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WOMAT Conference

Workshop On Multivariate Analysis Today (WOMAT)

A two-day invited workshop: beginning with, and extending, the one-day open meeting:

Multivariate Analysis Today: Topical Expository Reviews (MATTER)

Monday 18 May 2015MATTERBerrill Building, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
Tuesday 19 May 2015WOMATKents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ - Room 007 (Ground Floor)
Scientific Organisers: Frank Critchley (OU), Bing Li (Penn State), Hannu Oja (Turku)

Local Organisers: Sara Griffin, Tracy Johns, Radka Sabolova, Germain Van Bever


Multivariate analysis today is undergoing radical transformation, whole new areas emerging to meet pressing practical problems. This workshop will bring together active researchers in the field to share enthusiasms and, potentially, develop synergies.

Many promising developments being emergent, rather than fully formed, the idea is to have a relatively informal event with plenty of opportunity for interaction.

The workshop will host invited speakers and posters, providing access for career-young researchers (PhD students, post-docs and young academics) to leading figures within the field.

The topics, speakers and draft timetable for the day are:

9:00Yanyuan Ma (University of South Carolina):
A Validated Information Criterion to Find the Structural Dimension
9:30João Branco (CEMAT, IST, Lisbon):
High dimensionality: the trouble with Mahalanobis distance
10:00Tim Cannings (Cambridge):
Random projection ensemble classification
10:30Coffee and Posters
11:00Kjersti Aas (Norwegian Computing Centre):
Pair-copula constructions – even more flexible than copulas
11:30Sara Fontanella (Open University):
A Bayesian approach to sparse latent variables modelling:
Factor Analysis and Multidimensional Item Response Theory
12:00Shahin Tavakoli (Cambridge):
Dynamics of DNA Minicircles in Motion via Fourier Analysis of Functional Time Series
12:30Lutz Duembgen (Bern):
New Algorithms for M-Estimation of Multivariate Scatter and Location
13:00Lunch and Posters
14:30Jim Smith (Warwick):
Chain event graphs for discrete multivariate processes
15:00John Kent (Leeds):
Some new perspectives on partial least squares
15:30Roundtable Discussion
16:00Tea and Departures

The Book of abstracts can be found here

Banquet on Monday evening will take place in The Swan, Milton Keynes Village.

Evening meals:
For both the Banquet on Monday – and the informal pay-your-own-way meals on Sunday and Tuesday – please:
· Assemble, in good time, at Main Reception, Swallow Hall (where you check in) for …
· … transport, which will leave promptly at 18:30

The Bar:
· The Bar at Kents Hill is open at 17:30 until midnight – so, time for a drink before and/or after eating out!
· We have asked for some British (bottled) Real Ales to be available …


[1] Invited participants are being contacted with details of how to register. The registration fee includes coffee, lunch and tea on both days, a banquet on Monday evening, and the MATTER registration fee (there is no need to register separately for MATTER).

Early bird: Friday 3 April (registration fee £80)
Late registration: Friday 8 May (registration fee £100)

[2] There are also a limited number of spaces for career-young researchers. If you would like to apply, please send an email with ‘WOMAT application’ in the subject field to: Your email should contain, in this numbering: (1) a brief statement (200 – 400 words) of why you would like to attend this workshop; (2) the name of your supervisor and the title of your PhD or research projects; and, as an attachment, (3) the title and abstract of a poster you could present at, if you wish, both days of WOMAT: (200 – 400 words) in a WORD document (use Calibri font, 12 pt) or LaTeX (source code .tex + .pdf). The application deadline is Friday 24 April . You will be advised if your application has been successful as soon as possible after submission.


Bed & breakfast accommodation will be provided for WOMAT participants at Kents Hill conference and training centre. Please email or call +44 (0) 1908 358099 to book your room (quoting the reference: OU/WOMAT). The price is £68.00 per person per night (including VAT). Alternative accommodation possibilities nearby are indicated on the MATTER website


Monday 18 May: Please pick up your MATTER registration pack on arrival behind Reception in the Berrill Building. The talks will take place in the Berrill Lecture Theatre on the main Open University campus at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes (see map of the campus). The buffet lunch and poster session will take place in the Hub Theatre.

Tuesday 19 May: The second day of the workshop will take place in the Kents Hill Park training and conference centre in Milton Keynes.

Click here to get map.

Click here for the Map of the Campus.


The Open University campus is about four miles from Milton Keynes Central Railway Station.
Taxis are normally available for hire at the railway station. The journey from the station takes about 10 minutes and costs in the order of £10.

Advice: Once you have arrived at Milton Keynes Central Station, book a cab via your mobile phone to pick you up in front of the railway station (e.g. use SKYLINE, phone: 01908 222-111, SPEEDLINE, phone: 01908 260-260, or Eezy Cabs, phone: 01908 218-218). These pre-booked cabs usually arrive within a few minutes and are cheaper than the taxis that are waiting just outside the railway station. At the workshop, you can sign up to share a taxi back to the railway station.

There is also an OU shuttle bus running from the railway station; for more information on local public transport see MK travel guide.

You do not need a permit to park on the Open University campus. Dedicated Visitor Parking (which is signposted) is available in front of the Berrill Building, near the entrance to the Open University campus from the V10 (Brickhill Street).

Parking is available in front of the Kents Hill Park training and conference centre for participants.


Wireless Internet access will be available throughout the workshop. On Monday, via EDUROAM. On Tuesday, via free high-speed internet access at Kents Hill.


For more information, please email: