Vision No. 3 February 2007

Important note:

We have recently changed the software we use for email newsletters, marketing bulletins etc. The previous software was not 100% reliable; particularly when removing contacts who no longer wish to be mailed. We have made every attempt to ensure those of you who have already requested not to receive the VSNi Newsletter, do not; however some of you may have inadvertently been emailed. We offer our sincerest apologies if this is the case for you, and ask that you follow the links below to remove yourselves again from the list for future Newsletters.

VSNi Appoints Industry-Leading Member to its Board of Directors

VSNi have announced the appointment of its first non-executive Chairman, Jim Cooper. As CEO and President of Maplesoft Inc., the leading developer of interactive mathematical software, Jim brings a wealth of technical and commercial expertise to help guide and steer VSNi in its future growth and development. Read the full press release.

Australian GenStat User Conference 2006

The recent Australasian GenStat User Conference was held in the idyllic surroundings of Victor harbour, SA from the 5th – 8th December. It was a demanding week with the striking scenery, perfect temperatures and fascinating sessions – but thankfully most people seemed to cope well.Enormous thanks to the organisers; these events are not easy to pull together – particularly when you have a day job. Thanks also to the invited speakers particularly Professor John Nelder for his intriguing discussions on HGLM’s and Roger Stern for his thought provoking insights into African statistics and the disturbing realities of global climate change.

Forums like this provide the perfect setting for us to meet and exchange ideas with the GenStat community as you continuously offer encouragement and suggestions for future releases. So folks, if you have any additions you may have thought of since the conference (our brains no longer hindered by the aftermath of free wine!) then do please let us know.

Here’s the wrap up of the conference, including pictures.

GenStat and climate change

Those of you who attended the Australasian GenStat conference will no doubt recall the provocative talks on climate change expertly delivered by Roger Stern. Roger, a member of Reading University, has many years experience in statistical climatology, statistical methods in agriculture and a strong involvement with Africa and many other developing countries. His topic of choice, climate change, is certainly the issue of the moment and rightly so. So what might be the impact of climate change in our future research? Tackling climate change begins with appreciation and awareness of climate variability – and the tools to analyse and begin to understand such. GenStat began addressing this issue some years ago with the incorporation of statistics of extremes and the processing of circular data in our 7th Edition release.Whether you are concerned with soya, pines or Israeli Friesian’s; from Africa to Australia to Ayshire and all those in between, climate change is expected to affect us all and we need to start considering the ramifications on our research.

If you wish to discuss this topic with the GenStat team or are working with climatic data and have any suggestions for future releases why not email us.

Latest training courses

Check out the latest VSNi training course schedule to see a few new additional courses in our training portfolio. Our public Core Skills, HGLM workshops, Introduction to ANOVA and GenStat Language courses are not the only activities keeping our trainers busy however. Our on-site courses, 1:1 coaching and bespoke training activities make sure that they rarely have a chance to rest on their laurels!If you have immediate training needs, a number of colleagues who all need GenStat training and would benefit from on-site training or you simply want some tailored coaching on a specific analysis you are having problems with, we are sure to have the training solution that’s right for you.

For the current course schedule visit the VSNi website, or contact the VSNi training team.

VSNi photography competition

Fancy yourself as a photographer? Well, now is your chance to show us your skills, and to show us how you use our software. The VSNi photo competition is now open. For a chance to win £150 worth of Amazon vouchers, send us your photos via the online competition form. For full terms and conditions see terms.

New starters

We welcome Rhianne Cosby, the newest member of the VSNi team. Her background is in customer service and her role within VSNi is Customer Support and Sales Administrator. She is working within the customer support, sales and marketing teams and also helping out in other commercial activities.

Rhianne says: “Over the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of corresponding with many of you on support issues and I look forward to dealing with the rest of you in the future. I am already struck by how nice and how incredibly enthusiastic VSNi software users are, and I look forward to being part of this lively community.”

GenStat in Africa

VSNi are supporting the following event taking place in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2007:”Teaching Biometrics and Research Methods: The Latest Resources” and includes the launch of the Rockerfeller funded Biometrics and Research Methods Teaching Resource CD which has recently been completed by John Rowlands and the WorldAgroforestry Centre.

This CD provides a rich resource of case studies throughout African agriculture with its problems, applications and use not limited to the needs of Africa. Researchers throughout the world will find this teaching resource a valuable aid to understanding the use of GenStat statistical analysis within their work.

Read more about GenStat’s support for African agriculture.

GenStat to AGROBASE Generation II Link

VSNi has collaborated with Agronomix Software, Inc., to develop a direct software link so that registered users of both software packages can achieve the significant benefits of using them together. Since the focus of AGROBASE Generation II is field research data, this collaboration offers some exciting possibilities for agronomists, plant breeders, and plant scientists.Specifically, VSNi has developed a suite of GenStat procedures so that users can store means and related statistics from ANOVA and REML analyses directly in Generation II through a special interface developed in Generation II by Agronomix Software. The procedure library and associated Help documentation are available for download and can be run within GenStat 8th Edition or later. This new feature is available in AGROBASE Generation II as of version 14.

The benefits of this software link are significant, and include the following:

  • Access to mixed model (REML) analyses within GenStat for users of Generation II;
  • Benefit from other analyses in GenStat;
  • AGROBASE Generation II users may access other analyses in GenStat, although the means will not be stored, results can be printed as usual, or saved;
  • Relational storage of field trial and plant breeding data.GenStat users who would like to ‘warehouse’ all their research data in a fully relational software system, and not worry about managing many files, can now benefit from AGROBASE Generation II in an efficient and direct manner. This will undoubtedly improve the productivity of GenStat users.The Agronomix website provides further information on AGROBASE Generation II and a trial version of AGROBASE Generation II.

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