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Past Meetings 2016-2018

Turing Lecture: Stats, Decision Making and Privacy

Venue: The Alan Turing Institute, British Library, 96 Euston Road, LONDON
Speaker: John Pullinger, Cynthia Dwork
Date: Monday, 05 December 2016 at 13:30 - 17:00

In this Turing Lecture, the UK’s National Statistician, John Pullinger, will explain how data is helping us make better decisions about out futures, and presents some important questions about data ethics and security. Following on from this, Microsoft Research's Cynthia Dwork will discuss the challenges of privacy and how we can combat them.

NOTE: This is a free event, but you must be registered throug the organisers, the Alan Turing institute.

Click here to register: Turing Lecture: Stats, Decision Making and Privacy 

Speaker 1: John Pullinger, UK National Statstician

Mobilising the power of data to help Britain make better decisions

‘Good’ data about the state of our economy and society, helps governments, businesses and citizens, to make informed decisions for the future. Demands to generate this data faster, in more detailed and tailored forms are growing, whilst the data revolution is providing rich opportunities for the data science community to come together to identify novel solutions to these demands. It also raises important questions about data ethics, data security and data quality, amongst other concerns. In this talk, John Pullinger will explore the nature of these questions, current responses to them, and the potential for building relationships between The Alan Turing Institute, the Office for National Statistics, the Government Statistical Service, and others who share an interest in developing insights from data to benefit the public.


John Pullinger is the UK National Statistician and most recent Chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission. He has previously been President of the Royal Statistical Society and Chair of the Getstats campaign for statistical literacy. He has worked in statistical, research, policy and leadership roles in the UK government at the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment, and Office of Manpower Economics, as well as the UK Statistics Authority. He also spent ten years leading information services at the UK House of Commons as Librarian of the House, and developing new services to enable the public to engage with Parliament.

Speaker 2: Doctor Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research

Privacy-Preserving Data Analysis

Privacy-preserving data analysis has a long history, spanning at least five decades and numerous disciplines. Despite this extensive history, it is only in the last decade that an understanding has formed of the risk that the accumulation of small, seemingly insignificant statistical hints about confidential data, can pose to privacy. In this talk, Cynthia Dwork will discuss the implications of the loss of these ‘breadcrumbs’ of data, and show how differential privacy, a notion of privacy tailored to statistical analysis of large datasets, can control this risk, while at the same time permitting complex data analysis.


Cynthia Dwork, Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, is renowned for placing privacy-preserving data analysis on a mathematically rigorous foundation. A cornerstone of this work is differential privacy, a strong privacy guarantee, frequently permitting highly accurate data analysis. Dr. Dwork has also made seminal contributions in cryptography and distributed computing, and is a recipient of the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize, recognizing some of her earliest work establishing the pillars on which every fault-tolerant system has been built for decades. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, and the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dwork will join Harvard in January, 2017, as the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and an Affiliated Faculty Member at Harvard Law School.

The Annual Analytics Summit 2016

Venue: BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP
Speaker: Various
Date: Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 09:15 - 17:00

From Data to Decisions: The Annual Analytics Summit is the event for practitioners and decision-makers alike.

The Annual Analytics Summit brings together experts from government, journalism, industry and academia to help you turn data into decisions. Filled with case studies, innovations and strategies, the summit is one day of learning and networking for anyone involved in organisational decision-making – analysts and decision-makers alike.

New for 2016  To help you make an impact in your organisation, the technologies and techniques used in the morning’s case studies will be fully unpacked and explored in the afternoon sessions.

Plenary Speaker
Megan Lucero, Data Journalism Editor at The Times and Sunday Times
“Data v insight: How computing and data analysis can advance accountability in journalism and society”

Megan’s team’s data mining and analysis has brought many issues into the public discourse, such as blood doping in athletics and gender gap in income equality. She also spearheaded the Times’ political data unit that rejected polling data ahead of the UK’s last general election. Her latest work includes data analysis relating to the Brexit Referendum.

Case Studies and Sessions:

“The Analytics of Hunger”
Andy Hamflett and Giles Hindle with Simon Raper and Richard Vidgen, for the Trussell Trust

“Managing Risk in the Education Sector using Data Science”
David Goody, Department for Education

“Embedding Analytics at the Heart of M&S”
Pete Williams, Marks and Spencer

“Insights into People Movement from Location Data”
Emily Digges La Touche and Alina Marin, Movement Strategies

Places available for £100 + VAT early rate (£150 + VAT full price)

Further details and booking available at

See the winners, hear the winners, meet the winners

Venue: St Johns Church of Hoxton, Pitfield Street, London, N1
Speaker: Various
Date: Monday, 23 May 2016 at 18:30 - 20:30

The OR Society sponsored Toastmasters International Club - Data Science Speakers will be holding its Chartership ceremony on the 23rd May from 18:30 to 20:30.

On this special occasion, we have the honour of hearing the winners of the International Speech Contest and the Evaluation Contest that recently took place, as special guests.

We are delighted to announce our special guests will be:

- Jeremy Robinson - the 2015 District Winner of the International Speech Competition who went on to compete at the Toastmaster International World Champions in Las Vegas (expenses paid by TI).  He is a member of a club in our area.  Come and listen to his winning speech.

- Thien Nguyen Phan - the recently declared 2016 District Winner of the International Speech Competition who will be going on to compete at the Toastmaster World Champions in Washington (expenses paid by TI).  She is a member of a club in our Division.  Come and listen to her winning speech.

- Meena Nayar - the recently declared 2016 Division Winner of the 2016 Evaluations Contest.  She is a member of a club in our Division

- Sue Sutherland - our very own club member and Club contest winner of the 2016 Evaluations Contest. 

With such a line up of winners, it will be an event that should not be missed.  See the winners, hear the winners, meet the winners.

The first half of the session will be winners session with some tabletopics for audiences to participate in and the second half of the session will be networking with nibbles and drinks.

Please register as a guest in our portal and tell us you are coming:

Public and Private Sector Dialogue on Data Science

Venue: Pivotal Labs - 4th Floor, Bentima House, 168-172 Old Street, London EC1V 9BP
Speaker: GPAN & Pivotal Labs
Date: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 18:00 - 20:00

Pivotal Labs London and the Government Predictive Analytics Network invites you to a new event, aiming to combine the knowledge and experience of Public and Private sector practitioners of Predictive Analytics and Data Science. We look forward to welcoming you. Abstracts and speaker bios are below.

Public Sector - Understanding prison violence – a data science journey

Reducing prison violence is a priority issue for the National Offender Management Service. Although prison violence has increased recently, the Agency are committed that this should not be the new norm. We are committed to using analysis and research to understand what causes prison violence and how it can be reduced. In the last two years, we have undertaken a significant programme of analytical work to support NOMS’ Violence Reduction Project. Over the same window, we have built our data science capacity and capability to tackle this difficult issue. David’s talk will set out NOMS’ data science journey – the techniques they have used and the challenges they have faced.

Public Sector - Presenter

David Dorrell is the head of Offender Analytics & Research at National Offender Management Service.

Private Sector - From data science to smart apps

The talk will focus on how Data Science is done at Pivotal Labs. Pivotal Labs have been practicing Extreme Programming (XP) practices successfully in building software. By showcasing a live project, this talk will highlight how these XP practices are also applicable to the world of data science. 

Private Sector - Presenter

Megha Agarwal is a Data Scientist at Pivotal Labs. Prior to that she was doing risk modelling in a financial techology startup. 

Register via Eventbrite

Data Science Speakers Club Contest

Venue: The Crypt (basement) of St Johns Church, Hoxton, Pitfield Street, N1 6NP, London
Speaker: Various
Date: Monday, 14 March 2016 at 18:30 - 20:30

On Monday 14th March, the Data Science Speakers Club (sponsored by The O.R. Society) are holding their International Speech Contest.

Members will be competing with each other to deliver the best speech that will be voted to represent the Club at the Area level contest.

Visitors are welcomed to come along and experience a Toastmasters International Speech Contest.

A Speech Contest is an excellent opportunity to test public speaking and communication skills.  Data Science can reveal interesting insight and it is up to the individual to tell the story behind the data in the most engaging and captivating way.  

Every competitor has up to 7 minutes to deliver their speech, testing their ability to structure and deliver speech ensuring the content of their speech matches the audience's expectations.

Visit us and learn more about public speaking, communication and leadership skills.

Think you've mastered these skills already?  Then visit; consider joining the club and compete in a speech contest to prove it.

Analytics Network visits Cranfield University

Venue:  Building 53 Seminar Room, Cranfield University
Speaker: Sayara Beg and Daniel Sanders
Date: Wednesday, 06 January 2016 at 14:00 - 16:45
Visit of Sayara Beg (chair) and other members of the Operational Research Society’s Analytics Network ( ) to Cranfield University
6th January Building 53 Seminar Room, Cranfield University
Host Daniel Sandars (
  • 14:00-14:30 Arrivals
  • 14:30-14:40 Introductions
  • 14:40-14:55 Sayara Beg, Analytics Network = Presentation & Discussion:
    • 'A picture can say a thousand words; what can (Big) data tell us?'
  • 14:55-15:10 Dr. Stan Maklan, Reader in Strategic Marketing, School of Management, Discussion: Making sense of “big data”
  • 15:10-15:30 Dr Nikolaos Tapoglou, Hongmei He, School of Aerospace, Transport, and Manufacturing = Presentations & Discussions:
    • 1.Through-Life Data Analysis and Visualisation
    • 2.Secure Cloud and Big data analytics
  • 15:30-16:20 Dr Simon Jude, Professor Jim Harris, Dr David Parsons, Dr Ron Corstanje, Daniel Sandars, School of Energy, Environment, and Agrifood = Presentations & Discussions:
    • 1.Data, Risk And Environmental Analytical Methods (DREAM) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
    • 2.Agriecological Informatics
    • 3.Harnessing the Cattle Tracing Service and other big datasets to develop better disaggregated structural models of farming for better greenhouse gas inventory estimation
  • 16:20-16:30 Dr Jörn Mehnen, School of Aerospace, Transport, and Manufacturing Presentations & Discussions:
    • 1.“Mind Palace”
    • 2.National EPSRC Centre for Through-Life Services
  • 16:30-16:40 Sayara Beg/ Daniel SandarsSumming up –ideas to take forward
  • 16:40 Close
?Joining Instructions
Instructions for finding Cranfield Campus are here and the campus address is College Road, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire.
Once on campus
A map of the central campus:
If you have a car then please go to the main reception in building 26 to obtain a car parking permit. Building 26 lies at the top left of grid D3 on the campus map
The meeting will take place in the seminar room of building 53 (The Bullock Building), which is located on the corner at c/d 3/4 coordinates. In building there is a phone in the stair well to call the host Daniel Sandars on 2757 or on his 07412 926024 to gain access to the seminar room.

Data Science Speakers Club

Venue: The Crypt @ St Johns of Hoxton Church, Pitfield Street, London N1 6NP
Speaker: A Toastmasters International Club hosted by the Analytics Network
Date: Monday, 04 January 2016 at 18:30 - 20:30

The Data Science Speakers Club is a Toastmasters International club enabling the current and next generation of Data Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Innovators, Mathematical and Logical Thinkers  to focus on their communication and leadership development, to increase their self confidence;, become better speakers, become better leaders and most importantly, communicate effectively.

The club meets fortnightly on Mondays from 18:30 to 20:30.  Please click on this link to check the club meeting days:

Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organisation, is a world leader in communication and leadership development.  It's membership is 313,000 strong.  These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of 14,650 clubs in 126 countries that make up its global network of meeting locations.

A Toastmasters meeting is a 'learn-by-doing' workshop in which participants hone their speaking amd leadership skills in a non-pressure atmosphere.  There is no instructor in a meeting.  Instead members evaluate one another's presentations.  This feedback process is a key part of the programme's success.

To attend as a guest, please click on this link:


Treasurer & Secretary