Washington Statistical Society
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May 2010


Announcement of the 2010 WSS Election

The 2010 WSS election will be held online. Instructions on voting will be sent to members. Below are the candidates for this year's election. All WSS members are urged to vote once the balloting begins. The results will be announced at the WSS Annual Dinner on June 10, 2010.

Candidates for President (select one)

Jonaki Bose, SAMHSA

Jonaki Bose is a survey methodologist at the Office of Applied Sciences in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that she worked as a statistician at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics. She received her Masters from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (statistical concentration) at the University of Maryland. Her research interests are varied and include confidentiality and disclosure issues, nonresponse bias, data quality and measurement error.

Jonaki is a long-time member of the WSS Board and has served as the Data Collections Chair, Methodology Chair and is the current Council of Chapters Representative to ASA. She has also served in various capacities within the American Statistical Association (ASA)-as the 2004 Social Statistics Section Program Chair; the 2008-09 Survey Research Methods Section Secretary; and is the Chair of the ASA Survey Review Committee. She is also the chair of the interagency Confidentiality and Data Access Committee.

John Dixon, BLS

John Dixon is a statistician at the Bureau of Labor Statistics studying nonsampling error in BLS surveys. He enjoys working with other agencies on methods of analysis and sharing results and finds organizations like the Washington Statistical Society to be invaluable in providing contacts and a forum for sharing research ideas. Former Positions: Statistical Consultant, University of Florida, 1983 to 1998. Degrees: Ph.D. Foundations of Education (Psychometrics) University of Florida, 1985. Fields of Major Statistical Activities: Statistical design, sampling, missing data problems, and measurement error. ASA Activities and Offices Held: Program Chair - American Statistical Association Statistical Consulting Section, 1996. Washington Statistical Society - Membership committee, Videoconference coordinator, 2001-2008, Presidents award 2002-03 and 2006-07. Newsletter editor - American Statistical Association Government Statistics Section, 2001-2003. Chair - Government Statistics Section, 2010-2011. Related Professional Activities: Co-chair of the Interagency Household Survey Nonresponse Group. Member Psychometric Society, Classification Society of North America, International Statistical Institute

Candidates for Methodology Program Chair (select one)

Adam Safir, BLS

Adam Safir is a statistician at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prior to joining BLS, he served on the research staff of RTI International, the Urban Institute, Arbitron, and the University of Maryland Survey Research Center. His primary research interests include methods of questionnaire evaluation, the assessment of measurement error, and related topics in the design and methodology of consumer expenditure surveys. He previously served on the WSS Membership Committee (starting in 2005), as President of DC-AAPOR (2007), and as Membership/Chapter Relations Chair for AAPOR (2008-09). He has also refereed for the Journal of Official Statistics and Public Opinion Quarterly. He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Maryland (B.A. in Sociology, master's degree in Marketing Research).

Y. Michael Yang, ICF International

Michael Yang is Chief Statistician at the Survey Research Center at ICF International, a global consulting services firm headquartered in Fairfax, VA. Dr. Yang's research encompasses survey sample design, post-survey data adjustments, and survey data analysis. He has served as senior statistician on many large scale survey projects, responsible for sample design, estimation, and related methodological research. He joined ICF from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, where he was Senior Statistician in the Statistics and Methodology Department from 2000 to 2007. He has also worked as Senior Methodologist/Statistician at The Gallup Organization. Dr. Yang has served as Co-chair of WSS's Statistical Computing section in the past.

Candidates for Representative-at-Large (select two)

Carol Joyce Blumberg, EIA

Carol Joyce Blumberg has been a mathematical statistician in the Petroleum Division, Office of Oil and Gas, Energy Information Administration (EIA) since June 2006. At EIA she is working on a variety of projects whose goals are to improve the quality of data collection and analysis. She retired from Winona State University (Minnesota) in May 2006, where she was a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics since 1987. From 1981 to 1987 Carol was an Assistant Professor at University of Delaware. She has Bachelor's (1972) and Master's (1974) degrees in Mathematics from The University of Michigan. Her Master's in Statistics (1981) and Ph.D. in Educational Statistics (1982) are from Michigan State University. Her main area of interest is in statistics education with a dual focus on statistical literacy and on statistics education in the workplace (especially in the context of government statistics.) Her other areas of interest within Statistics are energy statistics, survey research, linear models, and experimental design.

For the American Statistical Association she has been a Council of Sections Representative (3 years), the Newsletter Editor for the Section on Statistical Education (3 years), an Associate Editor of the Journal of Statistics Education (14 years), and a member of four committees. She has also served as Secretary/Treasurer, Program Chair, and President for the Special Interest Group of Educational Statisticians of the American Educational Research Association. Carol has also been involved internationally with the IASE (International Association for Statistics Education) and its parent organization, ISI (International Statistical Institute). She was a Vice-President of IASE from 2001 to 2005 and coordinator of IASE's International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) from 2001 to 2006. She is presently on the editorial board of the Statistics Education Research Journal (jointly sponsored by IASE and ISI) and was a member of ISI Publications Committee from 2004 to 2007. She has recently been appointed as the guest editor for a special issue of the International Statistical Review devoted to energy statistics.

In terms of service to local Chapters of the ASA, Carol was the Statistics Education Chair of the Delaware Chapter from 1982 to 1987. While in Minnesota she was not located near to an active local Chapter. Since June 2007 she has been the Data Collection Methods Program Chair or Co-Chair. In addition she has served as a judge for WSS for regional Science Fairs (4 times) and for the Curtis Jacobs Memorial Prize (2 times).

Michael Costello, Montgomery County Public Schools

Michael Costello has been a mathematics and statistics teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools for seven years, and before that in Moscow, Russia and at Purdue University, Indiana, where he studied mathematics and education as an undergraduate. He is also currently an MS candidate in statistics at American University.

As a member of the American University Statistical Consulting Center, Michael helped write and analyze a survey of Army Times readers on their feelings on the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The results are included in the February 15, 2010 edition of the Army Times. Michael's vision of the WSS is one of a group that can take a more active role in furthering the statistical competency of students in the DC Metro Area by increasing outreach to high schools' Advanced Placement Statistics classes. By encouraging members to interact with students through activities like guest lectures or field trips, the WSS can help raise interest in professions involving statistics among students in the area.

Grant Izmirlian, NCI

Grant Izmirlian is a senior mathematical statistician at the National Cancer Institute in the Division of Cancer Prevention Biometry Research Group. He has served as co-chair on the WSS section on Public Health and Biostatistics since joining the NCI nearly 11 years ago. Prior to that he was an IRTA fellow and then staff fellow at the National Institute on Aging in the Epidemiology, Biometry and Demography program. As section chair he has helped to organize WSS colloquia in areas of interest to biostatisticians in cancer research as well as areas of general interest. His doctoral training was in the area of probability theory at the UW Madison. He did post-doctoral training in Biostatistics at UNC and then at the NIA. His research interests are in modeling time to event data, missing data, sequential design, statistical software, and most recently, adaptive design. If elected representative at large he hopes that his unique perspective, optimism, and love of the field of statistics will help the WSS in attaining its mission.

Mel Kollander, Consultant

Mel Kollander is an internationally known survey methodologist with more than 40 years of extensive experience in the public and private sectors. As a survey methodologist and statistician, Mr. Kollander has conceptualized and designed complex survey designs. Mel has worked a consultant, from 2007 to the present, to the federal government and private companies that perform contract research with the federal government. During his professional career, he held positions at Temple University, Environmental Protection Agency as the principal survey methodologist, advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO). He has published and presented workshops on survey design for human exposure field studies and qualitative research methods.

Candidate for Treasurer (select one)

Jane Li, Westat

Jane Li is a sampling statistician at Westat since August 2007. She received her master's degree in Economics from University of Delaware in December 2002. After that she was admitted to the doctoral program in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at University of Maryland and received her Ph.D. in December 2007.

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2010 Annual Dinner

June 10, 2010

The WSS Annual Dinner will be held Thursday, June 10, 2010, at Maggiannos in Chevy Chase in Washington, DC. Michael R. Elliot of the University of Michigan and winner of the Gertrude M. Cox 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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Conference on
Quantitative Methods in Defense & National Security
"QMDNS 2010"

25-26 May 2010

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Please join us for QMDNS 2010. The goal of the conference is to promote collaboration between those who have quantitative problems in defense and national security, and quantitative professionals such as statisticians, mathematicians, operations researchers, and engineers who are engaged in solving such problems.

Call for Papers & Posters

The conference is currently soliciting papers and posters on quantitative methods that can be used to solve problems in defense and national security and papers that describe quantitative defense and national security problems. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

data mining, network analysis, data fusion, bioterrorism, automated discovery, forensic analysis, syndromic surveillance, privacy and data integrity, and the description of defense and national security data analysis problems.

Submission & registration information can be found at http://www.galaxy.gmu.edu/QMDNS2010/. All submissions must be made prior to 26 April 2010 and authors of accepted presentations will be notified by 3 May 2010. All presenters are eligible to publish their work in the American Statistical Association's Proceedings of the Joint Statistical Meetings.


To register to attend QMDNS 2010, visit http://www.galaxy.gmu.edu/QMDNS2010/. Register prior to 10 May 2010 to take advantage of reduced Early Bird rates.

Program Information

The program willconsist of invited sessions that have been organized by the Technical Program Committee, contributed presentations, and a special poster session in the evening of the first night. All posters and presentations will be refereed. Contributed sessions will not be held at the same time as invited sessions, and contributed speakers will be given approximately 25 minutes for their talk. See the website for more information.


Contact the Technical Program Chairs, Dr. Jeff Solka (Jeffrey.Solka@navy.mil) or Dr. Myron Katzoff (mjk5@cdc.gov) for more information.

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Five-Week Online SAS Training in Summer

The Department of Statistics will be offering a 5-week introductory course in SAS programming in Summer 2010 from 6/7/2010 to 7/11/2010. This is a perfect opportunity to become facile with one of technology's leading software packages to perform data management and data analysis using modern statistical methodology, from the comfort of home or office.

The course is offered completely online and does not require coming to campus. The course is taught by Dr. Linda Davis, Associate Professor of Statistics. Dr. Davis holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Rutgers University and is an expert in data analysis and applied statistical methods.

There are two mechanisms to register for the training course:

STAT 501: a one credit graduate course; registration is through GMU Summer Programs registration;

Continuing Education: not for credit, fee $500. Register at http://www.ocpe.gmu.edu.

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Interface 2010:
Computational Statistics and Human Behavior

The Westin - Seattle
Seattle, Washington
June 16-19, 2010

More information is available at http://www.interfacesymposia.org/Interface2010/.

Program Chairs

Edward J. Wegman
Department of Computational and Data Sciences and Department of Statistics
George Mason University
MS 6A2, 4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Yasmin H. Said
Department of Computational and Data Sciences and Center for Social Complexity
George Mason University
MS 6A2, 4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Keynote Address

Adrian E. Raftery, University of Washington
"Probabilistic Projections of HIV Prevalence Using Bayesian Melding with Incremental Mixture Importance Sampling (IMIS)"

Short Courses

Tim Gulden, Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation

Edward J. Wegman, Statistical Natural Languages and Text Mining


THe Interface Foundation Of North America

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Summer Program In Applied Econometrics
American University Washington, DC

May 10 - May 14, 2010
Forecasting - Graham Elliottt, U. C. San Diego

May 24 - May 28, 2010
Bayesian Econometrics & Decision-Making - John Geweke, U Iowa and UTS, Australia

The Info-Metrics Institute and the Department of Economics of American University, Washington, DC, are pleased to announce two upcoming summer program courses, "Forecasting," with Graham Elliottt, UCSD and "Bayesian Econometrics & Decision-Making," with John Geweke, U Iowa and UTS, Australia.

The primary purpose of the summer program in applied econometrics is to provide students, researchers and faculty with state of the art econometric methods for analyzing data in the Social Sciences. Each day of the week-long course consists of morning lectures that develop the basic concepts and philosophy as well as their applications to real economic problems and data. Each afternoon, these methods will be applied and practiced in the computer lab. These daily tutorials and work in the computer lab provide students with 'hands on' experience in using these methods with real data.

TARGET GROUP AND REQUIREMENTS: Each course in the program is open to students who have completed at least a year of econometrics at the Ph.D. level, to professional economists, researchers and econometricians who work in government agencies, non-governmental organizations and in the private market.

CLASS MATERIALS: The text for each class will be announced prior to the class and will include a text book and/or a reader consisting of a collection of papers.

DAILY SCHEDULE: Classes begin at 9:00 am and end at 4:30 or 5:00 pm. There will be a morning coffee break, a lunch break and an afternoon break.

REGISTRATION: Please visit
for information on how to register.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Further questions about this program should be directed to Amos Golan, Professor, Info-Metrics Institute and Department of Economics.

Further questions about registration and administrative issues should be directed to Aisha Malik, Senior Administrative Assistant, or Glen Arnold, Administrative Coordinator, Department of Economics:

ADDRESS: Department of Economics, American University
Roper Hall 105, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
PHONE: (202) 885-3770
FAX: (202) 885-3790
EMAIL: ECON@AMERICAN.EDU, malik@american.edu or gwarnol@american.edu

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Summer Graduate Courses in Statistics, American University

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, American University will offer the following graduate-level statistics courses in Summer 2010.

1. STAT-514 Statistical Methods (3)
Averages, dispersion, probability, sampling, and approach to normality; simple and multiple regression; tests and confidence intervals for means, proportions, differences, and regression coefficients; nonparametric statistics; and analysis of variance. Prerequisite: Basic Statistics or equivalent.
Course Level: Graduate (main) and undergraduate
Session 1: T,Th, 05:30PM~08:40PM, 05/10/10 to 06/17/10
Session 2: T,Th, 05:30PM~08:40PM, 06/21/10 to 07/29/10

2. STAT-515 Regression/span>
Simple and multiple linear regression, least squares, curve fitting and graphic techniques. This course explores model building, parameter estimation, hypothesis tests, variable selection, model comparison, residual analysis and other regression diagnostics (graphical and analytical) tools commonly used in Regression. Prerequisite: Intermediate statistics or STAT-514 or equivalent.
Course Level: Graduate (main) and undergraduate
Time: T, Th, 05:30PM~08:40PM, 05/10/10 TO 06/17/10

Please contact Stacey Lucien (202)885-3120, mathstat@american.edu, for registration information.

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Student Column

Student statisticians,

In the first "student chapter column", I am pleased to invite you all to participate in the activities of the Washington Statistical Society and become involved with a network of statisticians in the DC area.

TheSociety needs your suggestions and comments for its future planning in order to offer more suitable events such as holding talks and workshops for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Also, we would like to hear about your statistical activities, student seminars, projects and researches at your departments. Please share your experiences with the student chapter column.

All graduate and undergraduate students are welcome.

Parisa Meisami
Student Representative

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the June issue of the WSS NEWS will be accepted until May 15, 2010. Email items to Michael Feil at michael.feil@ams.usda.gov. The June issue will the last issue for which he will be the editor. Email him for more specific information if you are interested in the position.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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