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ALLSTAT  February 2011

ALLSTAT February 2011

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Subject:

PhD Studentship at The Open University

From:

Chris Jones <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Chris Jones <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 9 Feb 2011 13:37:40 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (134 lines)

PHD STUDENTSHIP IN STATISTICS AT THE OPEN UNIVERSITY

*** Closing date end of next week ***

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD studentship in 
Statistics commencing 1 October, 2011. The studentship will include 
University fees and a grant to cover living expenses.

The studentship will be based at the Open University's central 
campus in Milton Keynes, where there is a thriving postgraduate 
student community. The Statistics Group at the Open University 
provides a lively and stimulating environment for Statistics 
research with active researchers working in a variety of fields of 
statistics. For more information about the Statistics Group see 
http://statistics.open.ac.uk/.

Two possible Statistics projects are available:

Title: Measuring Performance in Orienteering
Supervisor: Dr Karen Vines

Title: Comparing Recently Proposed Families of Distributions
Supervisor: Prof Chris Jones

Full details of each project can be found below.

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree 
and, preferably, a recognized postgraduate qualification containing 
a substantial element of Statistics. Applications from all 
nationalities are welcome.

Informal enquiries may be made to Catriona Queen (email: 
[log in to unmask]).

APPLICATION PROCESS

The Open University's Research Degrees Prospectus and application 
form, can be found at 
http://www.open.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/. When applying for 
the studentship please include:

a) a completed application form (note that where the standard 
application form asks for a research proposal, simply indicate 
which (one or more) of the advertised projects you are interested 
in),

and

b) a covering letter explaining why you want to do a PhD and why 
you are interested in one or other (or both) projects.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: Friday, 18 February, 2011.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** 
PROJECT DETAILS

Project: Measuring Performance in Orienteering Supervisor: Dr Karen 
Vines

Orienteering is a running sport in which competitors are expected 
to navigate their way to a series of locations ('controls') as 
quickly as possible (see for example 
www.britishorienteering.org.uk). Judging and comparing the 
performance of orienteers is not straightforward for a number of 
reasons, including the following.

* Times at different competitions ('events') are not directly 
comparable as the courses set inevitably vary.  Thus what might be 
regarded as a very good time at one event could easily correspond 
to a poor result at another nominally equivalent event. * A poor 
performance might be the result of a slow running speed or the 
occasional serious navigational error or something in-between. 
These causes have different implications when it comes to training. 
A slow running speed suggests that the orienteer needs to spend 
more time developing their physical fitness. In contrast orienteers 
who have a propensity towards making serious navigation errors 
needs to concentrate on developing their orienteering technique.  
* Some events aim to find the orienteer that most exceeded what was 
expected of them - with this expectation typically based on their 
age and gender. It is a difficult balancing act for any 
handicapping system to achieve fairness over the large range of 
ages that orienteering attracts.

The aim of this project is to examine existing methods for judging 
and comparing the performance of orienteers from a statistical 
point of view.  Also, using techniques such as non-linear 
regression, robust estimation and outlier identification to develop 
new, justified, methodology that will be of help to orienteers. To 
this end, the intention is to make use of the wealth of 
orienteering results data that is publicly available, data which 
are rich and complex.

Although the project will be geared to tackling performance 
measurement issues specifically in orienteering, it is anticipated 
that the methodology will have wider applicability, both in other 
sports and more generally. For example the methodology might 
provide a new way of comparing runners who take part in road races, 
or in the measuring performance of race horses. Equally methodology 
produced for fair handicapping could play a role in fitness and 
health monitoring where there is a need to adjust performance for 
age and gender. The methodology might also improve the formulation 
of performance league tables such as those used to compare the 
performance of schools or hospitals by improving the adjustment 
procedure for known confounders such as the initial abilities of 
pupils or the mix of patient types. Successful completion of this 
project could therefore have benefits far beyond the narrow 
confines of orienteering.


Project: Comparing Recently Proposed Families of Distributions
Supervisor: Prof Chris Jones

The supervisor of this project is someone who is at the forefront 
of developing and understanding new three- and four-parameter 
families of continuous distributions with a variety of skewness/ 
tailweight properties for use in statistics. These distributions 
are of practical importance because they provide a parametric 
modelling alternative to robust statistics as usually practised; 
they also form components of many more complex models. The current 
project will emphasise comparative issues: what are the pros and 
cons of the main families of distributions as currently proposed? 
Comparison of theoretical properties will form the starting point, 
going on to further comparative topics which might include 
consideration of issues of inference and of multivariate extension.

-- 
The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

You may leave the list at any time by sending the command

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