2017 as Associate Professor of Statistics.

Patrick previously held a joint appointment at Yale University, as an Associate Research Scientist in the Electrical Engineering Department and as a Lecturer in the Computer Science Department. He works on developing methodologies and theoretical foundations for machine learning, focusing on fast and distributed algorithms for large-scale problems.



Pier Francesco Palamara

Pier Francesco Palamara jointed the Department in July 2017 as Associate Professor of Statistical and Population Genomics.

Pier obtained his “laurea di Primo Livello” and “Laurea  Specialistica” (B.S. and M.S. degrees) from Rome’s Sapienza University, and a M.S. degree from Columbia University, all in Computer Science with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Leaning.




Staff Leavers:

Jonathan Marchini

Having worked in the Department of Statistics since 2002, Jonathan moved

to the US in August 2018 to take up the position of Head of Statistical Genetics

and Methods at Regeneron.


Jan Boylan

On Friday 1st February 2019, the Department said farewell to Jan Boylan who has been the Academic Administrator for the Department since 2005.  Jan is retiring and looking forward to spending more time in her garden.





Bubbles, origami, dodgy dice and self-supporting bridges – over two days in April 2018 the free Oxford Maths Festival, hosted by Oxford Mathematics, showcased the creative, fun and surprising side of mathematics.

Adults and children alike were entertained, challenged and enthused by a variety of activities on Bonn Square. Visitors learnt about polyhedra and Sierpinski triangles using the medium of balloons, tried to find the shortest route between cities, had fun with bubbles and played with tangrams. They could also learn about Bayesian methods and the application of statistics to proteins, watch the double pendulum in its mad spin and assemble Penrose tiles.  Visitors were delighted by a game of chocolate trickery, tied themselves up in knots and tried to work out the logic puzzles.

On Sunday, visitors could drop in to the Mathematical Institute to take part in hands-on activities, attend workshops on topics as diverse as cryptography, symmetry, catenary arches and problem-solving or lectures on sport, risk, pi and Lewis Carroll. They could also try their hand at making something beautiful and mathematical in the craft session, or challenge each other to a mathematical board game.

The festival was wholly staffed by volunteer staff and students from Oxford Maths and the Department of Statistics, some of whom had never engaged in this type of event before. All reported having enjoyed the experience of sharing their enthusiasm for and joy of maths with others.

The Mathematical Institute is hoping to make the Oxford Maths Festival an annual event and is currently seeking the sponsorship to allow this to happen. If you would like to support the event, please visit and contact us.








If you would like to be kept up-to-date with events taking place at the Department of Statistics or would be interested in getting involved with one of our careers events or outreach events please email to be added to our mailing list. We would also love to hear your news.


Department of Statistics

24-29 St Giles’

Oxford OX1 3LB

Tel: 01865 272860