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

Summer 1999




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SIGSTAT Meeting: S-Plus and Financial Applications

There will be a special July meeting of SIGSTAT on Wednesday, July 21 at 12:30 in the 5th Floor Conference Room (note new room), 1800 M St, NW.

The speaker is Andrew Bruce of MathSoft.


Quantitative financial analysts and IT professionals who want to learn more about S-PLUS. The introductory session is oriented towards analysts who have limited experience with S-PLUS. The remaining sessions are valuable for all analysts, including S-PLUS experts.

About The Sessions:

Charlie Hallahan
USDA-Economic Research Service
Room 3117
1800 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20036-5831
(voice) 202-694-5051
(fax) 202-694-5718

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Joint Statistical Meetings

Need a Ride to the Joint Statistical Meetings in Baltimore?

Take advantage of the JSM Shuttle and save the hassle of driving and parking in Baltimore.

Fare: $5.00 one way
Driving Time: Approximately 1.25 hours

Reservations: E-mail request to or fax to 703-684-8069. Give us the day and time of each trip you want to use. Non-reservations will be accommodated on a space available basis. Pay at the time of ride.

To Baltimore: Bus will originate at Union Station. Passengers can board three places: 1) Union Station, 2) Park & Ride at I-495/I-95, 3) New Carrollton Metro.

To D.C.: Pick up at Convention Center, drop off at New Carrollton Metro, I-495/I-95 Park & Ride, and Union Station.


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Material from June 10th Methodology Seminar on Respondent Incentives

On June 10th, the WSS Methodology Section sponsored a seminar on incentives, "Respondent Incentives in Surveys: A Fresh Look." It was a standing-room only event. The speakers (Nancy Kirkendall, Energy Information Administration [formerly, Office of Management and Budget]; Richard A. Kulka, Research Triangle Institute; and Brad Edwards, Westat) have provided their slides and allowed us to make them available on WSS's website (please visit methodology seminars). In addition, the summary report of the 1992 Symposium on Providing Incentives to Survey Respondents held at Harvard University, entitled "Providing Incentives to Survey Respondents," is also available. For more information contact Virginia de Wolf (email:; 202-395-7314).

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1999 FCSM Research Conference
November 15-17, 1999

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) Research Conference will be held on November 15-17, 1999 at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington,Va. The conference will open with a plenary session on "The Role of Researchers in Program Decisions," featuring John Bailar, University of Chicago and William Barron, U.S. Census Bureau. David Moore, Purdue University, will deliver the Tuesday evening banquet address on "Statistics and Sound Bites: Statistical Literacy in the Age of the Internet."

Contributed paper and technical demonstration sessions will provide platforms for discussion and exchange of a wide range of current research and methodological topics relevant to Federal government statistical programs. Topics include: the use of administrative data, small area estimation, meta data and data warehousing, statistical data analysis, improvements and alternatives to census-taking, cognitive research methods, estimation and editing, impact of the American Community Survey, matching and record linkage, confidentiality, response issues, new technologies, seasonal adjustment, data collection, statistical software, and display, dissemination and integration of statistical information. Papers will be made available at the conference and posted to the FCSM web site following the conference.

Conference registration and $150 fee is due by September 15, 1999. Additional information may be obtained from: Ruth Detlefsen, Bureau of the Census Bureau, Room 2641-3, Washington, D.C. 20233; Phone: 301-457-2665, Fax: 301-457-1343, and E-mail: Periodic updates concerning the conference may be found on web site

The 1999 FCSM Research Conference is being sponsored by various Federal government statistical agencies and hosted by the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.

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1999 Science Fair Winners

WSS presented awards to 59 Washington area students at five regional science fairs this spring (District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, Prince George's County). Since 1986, WSS has been recognizing students whose projects demonstrate excellence in the application of statistical methods. This year, the Gallup Organization generously donated $800 for prizes. Of this amount, a total of $700 was divided among 7 first place winners (prizes ranged between $50 and $150) and the balance was used to purchase ASA school memberships for the winners' schools. There were 10 second place winners and each received a copy of Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown, by Tanur, et al. All first and second place winners also received a one-year subscription to STATS magazine. Others received certificates of honorable mention.

The judging was coordinated by Lee Abramson. Thanks to all WSS members who volunteered as judges. They are: Dwight Brock, Bill Cleveland, Bob Clickner*, Brenda Edwards*, Linda Hardy*, Ellen Hertz, Gene Heyman*, Bill Iwig, Tzu-Cheg Kao, Fotios Kokkotos, Heidi Krause-Steinrauf, Jurate Landwehr, Ruey-Ping Lu, Michael Messner, Michael Moll, Mark Otto, Arnold Reznek, John Schwemberger, Stuart Scott, Yvonne Sparling, Mike Stoto, Glenn White*, and Lorie Wijntjes. (* Chief Judge)

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WSS History

The history of the society is now available on our web site. The condensed history is at and has a link to download the entire history as a pdf file.

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WSS People

Dwight Brock (301) 496-9795
Past President
Graham Kalton (301) 251-8253
Mary Batcher (202) 327-6740
Elizabeth Nichols (301) 457-4865
Jill Montaquila (301) 517-4046

Vice Chair for District 2 of
Council of Chapters

Andrew A. White (202) 334-2511
Council of Chapters Representative
Ron Fecso (703) 306-1780 ext. 6906
John Czajka (202) 484-4685
David Marker (301) 251-4398
Carolyn Shettle (301) 215-9100 x 166
Sandra West (202) 606-7384

WSS Program Chairs
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Bill Iwig (202) 720-3895
Dwight French (202) 586-1126
Linda Atkinson (202) 694-5046
Art Kennickell (202) 452-2247
Brenda Cox (202) 484-4231
Stuart Scott (202) 606-7383
Public Health and Biostatistics
Trena Ezzati-Rice (301) 436-7022 ext. 133
Rene Gonin (301) 517-8084
Public Policy
Carolee Bush (202) 366-6946
Phil Ross (202) 260-5244
Quality Assurance
Amrut Champaneri (202) 690-3130
Glenn White (202) 327-6414
Short Courses
Roberta Sangster (202) 606-7517
Fritz Scheuren (703) 549-1120
Social & Demographic Statistics
Michael Horrigan (202) 606-5905
Edith McArthur (202) 219-1442
Statistical Computing
Bob Jernigan (202) 885-3170
Mike Fleming (703) 235-5213 ext. 170
Data Collection Methods
Brad Edwards (301) 294-2021
Linda Stinson (202) 606-7528

Fotios Kokkotos (202) 414-4563
WSS NEWS Editors
Michael Feil (301) 443-4234
Fran Chevarley (301) 436-7093 ext. 153
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 (703) 549-1120
Quantitative Literacy
Carolyn Carroll (703) 352-1712
Science Fair
Lee Abramson (301) 415-6180
Video Librarian
Mel Kollander (202) 973-2820
Social Arrangements
Jeri Mulrow (202) 327-6772
Local Arrangement
Wendy Rotz (202) 874-0969
WSS Historian
Michael P. Cohen (202) 219-1917
WSS Committee on ASA Fellows
Phil Kott (703) 235-5211 x 102

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First posted July 19, 1999
Last modified September 28, 1999

Webmaster: Dan Jacobs, Maryland Sea Grant