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Opening and closing remarks

Speakers  Nicholas Cox, Durham University, UK
Date  5 June – 6 June 1997

The 3rd UK user group meeting took place at the Royal Statistical Society in London on 5th and 6th June.

Previous meetings took place in London in 1995 and 1996. Ana Timberlake, of Timberlake Consultants, has organised all the logistics, and has been helped on the academic side by several people, notably Patrick Royston. This year I helped arrange the papers.

“UK users” is just a label and these meetings have always been organised informally and open to all interested. There is no club, no committee, no constitution. This year, as two years ago, we were delighted to have Bill Gould from StataCorp attend. With him this time was James Hardin, and there were visitors from Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands as well, all equally welcome. About 50 people participated in total.

There was a set of user papers and several contributions from Bill and James. In addition, there was a now traditional `wishes and grumbles' session focusing on what should be fixed and added in future releases of Stata.

The timetable for this meeting had been posted on the Stata website www.stata.com for some time. Even though it has now taken place, you may still wish to contact individual paper givers. Most paper givers are working on intended submissions to the STB.

So far this meeting appears to be the only one of its kind, and we get periodic queries on how it is organised. There is no trick beyond being sure that you have a critical mass of users near you and a few keen people willing to do a bit of work to set up a meeting.

I think the only other thing to say is simply that it is a great pleasure to meet other Stata users and discuss ideas and experiences face-to-face. As Statalist also shows, a common interest in statistical applications through an excellent program unites a diverse and interesting group of people.

Nick
Nicholas J. Cox
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk

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