The International Workshop on Statistical Modelling has been held in Europe, USA and Australia since 1986. The spirit of the workshop has always concentrated on papers that are both motivated by real life data and also which make novel contributions to the subject. Statistical modelling is an important cornerstone in many scientific disciplines, and the workshop has consistently provided a rich environment for cross-fertilization of ideas from different statistical disciplines. The workshop has brought together scientists from different nationalities with different backgrounds and experience, and has thus always promoted contributions from students early in their careers and allowed time for discussion and interchange between junior and senior scientists.
The inaugural workshop in this series took place in Innsbruck in 1986, and brought together a small but enthusiastic group of thirty European statisticians interested in statistical modelling. The programme concentrated on GLMs and was characterised by a number of features - a friendly and supportive academic atmosphere, tutorial sessions and invited speakers presenting new developments in statistical modelling, and a very well organised social programme. The academic programme allowed plenty of time for presentation and for discussion, and made available copies of all papers beforehand.
Since this first meeting, the workshop has grown substantially, and now regularly attracts over 150 participants. There has been a strong effort made to bring each new meeting to a different country. The scope of the workshop is now much broader, reflecting the growth in the subject of statistical modelling over ten years. The elements of the first workshop, however, are still present, and participants always find the meetings relevant and stimulating. The number of submitted papers has grown with the number of participants, but successful contributed papers still receive a relatively generous 20 minutes of presentation time, and invited speakers 50 minutes. Parallel sessions have been avoided, allowing everyone both to learn and to contribute. Poster sessions are now held, and software demonstrations and displays are organised.
One change is that the workshops have become more international in nature. Participants now attend from all corners of the globe, and workshops have travelled around Europe - to Perugia (1987), Vienna (1988), Trento (1989), Toulouse (1990), Utrecht (1991), Munich (1992), Leuven (1993), Exeter (1994), Innsbruck (1995), Orvieto (1996),and Biel/Bienne (1997) - to the USA - New Orleans (1998) - and back to Europe - Graz (1999) Bilbao (2000), Odense (2001), Chania (2003), Leuven (2003), Florence (2004)- to Australia- Sidney (2005) - and back again to Europe – Galway (2006) and now in Barcelona (2007). The year 2008 will take the workshop to Utrecht.