Washington Statistical Society
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Summer 2009


Helen Tice to Receive 2009 Julius Shiskin Award

Helen Stone Tice, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. This award recognizes unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics interpreting the economy. Dr. Tice is recognized for innovative research in developing improved measures of the activities on nonprofit institutions throughout the world and for leadership in providing users with comprehensive documentation of the methodologies used for the U.S. economic accounts. Dr. Tice becomes the 36th recipient of the Award and will be honored at events hosted by the three sponsors of the award: The Washington Statistical Society, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Business and Economics Section of the American Statistical Association.

Since 1998, Dr. Tice has been primarily engaged in research on the development of improved measures of the activities of nonprofit institutions (NPIs) in international economic accounts at the Center for Civil Society Studies of the Institute for Policy Studies at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). At JHU, in collaboration with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), she led a program that resulted in the preparation of the Handbook on Non-Profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts to improve the treatment of the nonprofit sector in the 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA). Current work on an updated version will align it with both the recently adopted System of National Accounts, 2008, and revisions in United Nations classification systems, and will incorporate lessons learned from current implementation experience of the Handbook. After publication, Dr. Tice engaged in an extensive outreach and dissemination efforts on the Handbook, including organizing workshops with international organizations. The handbook was critical because NPIs have been growing in importance in recent decades and systematic data on NPIs were not available. More recently, Dr. Tice has played a major role in the development of a set of procedures for the creation of a first-time system of labor force and household surveys to provide data to measure the size and nature of volunteer work. This work at JHU was conducted in partnership with the International Labour Organization and resulted in the preparation of the Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work and a JHU working paper on the findings of the research that Dr. Tice co-authored.

Dr. Tice's innovations in these and other areas of economic measurement has been based on careful and complete research that have resulted in new paths to ensuring the relevance of statistical systems in the face of changing external realities. She also has made sure that these innovations have been workable and consistent with features of the existing systems. In addition, her dedication to her work and respect for colleague has contributed to the success of her many innovations.

From 1977 to 1998, Dr. Tice was engaged in research at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Among her many innovative contributions while at BEA, the most significant was the design and implementation of the first updating of the methodologies underlying the U.S. accounts in almost 25 years. The publication of these methodologies, several of which she co-authored, in a series of separate methodology reports provided users with useful detail and completeness that was unmatched internationally and greatly enhanced the reputation of BEA throughout the world. She conducted research on the activities of nonprofit institutions for the U.S. national accounts, and this work led to the publication of the first set of U.S. nonprofit accounts in 2003. She contributed several sections to the System of National Accounts, 1993. She was a major contributor to the development of the revised industry classification for financial services for the new North American Industry Classification System. In addition, together with Robert Lipsey of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), she organized a conference on the measurement of saving, investment, and wealth for the NBER Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, and edited the conference volume, The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, which was published in 1989.

From 1969 to 1977, Dr. Tice was at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System where she designed and implemented a framework for a detailed documentation of the methodologies underlying the Flow of Funds Accounts. She also developed and implemented a set of national balance sheets for these accounts.

During her career at JHU, BEA, and the FRB, Dr. Tice has authored or co-authored numerous books, articles, and papers. In addition to the major sections of BEA's methodology papers, sections of the System of National Accounts, 1993, she also wrote articles for the Review of Income and Wealth on revisions to the Systems of National Accounts, measurement of wealth, and nonprofit institutions, and article on NPIs for Voluntas, and several chapters of a report for Congress, Institutional Investor Study Report of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She also is co- author of the forthcoming "Nonprofit Organizations in the System of National Accounts," in International Encyclopedia of Civil Society. Dr. Tice also served as a member of the editorial board, Review of Income and Wealth, from 1978-81, and as a member of the Executive Committee, Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, from 1979-85.

Please use this link to download the flyer.

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Conference in honor of Joseph Gastwirth
Department of Statistics, George Washington University

August 1, 2009

A one-day conference in honor of Prof. Joseph Gastwirth for celebrating his forty-five years of statistical activity will be held at George Washington University on August 1, 2009, one day before 2009 Joint Statistical Meeting in DC. The tentative program, information on free registration, and other information about the conference can be found at the conference website: http://www.gwu.edu/~stat/festschrift_jg.htm.

Program committee consists of Colin Aitken, Efstathia Bura, Mitchell Gail, Joel Greenhouse, Wesley Johnson, David Kaye, Abba Krieger, Zhaohai Li, Nancy Spruill, Scott Zeger, and Gang Zheng.

People who want to register for this free conference do so online (at the website above). The venue and time is also on the website.

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Caucus for Women in Statistics Hosts Breakfast during Joint Statistical Meetings

The Caucus forWomen in Statistics will host a breakfast on Monday, August 3 from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. at the Embassy Suites at 900 10th St NW (located between I and K Streets) in Washington, DC. The breakfast is open to both members and non-members of the Caucus. You may come to the breakfast even if you are not attending the Joint Statistical Meetings. There will be the traditional roundtables with specific topics for discussion, as well as other tables with no specific topics of discussion. The meal will be the full breakfast buffet offered at Embassy Suites hotels.

Topics for the discussion roundtables (as of May 1) will be

  1. Work/Life Balance
  2. Negotiating Salary and Other Job Benefits
  3. Comparison of Statisticians' Jobs Across Different Settings
  4. Legal Rights and Wrongs in the Workplace

Additional roundtables may be added at a later date.

Cost is:

  • Members--$13.00
  • Non-Members--$15.00
  • Full-time Students--$8.00

To reserve a place at the breakfast, email Anna Nevius at nevius@comcast.net by July 22, 2009.

For more information about the Caucus for Women in Statistics go to http://caucusforwomeninstatistics.com/.

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The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Data Users Workshop

August 7, 2009

The NationalCenter for Health Statistics (NCHS) will conduct an all-day workshop on the National Health Interview Survey on Friday, August 7, 2009 at NCHS in Hyattsville, Maryland. This workshop is independent of the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) that will take place on August 1-6, 2009 in downtown Washington, D.C., but it was intentionally scheduled to immediately follow the JSM. The workshop is open to anyone. NCHS is easily accessible by Metro. See Directions to NCHS (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/hyatdir.htm) for more information.

The target audience for the workshop is beginning and intermediate users of the survey data. A preliminary agenda includes:

  1. Overview of the National Health Interview Survey
  2. Overview of the National Health Interview Survey
  3. Information about the sample design
  4. Linked data resources
  5. Accessing data through the Research Data Centers
  6. Special topic Website demonstrations─tobacco, race/ethnicity, and physical activity
  7. Creating an analytic file, using weights in analyses, and multiple imputation
  8. Analytic examples
  9. Co-sponsoring supplemental questions on the NHIS
  10. Publications using NHIS data

Registration is free. See NHIS Workshop Registration for more information. Participants should register as early as possible. We strongly encourage you to attend the workshop if you have completed the workshop registration, as space and resources are limited, and our staff has put a great deal of effort into the planning. Please cancel your registration if you plan on not attending to allow others to register. Upon arrival, plan time for clearing security.

Contact Brenda LaRochelle by e-mail (blarochelle@cdc.gov) or (301) 458-4686 if you have any questions, difficulty registering, or to be put on the workshop mailing list.

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The 17th Federal Forecasters Conference (FFC/2009)

Thursday, September 24, 2009
Washington, DC

The conference theme is "Forecasting and Risk." The conference seeks to highlight how forecasters account for low-probability, but high-cost events. Participants will review how forecasters account for the following risks: economic risk, energy supply risk, food supply risk, health care and epidemic risk, transportation disruptions, and natural disasters. The conference will examine the role of federal forecasters in the evolution of public policies that account for these rare events. For more information, visit www.federalforecasters.org or contact Jeff Busse, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS988, Reston, VA 20192; (703)648-4914; jbusse@usgs.gov

For more info click here: www.federalforecasters.org

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Students' Corner

In the last student corner, I presented several pseudoanagrams. Here are the answers:


Since last month, I found the following clever mathematical anagrams in Wikipedia: "Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one" and "A decimal point = I'm a dot in place"

If you are inspirited this month to write a haiku or short poem about a statistical topic, please send it to me and I'll try to print it in the next student corner.

We're now in the heat of summer in Washington and less than two months away from the Joint Statistical Meetings. Once again, I would like to encourage all students to attend these meetings in DC from August 1 to August 6. Besides choosing from hundreds of cutting edge lectures and bonding with fellow students at the student mixer, you can also meet potential employers, interview for jobs, dance, and socialize with thousands of statisticians at the mixer. It's a great place to meet "famous" statisticians and get autographs for your favorite textbooks. I wrote a little limerick about the JSM to encourage you to attend.

Come to the JSM in DC,
Where you will almost certainly find glee.
Statisticians abound,
Presentations profound.
And a dance to boot, don't be an absentee.

In a playful spirit, I would like to end this student corner with a cool statistics quote for the summer. According to Aaron Levenstein, "Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."

Have a wonderful summer. I'll see you at JSM.

Tim Kennel (tkennel@survey.umd.edu)

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the September issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than August 14, 2009. 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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