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Survival analysis and Escher in Leiden

Last week, young researchers of many nationalities came to Leiden for the Survival Analysis for Junior Researchers conference, and were surprised with a tour of Escher's art at the Leiden town hall by none other than Henri Lenferink, mayor of Leiden!

The main purpose of the conference was to provide a platform for young researchers in survival analysis, which is the field of statistics that studies questions like "How long does a patient survive after diagnosis?". The delegates were given the opportunity to present their work during presentations and a lively poster session.

In addition, there were three keynote speakers. The first day of the conference was opened with a multistate model workshop given by prof. dr. Hein Putter (LUMC). On day two and three delegates were inspired by the talks from dr. Maja Pohar Perme (University of Ljubljana) and dr. Birgit Lissenberg-Witte (VUMC) about the use of pseudo-observations and methods for misclassifications in case of interval-censored data.


Among excellent presentations and posters by the delegates, dr. Nan van Geloven (LUMC, editor at Statistica Neerlandica) and the keynote speakers awarded a best oral presentation prize to Anne Helby Petersen (University of Copenhagen) and a best poster presentation prize to Maja von Cube (University of Freiburg).

Anne Helby Petersen receives the best presentation award from jury member Nan van Geloven.

Escher in the town hall

A highlight for many was the reception in the city hall, where delegates were welcomed in the Burgerzaal by mayor Henri Lenferink. The delegates received a tour by the mayor himself in which he proudly presented their Escher artwork otherwise not open for public display. 

Besides the town hall visit, organisers Sanne Willems (MI), Stéphanie van der Pas (MI and LUMC) and Anja Rüten-Budde (MI) presented Leiden’s best side, by choosing the historic Grand Café de Burcht as the conference location, and by inviting the delegates to a conference dinner in restaurant Waag.

Mayor Henri Lenferink shows one of Escher's artworks at Leiden's city hall.

Enthusiastic delegates

The organising committee received many enthusiastic responses from the conference delegates. Some even shared their enthusiasm about the conference and Leiden on Twitter using the hashtag #SAfJR2018.

Stuart Lacy @stulacy 25. Apr.: Very interesting session on causal inference at #SAfJR2018 I've only read about it before and it's useful to see examples on real applications

Alessandro Gasparini‏ @ellessenne 25. Apr.: Fascinating keynote on pseudo-observations by Maja Pohar Perme at #SAfJR2018: simplifying #SurvivalAnalysis by artificially removing censoring!

Carlo‏ @pilmotz 26. Apr.: Day 3 of #SAfJR2018 begins with a interesting keynote by Dr. Birgit Lissenberg-Witte! @UniLeidenNews @DaspoLeiden

Sarwar Islam‏ @SarwarIMozumder 26. Apr.: Big thank you to the #SAfJR2018 organising committee (@stephanievdpas @SanneJWWillems and Anja Ruten-Budde) for hosting such an amazing conference with a brilliant programme. Truly was such an enjoyable experience.. The next one has a tough act to follow for sure! @LUMC_Leiden


The conference’s success was made possible by the main sponsor prof. dr. Jacqueline Meulman on behalf of the Statistical Science Master Programme, and the other sponsors Wiley, the Royal Statistical Society, and Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research (VVSOR). 

Previous SAfJR conferences were organised by the universities of Leicester (2017, 2012), Leeds (2016), Keele (2015), Warwick (2014), and Liverpool (2013). Leiden was the first city outside the UK to host this conference. Next year, the conference will either be hosted in Denmark or Germany.

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