Washington Statistical Society
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May 2006

Contents:



A Commemorative in Honor of Joe Waksberg

On Monday, June 26, at 3:30 pm, WSS and Westat will sponsor a commemorative on the life of Joseph Waksberg, who died in January. The event will be held at the Keck Center of the National Academies, 500-Fifth Street, N.W., Room 100, Washington, DC (close to Judiciary Square Metro Station). A reception will follow. The program will be announced in the June Newsletter. All are invited.

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2006 Annual Dinner

The WSS Annual Dinner will be held Thursday, June 22, at Maggiano's in Washington, DC. Further details are available in the flyer for the dinner (download the pdf). Vance Berger of the National Cancer Institute and winner of the Gertrude M. Cox Statistics Award, will be our guest speaker.

As always, this event provides a great opportunity to spend time with friends and make new acquaintances. We look forward to seeing you there!

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2006 Science Fair Winners

WSS presented awards to 48 Washington area students at five regional science fairs this spring, in the District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George's County. Since 1986, WSS has been recognizing students whose science fair projects demonstrate excellence in the application of statistical methods. Since 1996, The Gallup Organization has made an annual donation of $1000 for prizes. This year, a total of $600 was divided among 5 first place winners (prizes ranged between $75 and $150) and the balance used to purchase ASA school memberships for the winners' schools. There were 9 second place winners and each received a copy of Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown, Fourth Edition, by Peck, et al. Every first and second place winner also receives a one-year subscription to STATS magazine. Another 34 students received certificates of honorable mention. The judging was coordinated by Bob Clickner. Sincere thanks to all 23 WSS members who served as judges. They are: Lee Abramson, Dwight Brock*, Gene Burns, Jo Amato Burns, Bill Cleveland*, Bob Clickner*, Michael Cohen*, Mike Fay, Ghanshyam Gupta, Gene Heyman, Don Jang, Jessica Kim, Jurate Landwehr, Ruey-Ping Lu, Michael Messner, Mark Otto, Arnold Reznek, John Rogers, Wendy Rotz, Stuart Scott, Mike Stoto, Glenn White* and Lorie Wijntjes. (* Chief Judge).

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Education Announcements JPSM / One-week courses at the
University of Maryland's campus in College Park, Maryland

This summer, in conjunction with the University of Michigan's Summer Institute, JPSM is happy to offer the following one-week courses at the University of Maryland's campus in College Park, Maryland. If you are interested in receiving registration materials, please email JPSM at jpsm@survey.umd.edu. These courses are different from the two-day short courses - there is a slightly more involved application process. All forms and instructions will be mailed to you upon request. Cost of the courses is $597 for Maryland residents or federal employees and $812 for out of state, non-federal students. All courses can carry 1 credit of graduate level credit. The title and dates of the courses are"Introduction to Questionnaire Design" (6/ 26 - 6/30)," Introduction to Survey Quality" (6/12 - 6/16), "Introduction to Survey Sampling" (6/19-6/23), "Psychology of Survey Response" (6/19 - 6/23), "Introduction to Survey Nonresponse" (6/5 - 6/9), and "Surveys Across Countries and Populations" (7/17 - 7/28).

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FFC/2006
The 15th Federal Forecasters Conference

September 28, 2006
Aging: Implications for Forecasting

As the population of the United States and other major countries continues to age, policy makers at every level face major challenges in providing needed services while maintaining economic prosperity. A graying society has major effects on the dynamics of our economic and societal activities including the composition of the labor force, the nature of jobs to be filled, and the demands for goods and services including health care, pension benefits, and other public services. The implications of this aging phenomenon on forecasting in the public sector are equally profound affecting both the input side and the output side of many projection models. The 2006 Federal Forecasters Conference seeks to highlight key aspects of how forecasting must account for the aging trend which demographers have long seen coming.

Where:
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Conference and Training Center
2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC
Important Dates:
June 14, 2006 — Abstract Submission & Contest Entry Deadlines
September 7, 2006 — Conference Registration Deadline
Announcement, Call for Papers, and Contest and Registration Forms:
Please download FFC2006_Ann.pdf for complete details or visit www.federalforecasters.org.
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Committee on National Statistics of The National Academies Invitation
to a Special Seminar in Celebration ofthe Committee's 100th Meeting

The Official Statistics Olympic Challenge:
Wider, Deeper, Quicker, Better, Cheaper

Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 3:15 PM
Auditorium of the Main Building of the National Academy of Sciences
2100 C Street NW

Like Olympic athletes, national statistical systems face unrelenting pressure for greater achievement. However, unlike the Olympic motto -- Citius, Altius, Fortius -- the statistical challenge has rather more dimensions. The range of statistics needed grows ever wider, the level of geographical and other detail ever deeper, the timeliness ever quicker, and the demand for higher quality ever stronger. All this, of course, and -- with the relentless demand for greater effciency -- ever cheaper. The reason for this relentless pressure is positive. Official Statistics are at the heart of public policy. They are involved in a range of uses including policy development and monitoring, and administrative uses including resource allocation and public service delivery. They also underpin the democratic process by allowing citizens to monitor the performance of government and people and businesses to make informed decisions. The range of uses is growing rapidly, and these uses have a profound effect on the lives of every citizen. This talk sets out this context and highlights some of the existing and perhaps future challenges that the statistical system must meet. All are welcome to attend.

In Brief

  • Speaker Tim Holt
  • Discussant Janet Norwood, former commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Introductory remarks on federal statistics by Katherine Wallman, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
  • Coffee, tea, and cookies available in Great Hall at 2:45 PM
  • Reception fo!owing the seminar in the Auditorium Gallery
  • Please RSVP by May 8 to Bridget Edmonds at 202-334-3096 or cnstat@nas.edu.

About the Speaker

Tim Holt is president of the Royal Statistical Society (2005-2007) and former director of the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics and head of the Government Statistical Service from 1995 to 2000. Formerly a professor of social statistics at the University of Southampton, he has been a vice president of the International Statistical Institute and vice-chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission. He was the 2003 recipient of the Waksberg Prize in survey methodology.

About the National Statistics of The National Academies

Please visit our website at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cnstat/.

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SIGSTAT Topics for May 2006

May 17, 2006: Univariate Detrending Using SAS: Some Examples and Applications

Detrending or filtering is an important tool for the macroeconomist studying business cycle fluctuations. Business cycles can be thought of as deviations of output from its trend. As such, detrending or filtering allows us to focus on the 'cyclical' properties of output. Four methods of detrending using SAS will presented: Beveridge-Nelson decomposition, Hodrick-Prescott filter, Baxter-King filter, and Unobserved Components. Two applications of univariate detrending are also presented. The first is to use SAS to generate 'stylized facts' of the business cycle and the second is to examine the consequences of detrending on the effects of monetary policy on output.

Ban Cheah, Westat, 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, 1800 M St, NW from 12:00 to 1:00 (note new time). 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 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 June issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than May 2, 2006. 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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