The International Conference on Environmental and Medical Statistics (ICEMS) 2020 was held on the 9th and 10th of January 2020 with the participation of around 70 people representing various national and international universities, research institutions and industries. This Conference was jointly hosted by the Department of Statistics & Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya and Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS) in collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), USA.
The inauguration ceremony of the conference was held on 9th January 2020 at the auditorium of the Postgraduate Institute of Science, with the presence of Chief Guest Hon. Dhirendra Singh (Assistant High Commissioner of India for Sri Lanka), and Guest of Honour Prof. P. Karunarathna (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Peradeniya), Prof. S.R. Kodituwakku (Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya), Prof. H.M.T.G.A. Pitawala (Director, Postgraduate Institute of Science), and Prof. Pushpakanthie Wijekoon and Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal (Co-Chairpersons, ICEMS 2020).
There were two plenary speeches by distinguished speakers Dr. Barry Nussbaum, a past president of American Statistical Association and a former Chief Statistician of Environment Protection Agency, USA, and Prof. Thomas Mathew, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA. Further, over 50 new scientific research papers were presented at the ICEMS 2020. Moreover, there were talks by seven eminent researchers as keynote speakers, six from universities of the USA, and one from an Australian university. The conference is also enriched with 6 invited speeches of outstanding researchers, three from universities of USA, and three from local universities. In addition to the plenary, keynote, and invited talks, the ICEMS 2020 was also rich and varied with around 40 contributed papers from various national and international universities, research institutions and industries. These presentations have been categorized into two themes namely Environmental Statistics and Medical Statistics. Oral presentations were held in 12 technical sessions.
There was a separate session for the local undergraduates to present their abstracts which highlights their research work. Students highly benefited from this showcase by gaining experience in public communication and interacting with the judges and guests. These presentations were evaluated by four eminent professors attended the conference and the best oral presentation award was presented. The foreign participants have highly commended on the quality of the projects being undertaken by the local undergraduates and the confidence in the presentations.
The technical sessions of the conference were followed by the Conference Dinner on 9thJanuary 2020 which was held at the Hotel Topaz which includes a cultural variety event. Over 60 participants were joined for the conference dinner, including renowned international and local scientists and scholars.
This conference was an outstanding opportunity to bring forth recent developments in the field of Environmental and Medical statistics and related areas, and to bring together leading academics, scientists, research scholars and research students to exchange and share their experiences and research findings. It also provided a platform to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered, and solutions adopted in the fields of Environmental and Medical Statistics.