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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Centre for Applications of Statistics & Mathematics

About CASM

Established in 1987, the Centre aims to promote Mathematics and Statistics as useful tools both within the University of Otago and more generally in business, industry and government departments.

The expertise offered by the Centre covers many areas of applied statistics and mathematics, but there are particular strengths in biological applications of statistics and geophysical application of mathematics.

The main activity of CASM is assisting university staff and students with research projects. This assistance varies from providing answers to simple questions concerning the use of standard methods that may take a few minutes to full collaboration on a major piece of work that may need weeks or months of full time work by a consultant.

In addition to providing assistance to members of the university, the CASM staff also undertake research and consulting projects commissioned by organizations outside the university, and arrange specialized short courses either at the university or elsewhere.


To give an idea of what we do, here are a few of our past consulting projects:

  • Advice to the fishing industry on the design and analysis of a trawl survey to estimate orange roughy stocks
  • Assessment of the loss of sales in a store resulting from a fire, for the purpose of evaluating an insurance claim
  • Review of a proposed statistical test for assessing the environmental impact of discharges into marine environments
  • Determination of the distribution of errors in the measurement of generated electrical power as a result of errors inherent in gauge readings
  • Investigation of a method for assessing changes to environmental variables for a US Governmental Agency
  • Report on the accuracy of an estimate of the number of pathological gamblers
  • Examination of methods for estimating postal volumes
  • Reviewing the pricing model for a Regional Health Authority


The staff members that are mainly involved, with their particular areas of expertise, are:

  • Tim Jowett Statistical computing; general applied statistics
  • Richard Barker Fisheries and wildlife biometrics; general applied statistics

Other staff in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics assist with projects requiring their skills.


Email or call (03) 479-7759