SORA-TABA-DLSPH Workshop 2017

SORA-TABA  Workshop & DLSPH Biostatistics Research Day

Date: May 5, 2017
Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning Auditorium, 686 Bay St, Toronto
The Division of Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) is pleased to co-host, with the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the “SORA-TABA Workshop & DLSPH Biostatistics Research Day”. The event is intended to bring together the regional and local statistical communities who are interested in biostatistics, financial statistics and other applied areas of statistics. Please join us in making this joint event a great success! In addition to the lecture presentations, the workshop will include poster presentations by participants. Students and post-docs are particularly encouraged to present their research or practicum work, and three poster awards will be given at the closing ceremony. There will also be a career panel discussion which is aimed to provide career-building advice, especially for graduate students. The organization of this workshop represents a joint effort between DLSPH, SickKids Research Institute and the following organizations: the Southern Ontario Regional Association (SORA) of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC), the Southern Ontario Chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Applied Biostatistics Association (TABA) and York University.

Workshop Theme: Data Visualization

The theme of this year’s workshop is data visualization. With increasing volumes of raw data being collected in, for example, health care and business analytics contexts, new graphical approaches are needed to generate hypotheses and extract actionable information. The workshop features four speakers, bringing together an eclectic mix of academic and professional expertise on the topic. The Speakers are Professor Michael Friendly (Department of Psychology, York University; Associate Coordinator of the Statistical Consulting Service at York University), Professor Claus Rinner (Chair of Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University), Anne Stevens (Lead user experience designer, IBM – Watson Analytics), and Jamie Waese (Senior Manager, TD Bank’s Enterprise Advanced Analytics Data Visualization Lab).

Michael Friendly is a Psychology Professor at York University and director of its Statistical Consulting Service. He is particularly well known for his contributions to graphical methods for categorical and multivariate data. He created a Milestones Project which chronologically lists milestones in the history of thematic cartography, statistical graphs and data visualization, with the aim to build a database for those significant historical developments.

Claus Rinner is Department Chair of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson University. His research aims to develop novel tools for geovisual analytics, participatory mapping, and spatial decision support, with applications in public health, social policy, and environmental planning. His Season’s Greetings card with a map of traffic lights from Toronto’s open data catalog is included in the Canadian exhibit at the 2015 International Cartographic Conference.

Anne Stevens is the Design Lead for IBM Watson Analytics; she has a solid track record of leading edge design applied to real world problems (health care, electronic waste, sustainability, affordable housing). She offers the latest in digital media and design thinking, combined with over ten years’ private practice business experience. Her designs have won national design competitions and been showcased on CBC’s The Nature of Things.

Jamie Waese is the Senior Manager of the Enterprise Advanced Analytics • Data Visualization Lab at TD Bank. He has a PhD in data visualization from the Department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. His talk will explore the complexities and benefits of applying data visualization principles and user experience design best practices to building data visualization tools for the analysis of large biological data sets.

Workshop Committee Members

  • Wendy Lou, University of Toronto, DLSPH
  • Olli Saarela, University of Toronto, DLSPH
  • Annie Dupuis, Sick Kids Hospital and University of Toronto, DLSPH
  • Hugh McCague, York University, SORA
  • Teresa To, Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
  • Xin Gao, York University, SORA
  • Hanna Jankowski, York University, SORA
  • Fernando Camacho, Damos Inc, University of Waterloo, SORA
  • Ruth Croxford, Institute for Clinical Evaluation Sciences, TABA

If you have any question regarding the workshop, please send your inquiry to Wendy Lou at,  or Xin Gao at