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December 2009


Annual Holiday Dinner!!!

Thursday December 17, 2009
6:00 pm
Finger Foods and Cash Bar

Download the flyer

Please come join your friends and colleagues for a celebration of the holiday season.

The 2009 WSS Holiday Dinner will be held Thursday, December 17, at the Brickskeller starting at 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The menu includes mussels, cheese platter, chicken wings, spinach and artichoke dip, potatoes skin, and various sandwiches. The Brickskeller is located at 1523 22nd St NW, Washington, DC. For more information about the Brickskeller go to http://www.lovethebeer.com/brickskeller.html.

The price is $30 per person or $15 if you are a student.

Please send a check payable to WSS to: Chris Cummiskey, 701 13th Street, NW Suite 750, Washington, DC 20005. Checks and cash will be accepted at the party.

If you have questions, please contact Chris Cummiskey at ccummiskey@rti.org or (202) 728-2064.

Hope to see you there!

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Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Nominations Sought

Beth Kilss, 2010 Chair, Griffith Award Selection Committee

It's time to start thinking about nominating an outstanding supervisor, technical director, team coordinator, or other member of a governmental statistical staff who encourages mentoring of junior staff in the Federal, State, or Local statistical system for the 2010 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award. Nominations must be submitted no later than March 26, 2010.

This year marked thefirst time in the award's 7-year history that two winners were chosen, as well as the first time the ASA's Government Statistics Section oversaw the award selection process. Kevin Cecco, Chief of the Corporation Statistics Branch, Statistics of Income Division, IRS, and Lillian Lin, Mathematical Statistician, Division of HIV and AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received their awards at a ceremony held on June 17, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

If you're not familiar with the award or would like more information about the current winners and the history of the award, see the excellent article (including a number of pictures from the ceremony) in the August 2009 issue of Amstat News, pp. 51-54, or go to http://www.amstat.org/publications/amsn/2009/august.cfm.

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award was established to honor Dr. Griffith who 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.

Nominations for 2010 will be accepted beginning in January 2010. The last date for submission of nominations is March 26, 2010, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by May 7, 2010. The award will consist of a $1,000 honorarium (to be split if there is more than one awardee), a citation, and a plaque, which will be presented at a ceremony arranged by the co-sponsors in June 2010.

The nomination packages are reviewed by a committee comprising six members who each serve a six-year term:

  • Emerson Elliott, National Center for Education Statistics (Retired)
  • Carol House, National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • Dan Kasprzyk, Mathematica Policy Research
  • Beth Kilss, 2010 Chair, Internal Revenue Service (Retired)
  • Stephanie Shipp, 2009 Chair, Science & Technology Policy Institute
  • Clyde Tucker, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Andy Orlin, Jeanne Griffith's husband, serves as emeritus member, thus providing continuity and historical perspective.

The recipients of the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award previous to this year's two winners are Rich Allen (National Agriculture Statistical Service), 2003; Beth Kilss (Internal Revenue Service), 2004; Renee Miller (Energy Information Administration), 2005; Martin O'Connell (U.S. Census Bureau), 2006; Stephanie Shipp (National Institute of Standards and Technology at the time of the award), 2007; and Rosemary D. Marcuss (Bureau of Economic Analysis), 2008.

The winning mentor(s) will be selected for his or her efforts in supporting the work and developing the careers of junior 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.

Nominations should be prepared in the form of a letter or memorandum for the Award Selection Committee:

  • The letter or memorandum should summarize the nominee's actions that support and encourage junior staff in the Federal, State, or Local statistical community in developing their careers.
  • Nominations may be accompanied by up to six supporting letters. These should be attached to, and submitted with, the nomination.
  • The Award Selection Committee finds that descriptions of what nominees actually do are the strongest demonstration of candidate mentoring. Here are some examples: the mentor is a source of advice counsels with long-term goals in mind thought I was well qualified even though I had some doubts encourages staff to seek out positions that will increase their visibility and stretch their professional capabilities. These are more explicit and unique to the mentor than generic statements such as: the mentor is a coach a teacher.

Photo copies and email copies of support letters are acceptable.

For more information about the nominating process for the 2010 award, please go to: http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform10.doc or http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform10.pdf.

If you have questions about the award, please contact Monica Clark at monica@amstat.org, (703) 302-1860, and Beth Kilss at bakilss@msn.com, (703) 451-7240.

The nomination package may be mailed or emailed no later than March 26, 2010, to:

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee
c/o The American Statistical Association
732 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1943

Sponsors of the Award

The Government Statistics Section (GSS) of the American Statistical Association manages the award. GSS would like to thank our original co-sponsors:

  • Washington Statistical Society,
  • Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association,
  • Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP),
  • Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics,

and our two new co-sponsors:

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), and
  • National Opinion Research Corporation (NORC).

Please contact Stephanie Shipp (sshipp919@gmail.com), if you would like to contribute to the award.

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Nominations Sought for the 2011 Waksberg Award

The Journal of Survey Methodology has established an annual invited paper series in honor of Joe Waksberg to recognize his contributions to survey methodology. Each year a prominent survey statistician is chosen to write a paper that reviews the development and current state of an important topic in the field of survey methodology. The paper reflects the mixture of theory and practice that characterized Joe Waksberg's work.

The recipientof the Waksberg Award will receive an honorarium and give the 2011 Waksberg Invited Address at the Statistics Canada Symposium to be held in the autumn of 2011. The paper will be published in a future issue of Survey Methodology.

The author of the 2011 Waksberg paper will be selected by a four-person committee appointed by Survey Methodology and the American Statistical Association. Nomination of individuals to be considered as authors or suggestions for topics should be sent before February 28, 2010 to the chair of the committee, Dan Kasprzyk (DKasprzyk@Mathematica-MPR.com).

Previous Waksberg Award honorees and their invited papers are:

2001 Gad Nathan, "Telesurvey Methodologies for Household Surveys-A Review and Some Thoughts for the Future." Survey Methodology, vol. 27, no. 1, pp.7-31.

2002 Wayne Fuller, "Regression Estimation for Survey Samples." Survey Methodology, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 5-23.

2003 David Holt, "Methodological Issues in the Development and Use of Statistical Indicators for International Comparisons." Survey Methodology, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 5-17.

2004 Norman Bradburn, "Understanding the Question-Answer Process." Survey Methodology, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 5-15.

2005 J.N.K Rao, "Interplay Between Sample Survey Theory and Practice: An Appraisal." Survey Methodology, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 117-138.

2006 Alastair Scott, "Population-Based Case Control Studies." Survey Methodology, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 123-132.

2007 Carl-Erik S rndal, "The Calibration Approach in Survey Theory and Practice." Survey Methodology, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 99-119.

2008 Mary Thompson, "International surveys: Motives and Methodologies." Survey Methodology, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 131-141.

2009 Graham Kalton, "Methods for Oversampling Rare Subpopulations in Social Surveys." Survey Methodology (forthcoming)

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Nominations Sought for 2010 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 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. Completed nominations must be received by March 5, 2010. For questions or more information, please contact Steven Paben, Julius Shiskin Award Committee Secretary, via e-mail at paben.steven@bls.gov or call 202-691-6147.

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ASA Committee on Law and Justice Statistics
Open Solicitation for Research Proposals

The American Statistical Association (ASA) Committee on Law and Justice Statistics announces a small grant program for the analysis of Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and other justice-related data. This program is designed to encourage the creative and appropriate use of these data to inform substantive and methodological issues. Awards are generally to be completed within a two-year period and are typically in the range of $25,000 to $40,000.

Proposals must be e-mailed by January 15, 2010. More information can be found at:

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Section on Survey Research Methods Webinar

The Psychology of Survey Response
Instructor: Roger Tourangeau

February 9, 2010

Our second webinar is going to be February 9, 2010. Details are on the website: http://www.amstat.org/sections/srms/webinar.cfm

The Section on Survey Research Methods is proud to announce its new webinar program. The first webinar in the series is "Dual Frame Theory Applied to Landline and Cell Phone Surveys" to be presented by J. Michael Brick on Tuesday, November 10, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

This two-hour course examines survey questions from a psychological perspective. It covers the basics on how respondents answer survey questions and how problems in this response process can produce reporting errors. The class will focus on behavioral questions. The course is intended as on introduction for researchers who develop survey questionnaires or who use the data from surveys and want to understand some of the potential problems with survey data. It describes the major psychological components of the response process, including comprehension of the questions, retrieval of information from memory, combining and supplementing information from memory through judgment and inference, and the reporting of an answer. The course has no specific perquisites, though familiarity with survey methodology or questionnaire design would be helpful.

Bio sketch

Roger Tourangeau is a Research Professor at the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center and the Director of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JSPM) at the University of Maryland. He has been a survey methodologist for nearly 30 years, with extensive experience in a wide range of surveys. Tourangeau is well-known for his methodological research on the impact of different modes of data collection and on the cognitive processes underlying survey responses. He is the lead author of a book on this last topic (The Psychology of Survey Response, co-authored with Lance Rips and Kenneth Rasinski and published by Cambridge University Press in 2000); this book received the 2006 Book Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). He is also one of the co-editors of a collection of papers (Cognition and Survey Research, published by Wiley in 1999) from a conference on cognitive aspects of survey response. In addition, he has published a number of papers on mode effects (including a very widely cited paper on audio-CASI with Tom Smith) and on forgetting and telescoping in surveys.

In 2002, Tourangeau received the Helen Dinerman Award for his work on the cognitive aspects of survey methodology. This is the highest honor given by the World Association for Public Opinion Research. In 2005, he received the 2005 AAPOR Innovators Award (along with Tom Jabine, Miron Straf, and Judy Tanur). He was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1999 for his work on survey measurement error and his contributions to federal surveys as a sampling statistician. In 2006, he served as the chair of the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association. He has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University.

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Nominations Sought for the 2010 Gertrude M. Cox Award

The Gertrude M. Cox Award Committee is seeking nominees for the 2010 Gertrude M Cox Award. The award was established in 2003 through a joint agreement between the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and RTI International. The award annually recognizes a statistician in early to mid-career (roughly less than 12 years after his/her terminal degree) who has made significant contributions to one or more of the areas of applied statistics in which Gertrude Cox worked: survey methodology, experimental design, biostatistics, and statistical computing.

The award is in memory of Gertrude M. Cox (1900-1978). In 1945, Dr.Cox became director of the Institute of Statistics of the Consolidated University of North Carolina. In the 1950Ős, as Head of the Department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State College, she played a key role in establishing Mathematical Statistics and Biostatistics Departments at the University of North Carolina. Upon her retirement from North Carolina State University in 1960, Dr. Cox became the first head of Statistical Research Division at the newly founded RTI. She was a founding member of the International Biometric Society (IBS) and in 1949 became the first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute. She served as President of both The American Statistical Association (1956) and the IBS (1968-69). In 1975 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

The award is presented at the WSS Annual Dinner, usually held in June, with the recipient delivering the keynote address on a topic of general interest to the WSS membership.

This award is made possible by funding from RTI International, and the recipient is chosen by a six person committee - three each from WSS and RTI. This yearŐs committee consists of Paul Biemer, Phil Kott, and Marcus Berzofsky from RTI and Karol Krotki (Chair), John Eltinge, and Michael Brick from WSS. It consists of a $1,000 honorarium, travel expenses to attend the WSS Annual Dinner, and a commemorative WSS plaque. Past recipients have been Sharon Lohr, Alan Zaslavsky, Tom Belin, Vance Berger, Francesca Domenici, Thomas Lumley, and Jean Opsomer.

Please email your nominations to Karol Krotki (kkrotki@rti.org) by 28 February, 2010.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Fall/Winter 2009-2010

December 16, 2009: SAS for Forecasting Time Series: Part 2

This month continues a series of meetings on the topic using SAS to forecast time series. We follow the book titled "SAS for Forecasting Time Series 2nd Edition" by Brocklebank and Dickey.

Part 2: This month begins Chapter 3: The General ARIMA Model. Topics include prediction and model identification.

January 20, 2010: SAS for Forecasting Time Series: Part 3

This month continues a series of meetings on the topic using SAS to forecast time series. We follow the book titled "SAS for Forecasting Time Series 2nd Edition" by Brocklebank and Dickey.

Part 3:This month continues Chapter 3: The General ARIMA Model. Topics include using the IDENTIFY and ESTIMATE statements with a number of examples.

February 24, 2010: SAS for Forecasting Time Series: Part 4

This month continues a series of meetings on the topic using SAS to forecast time series. We follow the book titled "SAS for Forecasting Time Series 2nd Edition" by Brocklebank and Dickey.

Part 4: This month continues Chapter 3: The General ARIMA Model. Topics include models for nonstationary data and differencing to remove a linear trend.

March 17, 2010: SAS for Forecasting Time Series: Part 5

This month continues a series of meetings on the topic using SAS to forecast time series. We follow the book titled "SAS for Forecasting Time Series 2nd Edition" by Brocklebank and Dickey.

Part 5: This month begins Chapter 4: The ARIMA Model: Introductory Applications. Topics include an introduction to seasonal modeling and model identification.

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. 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 & many links of statistical interest can be found at the SIGSTAT website, http://www.cpcug.org/user/sigstat/.

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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 December 17, 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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