It was in Summer 1995, when Anuška Ferligoj (University of Ljubjana, Slovenia), Mushtaq Hussain (Joanneum Research Institute of Applied Statistics, Graz, Austria), and Herwig Friedl (Technical University Graz, Austria) again met at their favourite Statistics Conference (held in Preddvor/Slovenia). When chatting about their students, the idea of establishing a joint meeting of young statisticians soon was born. The meetings main intention was (and still is) to bring together students as well as younger Faculty members from Ljubljana and Graz in order to deepen the relationships between both Statistics Departments and to offer their students a somewhat international platform within a very friendly atmosphere to present their work in English. They decided to invite some of their best students as speakers and some others building the audience.
A year later, during a weekend in October 1996, a group of 32 people met in Bleiburg (Pliberk) / Austria. This small city was chosen because of two natural advantages: it is almost central to Graz and to Ljubljana, and because people there are bi-lingual (German and Slovene). Hermann Katz (Joanneum Research Institute of Applied Statistics, Graz, Austria), a former citizen of this nice city, offered his contacts to the Mayor and to the other important city fathers and organized a fantastic first Austrian Slovene Joint Statistics Meeting of Young Statisticians. All the participants will never forget the fantastic reception given by the Mayor on Saturday evening or the visit to the Werner Berg Galerie on Sunday afternoon.
Because of the awesome success of the inaugural meeting, it was repeated the year after in 1997 again in Bleiburg / Austria. Then in 1998 the meeting’s venue changed to Piran/Slovenia, where also representatives from Hungary attended for their first time. The meeting’s name changed to Austrian, Hungarian, and Slovenian Joint Meeting of Young Statisticians and the total number of participants increased up to 46. Because of Trieste’s closeness to Piran, Italian statisticians have been invited to join the Piran meeting and the in the year later the fourth meeting in 1999 was already called Austrian, Slovenian, Italian and Hungarian Young Statisticians Meeting and took place in Pécs / Hungary. The same four countries met for the next three years. In 2000, the fifth meeting was hosted in Udine / Italy and attracted 62 participants. Then it was held 2001 in Ossiach / Austria, followed again by Piran / Slovenia in 2002, where a further representative from Croatia attended for the first time.
Since 2003, the number of participating country is five. The group became larger and more international and the meeting is called Austrian, Slovenian, Italian, Hungarian, and Croatian Young Statisticians Meeting. The young statisticians of these five countries still meet every year, and the atmosphere still is as it was at the beginning in 1996.