News about activities of the Washington Statistical Society
A Chapter of the American Statistical Association

September 2000



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The balloting results are in and the following people were elected to the Board of Directors of the Washington Statistical Society:

Andrew White
Jill Montaquila
Methodology Section Chair
Steven B. Cohen
Brenda Cox
Stuart Scott

A round of applause goes to the following individuals who were recently elected Fellows of the American Statistical Society (ASA). This honor goes to:

Lynda Carlson, National Science Foundation
Nancy Gordon, Census Bureau
Edward Spar, COPAFS
Eric Feuer, National Cancer Institute
Barry Graubard, National Cancer Institute
Linda Pickle, National Cancer Institute
Ashish Sen, Department of Transportation
John Thompson, Census Bureau
Jay Waite, Census Bureau
John McKenzie, Jr., Babson College

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Letter from The President

It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to work with my professional colleagues in the Washington, D.C. area as president of the Washington Statistical Society. WSS is a model for other professional societies in its level of activity and involvement of its members in its program. WSS indeed is a barometer of the change that continues to occur in the field of statistical theory and application, continuing to involve local statisticians in dialogue. WSS is also a place to meet other statisticians with similar interests, exchange ideas, and gain new perspectives.

Because of the advances of technology in our worksites, we will now have the ability to increase participation in WSS seminars through videoconferencing to multiple sites. We have experimented with this capability during the past year and plan to extend it to more sites. The contributions of Stuart Scott, at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in initiating this effort have demonstrated that this technology can expand the involvement of statisticians in the information and idea exchanges facilitated by our seminar program. If you know of a site that would allow more statisticians to participate please let Glenn White know as he is now coordinating WSS efforts to make this happen.

Over the years WSS has been led by individuals with a keen interest in enhancing its viability and responsiveness to the profession. WSS is financially sound and has a well qualified Board. I want to express my thanks to last year's president, Mary Batcher, for her leadership and direction. Constant attention to the activities of the organization is necessary to ensure that we continue to contribute to the professional lives of our colleagues. Our new Board members Andrew White, president-elect; Steven Cohen, methodology program chair; Stuart Scott and Brenda Cox, representatives-at-large will continue this fine tradition.

The quantitative literacy program, an important areas of focus of our profession, has been rejuvenated during the last year through the direction of Wendy Rotz. This program presents an opportunity for many others to become involved. There is a lot to do to increase our society's statistical knowledge base C beginning with elementary and high school children and extending to other activities such as the Curtis Jacobs Competition, Science Fair judging, and other community opportunities. I would like to particularly encourage those of you who just started jobs in the Washington, D.C. area to consider participating in this way.

WSS will be only as viable an organization as its membership. There are ways for everyone to be a part of WSS and contribute to professional activity in statistics in our local community. There are many opportunities to volunteer and to have a contributing role from presenting a seminar to assisting with our quantitative literacy program, serving on a committee such as membership or participating in meeting a new request. Becoming involved helps you to expand your statistical contacts and to contribute to our profession. Let me or any member of the WSS Board know of your interests or ideas.

         Cynthia Clark
         President, WSS

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The WSS 1999-2000 Year In Review


The WSS regular monthly seminar series continued as the cornerstone of our activities during the year. This year we sponsored and co-sponsored some 61meetings of the chapter on a wide variety of topics. Three short courses were presented, one each in seasonal adjustment, graphical exploratory data analysis, and statistical data mining.

The 10th Annual Morris Hansen Memorial Lecture was presented by David F. Findley of the U.S. Census Bureau on the topic of seasonal adjustment.

There were two Presidential Invited Addresses during the year. The first was a presentation by J. Keith Ord of Georgetown University and Sandy Balkin of Ernst & Young. Their talk was entitled "Structural Equations in Time Series and an Analysis of Fatal Road Accidents. Discussants were David Findley of the U.S. Census Bureau and David Banks of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The second was a presentation by K.R.W. Brewer of the Australian National University on AA (Latin) Square Deal for Voters: Fixing a Flaw in the Australian Preferential Voting System.@ Lawrence Ernst of BLS was the discussant.

In the 1999-2000 school year, Quantitative Literacy rebuilt its infrastructure for activities with the local county schools. WSS now has county coordinators in Montgomery, Prince George's, Fairfax, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's Counties. Wendy Rotz is heading the effort to expand activities in the schools. Carolyn Carol continues to work with the Girl Scouts of America. There has also been increased QL coordination with the ASA. This year's Curtis Jacobs winning school picked up their flier from an ASA sponsored event. The web site for the Curtis Jacobs Competition is now linked to the ASA Poster and Project Competitions:

WSS members also continued the long-standing tradition of providing judges at five regional science fairs this year.

The WSS News editors continued their excellent work in putting together and distributing the newsletter monthly, both as paper copies and via e-mail. The Employment column editor also continued the excellent work of providing information for potential matches among employers and persons seeking employment throughout the year.


The 1999 Annual Holiday Party was held at the Capitol City Brewing Company in the Postal Square Building near Union Station.

The 2000 Annual Dinner was held at the Holiday Inn-Capital in Washington D.C. The keynote speaker was the Honorable Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman from New York City's 14th District. Congresswoman Maloney was called away for a vote before she was able to speak but she returned and updated the dinner attendees on events pertaining to sampling and the decennial census. She also took several questions from the floor.


This year the Board instituted teleconferencing for WSS seminars. This began with a methodology session between the Joint Program at the Universities of Maryland and Michigan and WSS at BLS. It quickly expanded to include teleconferencing to Census and NCHS and a 4-way connection. The Board also committed renewed funding to continue the Shiskin Award to ensure its continuation for 4 more years, taking it through its 25th year. Continuing the effort to speak out on events that affect the statistical community, the Board approved sending a letter in support of the Secretary of Commerce' planned delegation of authority to the Director of the Census Bureau for the release of adjusted population estimates.


The 2000 Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics was presented to Edwin R. Dean of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 1999 WSS Presidents' Award was presented to Stuart Scott for bringing about the teleconferencing of WSS seminars. The Curtis Jacobs Memorial Prize for excellence in applying survey research methods to a school project was presented to Crystal Ratanavich, Nancy Yu and Linda Lee of Springbrook High School in Silver Spring for their project entitled "Interracial Relationships." Their advisor is Ms. Kile. The WSS Outstanding Graduate Student Awards went to Amanda Singh, George Mason University; Jinyu Yuan, George Washington University; and Madeline McNeeley, JPSM. Science Fair Awards were made to a large number of elementary, junior high and high school students at five regional science fairs in the Washington area, for excellence in application of statistical methods in their research projects. The Gallup Organization made prizes available through a generous donation.


Congratulations to the winners of the election for 2000-2001 WSS officers:
President-elect: Andy White
Representatives-at-large: Brenda Cox, Stuart Scott
Methodology Section Chair: Steve Cohen
Treasurer: Jill Montaquila


The WSS is a large, vibrant organization, providing numerous services to its members. None of this could happen without the untiring efforts of the many people who make the organization run smoothly. The officers, Board members and committee chairs meet monthly to plan and activate all the programs from which we as WSS members benefit. Speakers, session chairs, discussants and other participants volunteer their time as well to make the programs valuable and meaningful. The newsletter editors do an outstanding job of producing an informative publication worthy of our time and attention, and the members contribute by their attendance and participation in all the activities of the Society. For all of those efforts, I sincerely thank all of you. In addition, I would like to extend special appreciation to Dwight Brock, Past President, for invaluable advice on many issues that came up during the year, and for reminding me what I was supposed to do next! And finally, I send my best wishes to incoming President, Cynthia Clark, for continued success in the year to come. I am confident that under her leadership, the Society will continue to grow and prosper.

         Mary Batcher
         Past President, WSS

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November 14-16, 2001:  FCSM Research Conference – Call for Abstracts

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, which is composed of the senior statisticians from several statistical agencies and is sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget, is planning a research conference to be held November 14-16, 2001 at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA. The conference will consist primarily of contributed papers, most of which will receive formal discussion at the conference. The conference will feature papers and software demonstrations on topics related to a broad range of government statistical research interests. Papers and demonstrations may address methodology, empirical studies, or relevant issues. Final papers will be due prior to the conference. Papers must be original and not previously published or disseminated.

To have a paper or demonstration considered for presentation, an abstract of at least one page will be required by December 1, 2000. Abstracts should include a brief description of the paper, up to four key words, the presenter's name, affiliation, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and E-mail address. Submit an ASCII text file by E-mail (or a hard copy by fax or mail). To submit abstracts or obtain additional information, contact:

Stephen Cohen
Office of Survey Methods Research
Room 4915
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington, DC 20212
Phone: 202-691-7400
Fax: 202-691-7426

Information on the conference can also be found on the FCSM web site,

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Biometric Technologies . . . Emerging into the Mainstream

You are cordially invited to attend the upcoming Biometric Consortium 2000 Conference: "Biometric Technologies... Emerging Into the Mainstream."

The Conference is scheduled for two days, September 13 and 14, 2000, and will be held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

The registration fee is $150 per person and includes coffee breaks, lunches, an evening reception, and conference materials. This year we have included a students' registration fee of $75 that includes all of the above except for the reception. In addition to the speakers and panel sessions, over a dozen Supporting Organizations will have exhibits and demonstrations available.

Please check the Biometric Consortium 2000 Conference web page for detailed information, including information on the conference hotel, and registration (mail-in/fax and on-line) at

Recent events sponsored by the Biometric Consortium, such as the 1999 conference and BioAPI Users and Developers Seminar, have been fully booked. We would like to suggest to BC members and colleagues to register as soon as possible, before the Conference announcements and publicity about the event reach the general public.

We are very pleased to announce that Stephen Walker, a widely recognized expert and leader in information security technology and policy, is scheduled to deliver the opening address.

Steve Walker is the President of Steve Walker & Associates and is Principal of Walker Investment Funds, a venture fund focused on companies in the mid-Atlantic area. He currently serves on several Boards of Directors and was formerly President and CEO of Trusted Information Systems, Inc. (TIS), a leading supplier of firewalls and encryption products. Before its purchase by Network Associates in 1998, TIS had become a publicly traded company, employed more than 350 people, and had offices throughout the world. Mr. Walker is a 22-year veteran of the US Department of Defense (DoD) at NSA, ARPA and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was one of the elite members of a team responsible for the development of the ARPAnet. He is nationally recognized for his pioneering work on the DoD Computer Security Initiative, establishment of the National Computer Security Center and the Defense Data Network.

Conference sessions will address:

Some of the topics that will be examined include:

The Conference is open to the Consortium members and to the general public. Please help us circulate this announcement to individuals from private industry, Federal/State/Local governments, academia, executives from private industry, Government officials, information technology users and developers, law enforcement officers, system integrators, personal authentication and information security educators, students of these technologies and anyone that wishes to know how biometrics will play a role in their future.

For newcomers to the technology we will offer the Seminar: "Introduction to Biometric Technologies". The 45 minutes seminar will be given immediately following the first day's lunch break to attendees new to the field. No additional fee is required to attend.

In addition to NIST's Information Technology Laboratory and NSA's Information Assurance Research Office, this year's conference will be co-sponsored by the Biometrics Management Office (operated by the US Department of the Army), GSA's Federal Technology Service/Office of Smart Card Initiatives, and NIST's Advanced Technology Program. More Information on the sponsors can be obtained through the conference's web page.

The preliminary list of the Conference's Supporting Organizations and Exhibitors include: ANADAC/Identix Inc., BioAPI Consortium, Bionetrix, Gemplus, the International Biometric Industry Association, IriScan, Inc., Keyware Solutions, LLC, Mitretek Systems, Mytek Technologies, Inc., the Ottawa Telephony Group (OTG,Inc.), Precise Biometrics, RAND, and SAFLink Corp.

For more information about BC2000, please contact: Fernando L. Podio of the Information Technology Laboratory of NIST at or at (301) 975-2947.

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SGE Conference 2000

The conference title is The 'New Economy': What Has Changed and the Challenges for Economic Policy and the conference will take place at the Marriott at Metro Center, November 17, 2000 with a keynote address by Kathryn Shaw, President's Council of Economic Advisors.

The theme of the conference will focus on the reactions, responses and revisions inherent in the "new economy". Is technological change ushering in a sustained increase in worker productivity and restructuring business enterprises and industrial structures? How have the new technologies affected the efficiency of market? What are the new forms of compensation and are they being defined and measured accurately? What are the social and economic implications of the new technologies? What challenges face policymakers in understanding the "new economy" and managing it? What are the implications of global market inter-dependencies for the making of economic policy? Does the new economy also present new challenges for the regulatory environment? Public and private economists, statisticians, researchers and representatives from the political arena are invited to present their research and discuss their findings.

For more information please visit the SGE web site at

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the November 2000 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than September 26, 2000. E-mail items to Michael Feil at

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WSS People

Cynthia Z.F. Clark (301) 457-2165
Past President
Mary Batcher (202) 327-6740
Andrew White
Tom Mule (301) 457-8322
Jill Montaquila (301) 517-4046

Vice Chair for District 2 of
Council of Chapters

Ron Fecso (703) 306-1780 ext. 6906
Council of Chapters Representative
Carolee Bush (301) 457-3840
Carolyn Shettle (202) 537-6793
Linda Atkinson (202) 694-5046
John Czajka (202) 484-4685
Glenn White (202) 327-6414

WSS Program Chairs
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Anne Peterson (703) 235-5218 ext 113
Art Kennickell (202) 452-2247
Linda Atkinson (202) 694-5046
Methodology Section
Stuart Scott (202) 606-7383

Methodology Program
Ginny de Wolf (202) 395-7314
Public Health and Biostatistics
Paul Hshieh (301) 295-9762
Jai Choi (301) 458-4144
Public Policy
Carolyn Shettle (202) 537-6793
Phil Ross (202) 260-5244
Quality Assurance and Physical Sciences
Amrut Champaneri (202) 690-3130
Michael Feil (202) 690-3137
Short Courses
Robin Lee (202) 327-7575
Social & Demographic Statistics
Roberta Sangster (202) 606-7517
Manual de la Puente (301) 457-4997
Statistical Computing
Bob Jernigan (202) 885-3170
Doug Samuelson (703) 978-5030
Data Collection Methods
Brad Edwards (301) 294-2021
Linda Stinson (202) 606-7528
Jonaki Bose (202) 219-1619

Fotios Kokkotos (202) 822-5592
Michael Feil (301) 443-4234
Electronic Mail
Michael L. Cohen (202) 334-3765
Michael Greene (703) 247-1575
S.V. (Vince) Massimini (703) 883-5893
Renee Miller (202) 426-1117
Antionette Martin 202) 426-1110
Fritz Scheuren (202) 261-5886
Quantitative Literacy
Wendy Rotz (202) 327-7822
Carolyn Carroll (703) 379-4500
Science Fair
Lee Abramson (301) 415-6180
Video Librarian
Mel Kollander (202) 537-6700
Social Arrangements
Jeri Mulrow (202) 327-6772
Local Arrangement
Kevin Cecco (202) 874-0464
WSS Historian
Michael P. Cohen (202) 219-1917
WSS Committee on ASA Fellows
Phil Kott (703) 235-5211 x 102
Jacobs Memorial Committee
Paul Cook (703) 235-5218
Wendy Rotz (202) 327-7822
Shiskin Committee
Howard Hogan (301) 457-2665
Hansen Lecture Committee
Nancy Kirkendall
Wes Schaible
Rich Allen
Bob Groves
Joseph Waksberg
Student Representative
Currently Vacant

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First posted August 31, 2000
Last modified August 31, 2000

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