Finnish Statistical Society

The Finnish Statistical Society

The Finnish Statistical Society was founded in Helsinki in 1920. The first President of the Society was Leo Harmaja. Let us give a few details of his career.

Leo Harmaja (1880-1949) attended kindergarten in Mikkeli, then attended Mikkeli's Lyceum. He studied at the University of Helsinki graduating with a Bachelor's degree in 1903, followed by a Licentiate of Philosophy and a Ph.D. in 1907. He then worked for the government in the Statutory Chief Office 1903-04, the Government's Agricultural Office 1909, traffic inspector 1909-1912, and inspector 1912-1917. He served as state archivist in 1917, a government actuary 1918-19, head of the National Board of Customs of Finland in 1919, then director of the Statistical Department of the Social Department 1919-35. He was professor of economics, finance and statistics at the University of Helsinki from 1935 to 1945. He also served as professor of economics at the Helsinki University of Technology and at the Polytechnic School of Economics. As well as serving as the first president of the Finnish Statistical Society in 1920, he also served in this role in 1921. He was elected to a third term as president in 1927.

The first Vice-President of the Society was Otto Bruun (1886-1969) who was a Finnish statistician, the son of Johan Edmund Bruun. As well as being Vice-President of the Finnish Statistical Society in 1920 and in 1921, he served as president of the Society in 1934.

The aims of the Society are:-

...to promote the development of statistical theory and its applications, and to function as a link between statisticians and others working in different fields of statistics and research.
The Society has around 500 members from statistics departments of universities, statistical offices, and research institutes. The Society is run by a Board which is elected each year with members of the Board serving for one year but with possible re-election. For a list of members of the Board from the founding of the Society, see THIS LINK.

The Society organizes National Statistics Days every two years and also has 2 to 3 annual afternoon seminars on issues related to topical statistical issues. It organises joint meetings with other organisations involved in the production of statistics and with various research institutes. The Society has a Newsletter in which it gives information about education, events and seminars related to statistics. From 1975 to 2011 the Finnish Statistical Society published an annual booklet, containing current statistical articles and reviews. It also contained articles based on the talks held during the afternoon seminars and on National Statistics Days. Since 2012 this booklet has been published every two years.

The Society publishes the Yearbook of the Finnish Statistical Society. The Society also publishes the Scandinavian Journal of Statistics jointly with the Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics, the Norwegian Statistical Society, and the Swedish Statistical Association. Publication began in 1974. It aims to report significant, innovative, and original contributions to statistical methodology, both theory and applications.

Scandinavian Journal of Statistics

Overview. Recognised as a leading journal in its field, the Scandinavian Journal of Statistics is an international publication devoted to reporting significant and innovative original contributions to statistical methodology, both theory and applications. The journal specialises in statistical modelling showing particular appreciation of the underlying substantive research problems.

Aims and Scope. (i) The Scandinavian Journal of Statistics is internationally recognised as one of the leading statistical journals in the world. It was founded in 1974 by four Scandinavian statistical societies. Today more that eighty per cent of the manuscripts are submitted from outside Scandinavia.

Aims and Scope. (ii) It is an international journal devoted to reporting significant and innovative original contributions to statistical methodology, both theory and applications.

Aims and Scope. (iii) The journal specialises in statistical modelling showing particular appreciation of the underlying substantive research problems.

Aims and Scope. (iv) The emergence of specialised methods for analysing longitudinal and spatial data is just one example of an area of important methodological development in which the Scandinavian Journal of Statistics has a particular niche.

Finnish Statistical Society Awards

The Society recognizes achievements in the field of statistics by awarding the following prizes:

The Leo Törnqvist prize

This is awarded for the best master's thesis completed in Finland during the previous two years. Let us give a little information about Leo Waldemar Törnqvist (1911-1983) for who the prize is named. Törnqvist was one of the first professors of statistics in Finland. He taught for twenty-five years at the University of Helsinki between 1950 and 1974. He introduced indexes for price and productivity statistics which are now used in many countries. These indexes are weighted across discrete time periods where the weights are calculated from quantity averages across periods. He was also among the first to write computer code to implement various statistical algorithms. In 2017 two awards of the Leo Törnqvist prize were made: (i) to Niko Liétzen for his thesis New Approach to Complex Valued ICA: From FOBI to AMUSE; and (ii) to Santtu Tikka for his thesis Kausaalivaikutusten identifiointi algoritmisesti. The awards were announced at the National Statistics Days 2017 held in the University of Turku on 18-19 May.

The Doctoral thesis award

This is awarded for the best thesis in Finland during the previous four years. The 2017 award was made to John Pensari for his dissertation Structure Learning of Context-Specific Graphical Models. The award was announced at the National Statistics Days 2017 held in the University of Turku on 18-19 May.

The Gunnar Modeen medal

This medal is awarded to a distinguished Nordic statistician from the country hosting the triannual Nordic Statistical Conference. Let us give a little information about Gunnar Maximilian Moden (1895-1988) for who the prize is named. In 1934, Moden introduced a population projection which anticipated that Finland's population would never exceed four million. This began a debate on population policy which is still carried on today. He was Head of the Social Research Office of the Ministry of Social Affairs from 1936 to 1961. The award of the Gunnar Moden Medal is decided by the Council of the Finnish Statistical Society and the medal is presented at the Nordic Statistical Conference. The first presentation was made in 1989.


A Reference (One book/article)


Other Web site    Society Web-site

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JOC/EFR February 2018 School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland
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