Washington Statistical Society
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February 2007

Contents:



New Nominations Sought For
2007 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship

April 15, 2007 Deadline

Nominations are now being sought for the 2007 Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship. The award is intended to reward promising young statisticians for their diligence and encourage them to consider a future in government statistics. The 2006 recipient of the scholarship will be chosen by a committee of representatives of GSS and SSS. Applicants are not required to be members of GSS, SSS or ASA. Dr. Smith was strongly supportive of these organizations during his career and actively mentored younger statisticians. The scholarship of $1,000.00 can be used for activities like the following:

  • Attendance at a conference, short course, or long course
  • Travel to a conference
  • Purchase of government data
  • Costs associated with research

Please note the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Eligibility Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • Participation in the advancement of government statistics, whether as a government employee, researcher under government contract or using government statistics, or student involved with government statistics

To apply, you will need to complete and submit the following:

For more information, contact Juanita Tamayo Lott, 2007 Chair of the Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship Committee, 301.763.3127 or juanita.t.lott@census.gov. The other committee members are Michael P. Cohen and Bob Kominski. All necessary materials must be submitted by April 15, 2007 . Electronic submissions are permissible.

All materials should be mailed before April 15, 2007, to:

Juanita Tamayo Lott
Human Resources Division
U.s. Census Bureau
Washington, D.C. 20233-1400

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2007 Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM)
Research Conference, November 5-7, 2007

Call For Papers

The 2007 FCSM Research Conference will be held at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, on November 5-7, 2007. The conference provides a forum for experts from around the world to discuss and exchange current research and methodological topics relevant to Federal government statistical programs. Each day of the conference will offer papers on a wide range of topics. 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.

Overall Topic Areas Include:

  • Survey Design and Data Collection
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Cross-Cutting Topics

To submit a paper or demonstration for consideration, submit the abstract online by March 8, 2007.

Conference information including a full list of possible topics can be found at the FCSM site:
http://www.fcsm.gov/events

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The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award

On receiving the Roger Herriot Award in June 2001, Jeanne E. Griffith said:

One of the most rewarding aspects (of Federal statistics) for me was the opportunity to promote creative activities and energies among my staff When I have had the blessing to mentor young people in their careers, I have tried to emphasize (that) only they, themselves, can make the most of (the) .chances that life presents.

Dr. Griffith died in August 2001 after working for more than 25 years in the Federal statistical system. Throughout her career, and especially in her latter senior management positions at the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Science Foundation, one of Jeanne's highest priorities was to mentor and encourage younger staff at all levels to learn, to grow, and to recognize and seize career opportunities as they came along.

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award has been established to encourage mentoring of younger staff in the Federal statistical system. It is presented annually, beginning in 2003, to a supervisor who is nominated by co-workers and supervisors, and chosen by the Award Selection Committee.

The award is co-sponsored by the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, the Council for Excellence in Government, the Washington Statistical Society, the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, and the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.

Nominations for 2007 will be accepted beginning in February 2007. The last date for submission of nominations is March 30, 2007, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by May 4, 2007. The award will consist of a $1000 honorarium and a citation, which will be presented at a ceremony arranged by the co-sponsors in June 2007.

The winning mentor will be selected for his or her efforts in supporting the work and developing the careers of younger staff. Examples of typical mentoring activities include:

  • Advising junior staff to help them create career opportunities, networking skills, and contacts for growth and development;

  • Counseling junior staff and providing resources to help develop their technical writing, analysis, presentation and organizational skills and knowledge;

  • Encouraging junior staff growth and career development through attendance and oral presentations at meetings with higher level officials, staffs of other agencies, professional associations, training courses, and conferences;

  • Motivating junior staff and building self confidence through feedback on their efforts, being a listener when that is needed, and creating a caring and supportive environment;

  • Serving as a role model for junior staff through professional expertise, information and insights, balancing collegial and personal roles, and including everyone across rank, race, ethnicity, and seniority.

For further information on the award, contact Ed Spar, Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) by phone: 703-836-0404; fax: 703-836-0406; or by e-mail at copafs@aol.com. The nomination cover sheet and guidelines form-or a photocopy of it-should be attached to a nomination memorandum or letter. Forms can be obtained by contacting Ed Spar, or by downloading from the COPAFS website at http://www.copafs.org. All nominations should be returned to the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee, c/o COPAFS, 2121 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 no later than March 30, 2007.

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Nominations Sought for 2007 Julius Shiskin Award

Nominations are invited for the annual Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. The Award is given in recognition of unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy. Contributions are recognized for statistical research, development of statistical tools, application of information technology techniques, use of economic statistical programs, management of statistical programs, or developing public understanding of measurement issues. The Award was established in 1980 by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and is now cosponsored by the WSS, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The 2006 award recipient was J. Steven (Steve) Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, for his leadership in improving the U.S. economic accounts and related statistics through effective management, collaboration with domestic and international users, and scholarly research.

Because the program was initiated many years ago, it is little wonder that statisticians and economists often ask, "Who was Julius Shiskin?" At the time of his death in 1978, "Julie" was the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and earlier served as the Chief Statistician at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Chief Economic Statistician and Assistant Director of the Census Bureau. Throughout his career, he was known as an innovator. At Census he was instrumental in developing an electronic computer method for seasonal adjustment. In 1961, he published Signals of Recession and Recovery, which laid the groundwork for the calculation of monthly economic indicators, and he developed the monthly Census report Business Conditions Digest to disseminate them to the public. In 1969, he was appointed Chief Statistician at OMB where he developed the policies and procedures that govern the release of key economic indicators (Statistical Policy Directive Number 3), and originated a Social Indicators report. In 1973, he was selected to head BLS where he was instrumental in preserving the integrity and independence of the BLS labor force data and directed the most comprehensive revision in the history of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which included a new CPI for all urban consumers.

Nominations for the 2007 award are now being accepted. Individuals or groups in the public or private sector from any country can be nominated. The award will be presented with an honorarium of $750 plus additional recognition from the sponsors. A nomination form and a list of all previous recipients are available on the ASA Website at (www.amstat.org/sections/bus_econ/shiskin.html) or by writing to the Julius Shiskin Award Committee, Attn: Monica Clark, American Statistical Association, 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1943.

Completed nominations must be received by April 1, 2007. For further information contact Steven Paben, Julius Shiskin Award Committee Secretary, at paben.steven@bls.gov.

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Herriot Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are sought for the 2007 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. The award is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career:

  • Dedication to the issues of measurement;
  • Improvements in the efficiency of data collection programs; and
  • Improvements and use of statistical data for policy analysis.

The award isnot limited to senior members of an organization, nor is it to be considered as a culmination of a long period of service. Individuals at all levels within Federal statistical agencies, other government organizations, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and the academic community may be nominated on the basis of their contributions.

The recipient of the 2007 Roger Herriot Award will be chosen by a committee comprising representatives of the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, and of the Washington Statistical Society. Roger Herriot was associated with and strongly supportive of these organizations during his career. The award consists of a $1000 honorarium and a framed citation, which will be presented at a ceremony at the Joint Statistical Meetings in August 2007. The Washington Statistical Society will also host a seminar given by the winner on a subject of his or her own choosing.

The previous recipients of the Roger Herriot Award are Joseph Waksberg (Westat), Monroe Sirken (NCHS), Constance Citro (CNStat), Roderick Harrison (Census Bureau), Clyde Tucker (BLS), Thomas Jabine (SSA, EIA, CNStat), Donald Dillman (Washington State University), Jeanne Griffith (OMB, NCES, NSF), Daniel Weinberg (Census Bureau), David Banks (FDA, BTS, NIST), Paula Schneider (Census Bureau), Robert E. Fay III (Census Bureau), and Nathaniel Schenker (NCHS).

Nominations for the 2007 award will be accepted beginning in February 2007. Nomination packages should contain:

  • A cover letter from the nominator that should include references to specific examples of the nominee's contributions to innovation in Federal statistics. These contributions can be to methodology, procedure, organization, administration, or other areas of Federal statistics, and need not have been made by or while a Federal employee.

  • Up to six additional letters in support that demonstrate the innovativeness of each contribution.

  • A current vita for the nominee, including contact information.

Both individual and group nominations may be submitted. The committee may consider nominations made for the 2006 award, but it encourages resubmission of those nominations with updated information.

For more information, contact Daniel Weinberg, Chair, 2007 Roger Herriot Award Committee, at 301.763.5791 or Daniel.H.Weinberg@census.gov. Completed packages must be received by April 1, 2007. Electronic submissions in MS-Word or as a "pdf" file are encouraged.

Alternately, nominations may be mailed to:

Dr. Daniel H. Weinberg
Chief, Center for Economic Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau
Washington, DC 20233-6300

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Happy 50th Birthday, NHIS

Commemoration of the National Health Interview Survey's 50th Anniversary
and Poster Competition

Monday, June 25, 2007

The NationalCenter for Health Statistics (NCHS), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in 2007; the NHIS has been fielded continuously since 1957. To mark the occasion, NCHS is holding a one-day conference on June 25, 2007 at its home site in Hyattsville, Maryland (in Metropolitan Washington, D.C.). Watch our Web site for further information on registering for the anniversary celebration: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

All past and present users of the NHIS are invited to enter a poster competition. The winners will each receive up to $1,500 to cover travel expenses to attend the anniversary celebration. To enter the competition, send a description of how you have used NHIS data or analyses successfully to solve a research problem, to evaluate a policy, to teach a class, to write a report, etc. We want to hear how the NHIS has been used, directly or indirectly, to improve public health. We want to hear about projects involving NHIS data or analyses that you have already completed, not projects that you are planning. Any productive use of the NHIS over its 50-year lifespan is appropriate.

Your submission should be in text form (not in poster form), no more than three pages long. You may include supporting documents (e.g., reprints of journal articles) without counting them toward the three-page limit. Each competition winner will work with the NCHS Publications staff to develop and produce a poster, at no cost to the competition winner. The 10 posters will be presented by the competition winners at the anniversary celebration.

Please send your competition entries to Brenda LaRochelle (contact information below) by post or e-mail. Please feel free to contact Brenda if you have any questions. Entries must be received by March 15, 2007, and winners will be announced on April 1, 2007.

Brenda LaRochelle
3311 Toledo Road, room 2210
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782
Phone: 301-458-4686
E-mail: BLaRochelle@cdc.gov

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DCSUG Evening Special Interest Group

The DCSUG Evening Special Interest Group (formerly and still perhaps occasionally known as the Desktop SIG) will have its next meeting on Thursday, February 22, 2007, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at the SAS regional office in Rosslyn (1530 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800, Arlington VA).

The program will begin at 6, and will comprise two presentations:

  • SQL Basics Using Proc SQL (Chris Zogby)
  • Shuffling, Shifting, Structuring - Using the Program Editor (Gary Schlegelmilch)

The meeting location is close to the Metrorail Rosslyn Station. For Metro and driving directions, dial 571-227-7000 and press 4.

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SIGSTAT Topics for February 2007

February 21, 2007: Demo of SPSS Complex Samples

SPSS Complex Samples, an add-on module for SPSS for Windows , provides the specialized planning tools and statistics you need when working with sample survey data. It enables you to make more statistically valid inferences for a population by incorporating the sample design into survey analysis. You can more accurately work with numerical and categorical outcomes in complex sample designs using two new algorithms for analysis and prediction. This presentation will demo the software and analysis wizards using tutorials and sample data sets provided with the module.

See http://www.spss.com/complex_samples/ for more information. Linda Atkinson 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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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the April issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than February 27, 2007. 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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