Welcome by Pauliina
I wish you all warmly welcome to European meeting of Statisticians 2017! This is already the 31st European meeting of Statisticians. The very first EMS was held in Dublin in 1962 and now, finally, we got the meeting to the capital of Finland, Helsinki. This year is very special to us, Finns. There are two reasons for that: First, of course, EMS is in Helsinki this year. But there is one other important reason for this year being special to us Finns. Finland, my precious home country Finland, will turn 100 years in December this year. We have been independent for 100 years now. Before that, we were part of Russia, and long before that, we were part of Sweden. But now we are independent, and Russians and Swedes are our dear neighbors. 100 years and EMS --- both this year. We are celebrating!
Now that you are in Finland, there are some things that you should know about us, Finns. The most important thing to know is that we do not talk much. We in fact enjoy being quiet. For example, if you go to a bus in Finland, you should not sit next to someone. Of course, on rush hour, you do not have a choice, you have to sit next to somebody. But then, there are rules! If you sit next to someone, you are supposed to quietly look a the other direction than the person next to you. And please do not even think about asking questions like “How are you?” A Finn would find that question way too personal. Such thing as small talk does not exist in Finland. Not saying anything here in Finland is polite. Another thing that you should know about us Finns is that we do drink plenty. So, if you plan to challenge a Finn to a drinking competition for example on conference dinner, my only advice is: Don’t do that! But well, we might be extraordinary, but if you make a friend in Finland she or he will be your friend until death. Finns don’t have casual friends. A friend is a friend is a friend. We have more than 300 scientific talks this week and almost 40 poster presentations. We have talks about stochastic integration. We have talks about applications to epidemiology. And we have everything in between. One of the greatest things about EMS is the variety of the approaches presented here. We do not consider only some narrow branch of statistics, but a wide spectrum of topics. I am fond of robust and nonparametric methods, because of that, I plan to listen to several talks about parametric modeling. I can also say that I am a frequentist. Because of that, I plan to attend sessions related to Bayesian methods. I find it beneficial to hear talks that are orthogonal to what I do. I mean, we had guys doing research related to regression analysis, We had guys doing research related to quantiles. One day, someone decided to couple those two things and we have quantile regression. We have so many talks that we can choose to listen this week. We are very lucky to be a big happy family of statisticians. To make things go smoothly, we have decided that in each invited session, the organizer is the chair of the session. In case he or she is unable to do that, then usually the last speaker of the session is the chair unless it is stated otherwise in the program. The same holds for topic contributed sessions. In contributed sessions, the last speaker is the chair. On Thursday, there will be a poster competition. The winners will get big piles of books thanks to Springer and Cambridge University Press! Tomorrow on Tuesday, Bernoulli Society will organize a get together for young researchers. The get together is on Tuesday at 18.00 in Reading room (Lehtisali). If you are a doctoral student or recently graduated post doc, please attend and network with fellow scientists. I am certain that you enjoy that event!
We all want to check our mails etc. and need internet access. If you turn your EMS name tag around, you find your user name and password. You can use those to access any University of Helsinki classroom computers here. The same user name and password allow you to access wireless University of Helsinki hubnet internet! The most important practical thing: Ice-cream! On Tuesday and on Thursday from 16.00 to 17.00 there is an ice-cream moped outside (where we have coffee). You get ice-cream from the jädelino ice-cream moped by showing your EMS name tag. If you need help with any practical things, we are here to help you. There are several students and post docs here that help with all practical things. If you see young guys or gals wearing black University of Helsinki t-shirt or red Aalto University t-shirt, ask them to help you :-). Thank you. Let’s enjoy the week!