STOR-i MRes student highly commended in international early-career writing competition

STOR-i MRes student Joe Rutherford
STOR-i MRes student Joe Rutherford

The Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing, an international competition jointly organised by the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society and Significance, recognises the effective communication of data and statistics. Commenting on 2024 entries, Significance editor Anna Britten said, “This year’s field was particularly strong and it was extremely hard to whittle the entries down. We therefore decided, in a break with convention, to name three entries as Highly Commended”.

Joe’s article, titled ‘Fantastic Cheats and Where to Find Them’ was written as part of his STOR-i MRes course with supervision by Gabriel Wallin (Lancaster University), and was motivated by the TOEIC scandal in which thousands of students were forced to leave the UK after being incorrectly suspected of cheating in an English-language exam. The article discusses a statistical method that tries to detect cheaters in exams as accurately as possible, whilst also trying to detect the questions to which answers were released before the exam occurred.

Speaking of the commendation, Joe said, “I feel incredibly honoured to have my article highly commended. This was the first article I have written, so to have it in the top six entries for the Statistical Excellence Award for Early-Career Writing whilst being in my MRes feels surreal. I would like to especially thank Gabriel Wallin for supervising me while I was writing my article. Additionally, thank you to Significance and the Royal Statistical Society, and also everyone who encouraged me to submit my article.”

Further information about this year’s award can be found here: 2024 writing competition finalists announced - Significance magazine.

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