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September 2002

Contents:



Congratulations

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

President-elect
David Marker

Treasurer
Erin Whitworth

Methodology Program Chair
Patrick Cantwell

Representatives at Large
Dan Cork
Jill Montaquila

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

Carolee Bush, U.S. Census Bureau
Michael L. Cohen, National Academy of Sciences Committee on National Statistics John Eltinge, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Kenneth Harris, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Jennifer Madans, National Center for Health Statistics
Stephanie Shipp, National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Letter from the Past President

I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you as WSS president for 2001-2002. It was a rewarding experience. At the Open Meeting of the WSS Board on June 25, I passed the gavel to Brenda Cox who was President-Elect this past year.

I need to take note of the fact that my service as president coincided with the national tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon by terrorists. Most of us have a personal connection to the victims or know someone who does. One of the most important ways the nation can prevent future attacks of this magnitude is by developing and using more accurate information. I believe that statisticians will ultimately play an important role in these activities.

Election Results

Let me give you the results of our somewhat hectic election. I am pleased to report that the Board made the right decision in calling for a revote indeed several of my own staff members had their original green ballots returned by the Post Office as undeliverable; and more than a few members did not receive the green ballots at all! Congratulations to the new officers for 2001-2002:

  • President-elect: David Marker (Westat)
  • Treasurer: Erin Whitworth
  • Methodology Chair: Patrick Cantwell (Census)
  • Representatives-at-large: Dan Cork (CNSTAT) and Jill Montaquila (Westat)

In addition, the two amendments to our constitution requiring the Treasurer to be an ASA member were passed.

Volunteer Activity

Currently, WSS has 897 ASA and 54 non-ASA members for a total of 951 members.

Our volunteer Program Chairs organized 25 seminars from July 2001 through June 2002, with an average attendance of 35. We also co-sponsored and advertised countless other local events of interest.

In my letter to the membership as incoming President in the October 2001 newsletter, I boasted that WSS is, " the best metropolitan statistical society in the world thanks to the synergy , teamwork and the dedication of some of the finest professional volunteers in the world." A year later, I am even surer of these facts. Bear with me; I have a lot of people to thank.

Thanks to our Methodology Chairs, Mary Batcher (Ernst and Young) and Steve Cohen (AHRQ) and the thirty-one Program Chairs for their outstanding work in arranging our seminar, short-course, topic-specific seminars, and various outreach programs. Many of our seminars were video-conferenced to remote locations thanks to Glenn White (Ernst and Young) and John Dixon (BLS). We held three successful short courses under the leadership of Robin Lee (Ernst and Young). WSS sponsored a conference on Confidentiality and Data Access in January 2002, and thanks to Nancy Kirkendall (EIA), Ginny De Wolf, Wes Schaible, Bob Groves (U. of Michigan), and Joe Waksberg (Westat), the Hansen Lecture was held in November 2001. The topic was Election Night Estimation chaired by Joe Waksberg (Westat), delivered by Warren Mitofsky (Mitosfsky International) and Murray Edelman (Voter News Service), and discussed by Martin Frankel (CUNY and ABT).

This year we started active communication with the Washington Academy of Sciences. Formed in 1898, two years after WSS (1896) WAS is an umbrella organization for the Scientific Societies in the Washington DC area (http://www.washacadsci.org/body2.htm). Michael P. Cohen (BTS), WSS historian and auditor, took on these coordination responsibilities; and Vince Massimini (Mitre) volunteered to maintain an email list of WSS members wishing to receive WAS announcements.

Our strong Quantitative Literacy Program continued this year, adding a Career Day at Marymount University, and initiating a local poster competition synchronized with judging the ASA mid-Atlantic poster competition. We also participated in Scouting on the Mall again. I want to thank Carolyn Carroll (Stattech) and Wendy Rotz (Ernst and Young), our QL Program Chairs, and Joscha Kaplan and Ryan Petska (both of Ernst and Young) for their outstanding service. Many thanks and great respect go to Lee Abramson (NRC) for once again coordinating our volunteer science fair judges for local school districts.

Another first this year, is the beginning of a Local Consultant Database, planned to include members who self-identify as consultants. In response to continued requests from the ASA Statistical Consulting Section, I asked Renee Miller (EIA), John Dixon (BLS), Jeri Mulrow (NSF), and Dan Jacobs (U. of Maryland) to begin work on this project. I hope we will see it implemented during my year as Past-president. I thank them for their hard work on this project thus far.

Thank you, Michael Feil (USDA) for his multiple years of service as WSS News Editor. Our newsletter is an outstanding product. Thanks also to Fotios Kokkotos (PWC) for his multiple years of work maintaining our WSS News Employment column. And we continue to have an outstanding team making our electronic communications services possible. The monthly calendar, email announcements, and website are immensely helpful in operating the society. This year we are now sending our newsletter via email to all members for whom we have valid email addresses some 70% of the membership! My gratitude to Michael Green (CPSC), Dan Jacobs (U. of Maryland), and Vince Massimini (Mitre) for expertly handling our electronic communications.

We have many regular interactions with the national ASA organization, often serving as a model for potential activities in other regions and chapters. Glen White (Ernst and Young) served as our representative to the ASA Council of Chapters, and Carolee Bush (Census) was reappointed to serve a complete three-year term as District 2 Vice Chair of the Council of Chapters. Both have done outstanding jobs in keeping communications flowing between WSS and other parts of the ASA. Thank you for your service.

A special thank you to David Banks (BTS), Dan Kaspyrzk (ABT), and Brenda Cox (Roper ASW) for serving on the WSS Committee on ASA Fellows; Rich Allen (NASS) and Catherine Hood (Census) for serving as WSS representatives to the Julius Shiskin Award Committee; Paul Cook (NASS) and Kellie Wills (Ernst and Young) for serving on the Jacobs Memorial Committee; and Gerald Gates (Census) for serving on the Roger Herriot Award Committee.

This year's officers have given steadfast service. Cynthia Clark (Census) as Past-president, Brenda Cox (RoperASW) as President-elect, Jill Montaquila (Westat) as Treasurer, Stuart Scott (BLS) and Renee Miller (EIA) as Representatives-at-large all made irreplaceable, substantial contributions to keeping our society running smoothly.

And last but not least, I offer personal thanks to Jeri Mulrow (NSF) who, wearing two hats as both Representative-at-large and Social Arrangements program chair, was responsible for two outstanding social events: the Annual Holiday Dinner and the Annual Awards Dinner.

We could not function without these dedicated volunteers! Stand up and give them a round of applause wherever you are reading this (ok, ok, maybe just THINK about a round of applause.)

Volunteer Opportunities

I want to remind all WSS members that we always need more individuals to help with QL and science fair judging. Program chairs are essential to our work. Finally, the student representative position on the board has gone empty for nearly 2-years. Neither Cynthia nor I were able to identify a willing volunteer. Know any good students we could get on board?

Awards

At the Annual Awards Dinner the following were honored:

President's Awards

  • WSS Archives and Shiskin Committee Service
    Rich Allen
  • WSS Quantitative Literacy, Scouting on the Mall and Career Day
    Carolyn Carroll
  • WSS Secretary - outstanding service
    Thomas Mule
  • WSS News Editor - sustained service
    Michael Feil
  • WSS Electronic Age Committee
    Michael Greene, Dan Jacobs & Vince Massimini

Past President's Certificate

  • Cynthia Z. F. Clark

Julius Shiskin Award

  • Katharine G. Abraham, JPSM, BLS Commissioner Emeritus

WSS Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

  • Kristen Olsen JPSM
  • Salem Reyen George Mason University
  • Wisam Yaghi American University
  • Lin Yuan George Washington

Local Poster Winners

  • Hobart Reynolds
  • Billie Jean Walch
  • Andrew Prosser

New WSS Fellows of the American Statistical Association

  • Carolee Bush (Census)
  • Michael L. Cohen (CNSTAT)
  • John Eltinge (BLS)
  • Ken Harris (NCHS)
  • Jennifer Madans (NCHS)
  • Stephanie Shipp (NIST)

In addition to these awards, WSS decided to help sponsor two new awards. The Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Award: this year's winner was Amelia M. Haviland (CMU doctoral candidate). And the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award is to be awarded for the first time next year.

Final Thoughts

I want to share with you some wise words about the profession we share. On the occasion of being named the Richard D. Remington Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan earlier this year, our colleague Rod Little (former chair, Biostatistics Dept.) noted that, "One of the joys of being a statistician is the ability to make contributions in many scientific fields." He went on to say, "Some see statisticians as research technicians and supporters rather than as research leaders: keeping the score in the hockey game rather than playing in it. I disagree. Statisticians may not focus on the substance of any specific discipline, but their training in scientific objectivity and their breadth of scientific interests serve them well." Hear Hear!

Carry On

And again from my letter to the membership as incoming President in the October 2001 newsletter: "We are living in interesting times - especially so because the growing impact of technology, science and data are creating new opportunities for statistics to contribute to our nation's progress and future well-being. Society's growing dependence on the quantitatively literate, and the importance of enabling science and data driven decision-making are becoming obvious. Indeed, these changes and opportunities are spreading throughout the world at a record pace. It' s a good time to be a statistician! Be a part of it all - Get active! Spread the wealth (the more you spread it, the more we all have), encourage students, interns, new hires, and recent area immigrants to join and become active in our society."

It has been an honor to serve you.

Andy White (The National Academies, CNSTAT)
Past-President
2002-2003

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Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Award

The first recipient of the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Award is Amelia M. Haviland of Carnegie Mellon University. Her proposal was well-received by the Scholarship Committee. A certificate of appreciation was presented at the Government Statistics Section Business Meeting held during the 2002 Joint Statistical Meeting. The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage students to pursue a career in government statistics.

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Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology & Statistical Policy Seminar

Integrating Federal Statistical Information and Processes

General Announcement | Call for Papers

General Announcement

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology is sponsoring a Statistical Policy Seminar titled "Integrating Federal Statistical Information and Processes" on November 6 - 7 2002.

This is the Sixth in a Series of Seminars Hosted by COPAFS (Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics). Support is provided by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Energy Information Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Center for Education Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Social Security Administration, Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Census Bureau.

The subjects include: Access to Data for users, Stakeholders and Sponsors; Ensuring Data Confidentiality; E-Government and New Dissemination Paradigms; Improving Data Quality; Preserving the Past, Linking to the Future; Providing Adequate Technical Support; Achieving Timeliness in a "Real Time" World; Enhancing Data for Statistical Use Through Linkage and Modeling; Capitalizing on Technology to Enhance Survey Reporting; Ensuring Citizen Privacy; Providing Small Area Estimates; and Obtaining Respondent Cooperation.

The keynote address will be given by Jay Hakes who is affiliated with the Jimmy Carter Library.

Participants will include federal statisticians, economists, and managers, as well as others in the broader statistical community who share an interest in the quality of federal data.

The location is at the Holiday Inn Bethesda, 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD. The cost is $150.00 per person. The maximum number of participants will be 300.

For further information, contact the COPAFS office via phone at (703) 836-0404, via fax at (703) 684-3410, or via e-mail at copafs@aol.com.

Call for Papers

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology is planning a research conference to be held in the Fall of 2003. The conference will feature mostly contributed papers with formal discussion and software demonstrations on topics related to a variety of statistical research issues. Papers and demonstrations should address methodology, empirical studies, relevant issues, or needs for statistical research. Papers must be original and not previously published or disseminated. Proceedings will be published from the conference.

To submit a paper or demonstration for consideration, send an abstract by October 1, 2002, to:

Renee Miller, Program Chair and Bill Mockovak, Co-chair by
E-mail: fcsm@bls.gov
Fax (Renee Miller): 202-287-1705
Phone (Renee Miller): 202-287-1718
Phone (Bill Mockovak): 202-691-7414

To obtain registration information or to be included on the mailing list, contact:

Carol McDaniel, Conference Coordinator
E-mail: fcsm@census.gov
Phone: 301-457-2308
Fax: 301-457-3682

FCSM Web site: www.fcsm.gov

Abstracts should include a brief description of the paper; up to four key words; authors' names and e-mail addresses; and the presenter's name, affiliation, mailing address, phone and fax numbers. Submit an ASCII text file by e-mail or hard copy by fax. Early submissions are encouraged.

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WSS Short Course Announcement

The WSS will be sponsoring a short course titled "Understanding the language of nature: The past, present and future of graphic display." The instructor is Howard Wainer of the Educational Testing Service. The date is Wednesday, October 23, 2002 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The location is the Capitol Hyatt Washington. Additional details will be available in the October issue of the WSS NEWS.

You may register now! Fill out the registration form and mail with a check/purchase order/credit card payment to the address on the bottom of the form. All registration materials including the payment should be received by Friday, October 18, 2002. Early registration to guarantee attendance is highly recommended. For confirmation of registration, email Robin Lee at 'RobinLeeHKmom@yahoo.com'. For billing and registration questions, call Robin Lee at (703) 750-6641.

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2003 Student Paper Competition Sponsored by Consortium of Sections

The Social Statistics, Government Statistics, and Survey Research Methods Sections are pleased to announce a competition for student and postgraduate papers to be presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in San Francisco on August 3-7, 2003. At least five awards will be granted. Winning papers are presented by the authors at a session of the meeting and are recognized at the Sections' business meetings. A subsidy of up to $800 is provided to each winner in order to cover JSM 2003 expenses.

To be eligible to participate in the competition you must be a current undergraduate or graduate student at any level or be a 2002 graduate who presents research conducted as a student. Up to four prizes will be awarded jointly by the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections, and one additional prize will be awarded by the Section on Survey Research Methods for a paper in that area.

Papers entered in the Student Competition must involve either a new statistical methodology or a creative application of statistical analysis to a problem, policy question, or other issue in the subject area of one of the sponsoring sections. Research for the submitted papers does not have to be complete, but competitors must be able to submit an abstract prospectus describing the planned research, including the nature of the intended innovations.

Applications should include

  1. a cover letter including name, current affiliation and status, and contact information (address, telephone, e-mail) of the applicant,

  2. an abstract of up to 300 words,

  3. a draft paper if available, or otherwise a 3-page research prospectus, and

  4. a letter from the adviser certifying student status (or completion of degree within the past year) and describing plans for the completion of the research.

If you have any questions, contact the 2003 Program Chair for the Social Statistics Section, Susan Schechter, on 202-395-5103 or email at susan_schechter@omb.eop.gov.

Faculty are urged to encourage students to apply for these awards.

Refer to the section websites for a copy of this announcement and for updates.

Social Statistics Section website - http://www.amstat.org/sections/ssoc/
Government Statistics Section website - http://www.scs.gmu.edu/gss/
Survey Research Methods Section website - http://www.amstat.org/sections/SRMS/index.html

Send applications to Linda Minor, American Statistical Association, 1429 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3415.

Applications must be post marked by December 15, 2002. Winners will be notified in early January 2003 and must register for the meetings by January 31, 2003.

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Mid-Atlantic Probability and Statistics Day

The Department of Statistics at the George Washington University will hold the next Mid-Atlantic Probability and Statistics Day on November 16, 2002. Contributed talks (15 minutes) on topics of interest to Statisticians from academia, industry and government are planned. Invited speakers include Professor Bimal Sinha of University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Professor Abdel El-Shaarawi of Water Research Institute and McMaster University, Canada. Special invitation is extended to young researchers from local universities, industries and governmental agencies to participate and present their work.

If you are planning to attend or give a talk, please register at http://www.gwu.edu/~stat/index.html. The last day for submitting abstracts is October 18, 2002. Early submissions are encouraged.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Fall-Winter 2002/2003

October 9, 2002: STAMP 6.0

STAMP is a package designed to model and forecast time series, based on structural time series models. These models use advanced techniques, but are set up so as to be easy to use -- at the most basic level all that is required is some appreciation of the concepts of trend, seasonal and irregular. The hard work is done by the program, leaving the user free to concentrate on formulating models, then using them to make forecasts. Structural time series modelling can be applied to a variety of problems in time series. Macro-economic time series like gross national production, inflation and consumption can be handled effectively, but also financial time series, like interest rates and stock market volatility, can be modelled using STAMP. Further, STAMP is used for modelling and forecasting time series in medicine, biology, engineering, marketing and in many other areas.

November 13, 2002: SAS Enterprise Guide

Enterprise Guide software brings the full power of SAS to business analysts, statistical analysts and SAS programmers in a PC client application via an easy to use point-and-click user interface. This Windows client connects to Version 8 SAS System servers and provides access any data types supported by the SAS System, uses the execution power of the server to run any SAS processes, and returns professional reports and graphics to your PC. Enterprise Guide also provides you with web deployment and repeatability of your analysis and results.

December 11, 2002: SAS Graph-n-Go

Graph-n-Go is an interactive application for producing simple or complex graphical representations of data. It can be used for data exploration or for creating presentation-quality graphical images that can be printed or imported into documents.

SIGSTAT is the Special Interest Group in Statistics for the CPCUG, the Capital PC User Group, and WINFORMS, the Washington Institute for Operations Research Service and Management Science.

All meetings are in Room 3056, 1800 M St, NW from 12:30 to 1:30. Enter the South Tower & take the elevator to the 3rd floor to check in at the guard's desk.

First-time attendees should contact Charlie Hallahan, 202-694-5051, hallahan@ers.usda.gov and leave their name. Directions to the building & many links of statistical interest can be found at the SIGSTAT website, www.cpcug.org/user/sigstat/

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for the November issue are due no later September 24, 2002. Please e-mail items to michael.feil@usda.gov.

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First posted September 24, 2002
Last modified November 03, 2015

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