Statistical Services forge links with Turkish university
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Professor Dankmar Böhning and Dr Fazil Baksh (Applied Statistics) and Mr James Gallagher (Director of the Statistical Services Centre), all from Reading's School of Biological Sciences, recently returned from a week's visit to the University, Izmir, Turkey, as part of the ERASMUS Teaching Staff Mobility Programme.
This is the fourth consecutive year that staff from these areas have participated in the programme, which aims to encourage higher education institutions to broaden and enrich the range and content of courses they offer, by enabling staff to teach at another institution in a participating country.
The three visited Ege's Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, continuing with their exchange of ideas related to teaching and research collaborations.
The centrepiece of their visit was the successful delivery of a three-day short course on Capture-Recapture Methods and their Application in the Medical and Life Sciences. Organised by Prof Fikret Ikiz (a Reading MSc Biometry graduate), Dr Mehmet Orman and Dr Timur Köse, 23 MSc and PhD students and junior staff from 11 Turkish universities learnt about this statistical method, which has many real-world applications.
The capture-recapture method has been in use for over 100 years and was initially used in ecology to estimate animal populations where it is impossible to capture every member of that species. Modern applications include the estimation of drug user populations and the number of people who have a particular type of cancer.
James Gallagher said "We are hoping that future outcomes of this visit include joint research publications, recruitment of Statistics PhD students from Turkey, and the joint development of commercial statistics short courses in a SSC partnership with Ege University.
"It is envisaged that such courses have the potential to be targeted not only at university students and staff in Turkish Universities but also from other countries in the Balkans and Middle East."
From 1 August 2010 the Statistical Services Centre will sit within the new School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.