Washington Statistical Society
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November 2005


The 2005 Morris Hansen Lecture
November 2, 2005

The fifteenth annual Morris Hansen Lecture will be delivered by Donald B. Rubin of Harvard University. The title of his lecture will be "Causal Inference Through Potential Outcomes: Application to Quality of Life Studies with 'Censoring' Due to Death and to Studies of the Effect of Job-Training Programs on Wages." The discussants will be Graham Kalton of Westat, Inc. and Edward L. Korn of the National Cancer Institute. Carol House of the National Agricultural Statistics Service will give opening remarks, and Trena Ezzati-Rice of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will serve as the Chair. The Hansen Lecture series is sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society, Westat, Inc., and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Donald B. Rubin is the John L. Loeb Professor of Statistics and former Chairman of the Department of Statistics at Harvard University, where he has taught for over 20 years. Professor Rubin has over 300 publications, including several books, on a variety of topics, including causal inference, missing data, sample surveys, computational methods, Bayesian statistics, and applications in many areas of social and biomedical science; and he is among the most highly cited mathematical scientists in the world. Among his many honors and awards, he is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a past John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the International Statistical Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a past Fisher Lecturer at the Joint Statistical Meetings, and a recipient of two of the most prestigious awards available to statisticians: the Samuel S. Wilks Medal of the American Statistical Association and the Emanuel and Carol Parzen Prize for Statistical Innovation. Professor Rubin holds an A.B. degree (psychology) from Princeton University, and M.S. (computer science) and Ph.D. (statistics) degrees from Harvard.

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Judges For The 2006 Science Fairs

Volunteers are needed to represent the Washington Statistical Society next spring as judges in five regional science fairs in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Since 1986, WSS has provided special awards at these fairs to students whose projects demonstrate excellence in data analysis or the application of statistical methods. Those who have participated in this activity have very much enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students and to observe the widely diverse projects which are presented. The fairs are held on Saturday mornings in mid-March to mid-April. The only time required is that one Saturday morning, plus one weekday lunchtime meeting to discuss judging strategy.

If you would like to be a science fair judge next spring, please e-mail Robert Clickner at Robertclickner@westat.com by January 25, and include your e-mail address, work and home phone numbers, your fax number and your mailing address. If you judged last spring, there is no need to contact Bob unless your e-mail address or phone number has changed. If you have any questions, please call Bob at 301-294-2815.

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SIGSTAT Topics for November 2005 to March 2006

November 9, 2005: SAS PROC POWER

The new POWER procedure performs prospective power and sample size analyses for a variety of goals, such as the following: determining the sample size required to get a significant result with adequate probability (power); characterizing the power of a study to detect a meaningful effect; and conducting what-if analyses to assess sensitivity of the power or required sample size to other factors. Linda Atkinson will be the speaker.

December 14, 2005: SAS PROC MDC

The MDC (Multinomial Discrete Choice) procedure analyzes models where the choice set consists of multiple alternatives. The procedure supports conditional logit, mixed logit, heteroskedastic extreme value, nested logit, and multinomial probit models. Charlie Hallahan will be the speaker.

January 11, 2006: SAS PROC QUANTREG

The QUANTREG procedure models the effects of covariates on the conditional quantiles of a response variable by means of a quantile regression. Ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression models the relationship between one or more covariates X and the conditional mean of the response variable Y given X=x. Quantile regression extends the regression model to conditional quantiles of the response variable, such as the median or 90th percentile. Charlie Hallahan will be the speaker.

February 8, 2006: SAS PROC ENTROPY< The ENTROPY procedure implements a parametric method of linear estimation based on Generalized Maximum entropy. The ENTROPY procedure is suitable when there are outliers in the data and robustness is required, or when the model is ill-posed or undetermined for the observed data, or for regressions involving small data sets. Charlie Hallahan will be the speaker.

March 8, 2006: SAS PROC GLIMMIX

The GLIMMIX procedure fits statistical models to data with correlations or nonconstant variability and where the response is not necessarily normally distributed. These models are known as generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). The GLMMs, like linear mixed models, assume normal (Gaussian) random effects. Conditional on these random effects, data can have any distribution in the exponential family. In the absence of random effects, the GLIMMIX procedure fits generalized linear models (fit by the GENMOD procedure). Charlie Hallahan will be the speaker.

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 S3031 (Food Safety and Nutrition Room), 1800 M St, NW from 12:30 to 1:30. Enter the South Tower and 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 and many links of statistical interest can be found at the SIGSTAT website, www.cpcug.org/user/sigstat/

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Email Delivery

If you did not receive this issue electronically and you have not notified us that you wish to receive the newsletter in hardcopy, please send your preferred email address to svm@mitre.org and indicate that this is your address for the WSS newsletter. To continue to receive the newsletter in hard copy, contact the WSS secretary at courtney.nreiser@census.gov or (301) 763-4142.

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the January issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than Novebmer 29, 2005. E-mail items to Michael Feil at michael.feil@usda.gov.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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