Mr Tom Elliott

MSc Statistics, BScHons. Statistics

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


After originally planning on a marine science specialisation with the School of Biological Sciences at the Univeristy of Auckland, I soon had a change of heart and in 2013 graduated with a double major in Biological Sciences and Statistics. In 2014 I graduated with a First Class BSc Honours in Statisics, and was awarded the Jean Heywood Postgradute Scholarship for my research Masters degree in statistics, which I graduated in 2015 with First Class Honours. I am now completing a PhD in statistics, detailed below.

In 2014, Chris Wild invited me to join his team of students working on iNZight, an R-powered data visualisation and analysis tool targeted towards school students and beginners. I've now contributed to almost all aspects of iNZight, and continue to work part-time.

My main interests are computational and Bayesian statistics, which conveniencely conincide a lot of othe time. I'm also somewhat competent at web-based programming (HTML, CSS, PHP, jQuery), as evidenced (or not) by the iNZight website

Research | Current

Better prediction of bus arrival times. My PhD project involves taking real time GPS locations of buses in Auckland and attempting to formulate models that allow us to predict the arrival times at future stops.

My current focus is on particle filters, which allow the use of general likelihood and prior distribution functions (rather than assuming everything is normal, such as in a Kalman Filter). We're hoping that a combination of historical and real time information will improve predictions, and we'll also be investigating the use of prediction intervals rather than point estimates to communicate arrival predictions to passengers.


I'm currently the main deveoper of iNZight, an easy to use data visualisation and analysis program supervised by Professor Chris Wild. iNZight is built on R, so most of the development involves package development and creating intuitive graphical user interfaces.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Elliott, T. M. (2015). Bayesian modelling of the size-selectivity of fishing trawls The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
  • Brewer, B. J., & Elliott, T. M. (2014). Hierarchical reverberation mapping. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 439 (1), L31-L35. 10.1093/mnrasl/slt174
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Brendon Brewer

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 376
New Zealand

Web links