Washington Statistical Society
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May 2014

Contents:



Special WSS Event!

You are cordially invited to the
Cox Award Presentation and Annual Dinner on behalf of the Washington Statistical Society

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Presentation:
Sharing Confidential Data in an Era with No Privacy
Jerome Reiter
Speaker event commences at 4:00 pm RTI International
701 13th St NW Suite 705, Washington, DC

- and -

Annual Dinner:
Carmine's
Dinner commences at 6:00 pm
425 7th St NW, Washington, DC

The Gertrude M. Cox Award is co-sponsored by RTI International.

Registration

All are encouraged to attend both events regardless of WSS membership status.

Please register for the presentation and dinner separately.

Email your RSVP for the Cox Award Presentation to Frank Yoon (FYoon@Mathematica-MPR.com).

Online registration is available to attend the Annual Dinner at http://goo.gl/AMYIiP.

The registration fee is $45 for WSS Members and $50 for guests and nonmembers. Instructions for submitting credit card or check payments are provided in the online registration form. The receipt will be emailed to you.

Contact Frank Yoon at FYoon@Mathematica-MPR.com if you do not receive the receipt via email.

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Congratulations!
2014 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Recipients

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring award recognizes individuals working in federal, state, or local government statistical agencies for their efforts in mentoring junior staff. This award was established to honor Dr. Griffith who died in 2001, after working for more than 25 years in the federal statistical system. The award acknowledges those supervisors, technical directors, and other team members who make unique efforts to mentor and encourage younger staff at all levels to learn, grow, and to recognize and seize career opportunities.

The 2014 recipients of the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring award are:

  • J. Gregory Robinson, U.S. Census Bureau, and
  • Kenneth Schoendorf, National Center for Health Statistics

The award committee will host a ceremony to honor these award recipients on July 9, 2014 at 4:00 in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) conference center. Please email Deborah Griffin at Deborah.h.griffin@census.gov to have your name added to the security list to enter the BLS.

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WSS Volunteers On The Move!
Washington Statistical Society Volunteers Assist ASA with Poster Competition and
U.S. Science and Engineering Festival Booth

Poster Competition
On Saturday, April 19, Washington Statistical Society (WSS) members did the preliminary judging for those posters that were submitted for the national Poster Competition (see www.amstat.org/education/posterprojects/index.cfm for details) from students residing in areas without a regional competition. In addition, they separately judged those posters entered into the Washington, DC metropolitan area competition. The judging was coordinated by Barnali Das (Westat) with assistance from Marilyn Schenk (Westat) and Rebecca Nichols (ASA Director of Education). The judges were divided into two teams. The first team of Lin Li (Westat), Tiandong Li (Westat), Bruce Murrie (U.S. Department of Education (retired)), Vimal V. Rao (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), John Scott (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) and Richard Sigman (Westat) judged the posters at the Grades 10-12 level. The other team of Carol Joyce Blumberg (U.S. Energy Information Administration (retired)), Dhuly Chowdhury (RTI International), Brenda K. Edwards (National Cancer Institute), Gloria Gridley (National Cancer Institute (retired)) and Mark Otto (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) judged the projects entered at the K-3, 4-6 and 7-9 levels. The winning entries from each grade level from each competition were forwarded on to the national competition.

U.S. Science and Engineering Festival
The ASA booth, Discovery Through Statistics, was one of over 3000 exhibits at the biennial U.S. Science and Engineering Festival (www.usasciencefestival.org) that was attended by approximately 100,000 people during the weekend of April 25 to 27. In addition to the activities described below, the booth had information on K-12 projects and resources (www.amstat.org/education/pdfs/EducationResources.pdf), careers in statistics (www.amstat.org/careers/index.cfm), Census at School (www.amstat.org/censusatschool) and the Statistical Significance series (www.amstat.org/policy/statsig.cfm) that describes contributions statisticians make to society.

The coordination of the booth was done jointly by Rebecca Nichols and Carol Joyce Blumberg. WSS and the DC chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (DC- AAPOR) provided volunteers to run the activities and assist with other questions from visitors to the booth. A special acknowledgement goes to Lin Li, Bruce Murrie, Mark Otto, and John Scott who volunteered for the Festival, in addition to the poster judging the previous weekend (see above). The other wonderful volunteers were Franca Benedicty Barton (The EMMES Corp.), Cha-Chi Fan (U.S. Census Bureau), Walter Hill (St. Mary's College), Ruth Hummel (Environmental Protection Agency), Beth Johnson (George Mason University), Jurate Landwehr (The Sumanim Group), Ruey-Pyng Lu (U.S. Energy Information Administration), Keshia-Lee Martin (American University, Class of 2014), Mike Messner (Environmental Protection Agency), Chris Moriarity (National Center for Health Statistics), Martha Dusenberry Pohl (U.S. Department of Justice (retired)), Junshan Qiu (FDA), Maria E. Ramos (Bisamer LLC), Marilyn Seastrom (National Center for Educational Statistics), Brian W. Sloboda (Department of Labor), Zhiwei Tan (University of Maryland (student)), Lorie Wijntjes (PWC), and Zhen Zhang (Abbott Laboratories).

Activities
The first two activities were variations on the winning entries from the ASA 2010 Hands-On Statistics Activity Competition. The third activity was based on the world-wide effort called Census at School. The three activities focused on different aspects of data collection using proper techniques and on graphical methods used to display results.

Parachute Drop Activity
Visitors to the booth dropped parachutes with canopies made from four different types of materials. For each drop they measured the time to reach the ground. They then put stickers on separate dotplots for the recorded flight time for each type of parachute. They were also able to decide on which parachute was longest flying, based on the dotplots.

Capture-Recapture Activity
The visitors estimated the number of fish in a pond, where a big bowl of beads represented the pond, with certain colors of beads representing the captured/tagged fish and other colors of beads representing the non-tagged fish. Each visitor blindly drew 25 beads from one of the ponds and recorded the number of tagged fish. They then computed the estimated number of total fish based on their sample. They were then able to compare their estimates to those computed by other visitors. In addition, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provided displays showing typical types of markers used to tag fish and other animals.

Census at School Activity
Census at School is an international classroom project that engages students in grades 4-12 in statistical problem solving using their own real data. One of the major activities of Census at School is to have students complete a brief online survey, analyze their class' results, and compare their class with random samples of students in the United States and other countries. For the Science & Engineering Festival, four of the questions were used--gender, age, hours of sleep per night on a school night, and which one of certain superpowers (invisibility, telepathy, freeze time, super strength or flying) they would like to have. The visitors to the booth then put stickers (different colors for female and male) on a scatterplot of age versus hours of sleep and on a histogram of superpowers. It was most interesting that the proportions choosing the different superpowers showed a very different pattern for females and males based on a sample of over 200 visitors to the booth.

We appreciate the efforts of the WSS volunteers in judging the poster competition, spending time in the ASA booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, and for all other outreach activities. For further information about ASA education projects and resources, contact Rebecca Nichols at rebecca@amstat.org.

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Seeking Award Nominations
The Info-Metrics Annual Prize in Memory of Halbert L. White, Jr.

The Info-Metrics Institute is pleased to announce the creation of the Halbert L. White, Jr. prize in memory of one of the Institute's founding Board members who passed away on March 31, 2012. Intended to reward outstanding academic research by an early-career scholar in the field of info-metrics, the prize carries an award of $2000 to be conferred either to an individual or shared among joint recipients. The award ceremony will occur at the first Info- Metrics meeting (conference or workshop) following the announcement of the award recipient.

The annual Info-Metrics prize will be given for the best recent published work, in any academic discipline, that is deemed likely to bring important advances to multiple academic disciplines in the area of info-metrics (the science and practice of inference and quantitative information processing).

The first prize will be given in 2014. All topics within the field of info-metrics are eligible, regardless of discipline.

The inaugural Award Committee consists of Essie Maasoumi (Emory; Social Sciences)-Chair; Ariel Caticha (SUNY Albany; Natural Sciences); Luciano Floridi (Oxford; Philosophy); Yuichi Kitamura (Yale; Social Sciences); Raphael D. Levine (Hebrew U. and UCLA; Natural Sciences); Aman Ullah (UC Riverside; Social Sciences).

For more information on the nomination procedure see:
http://www.american.edu/cas/economics/info-metrics/prize.cfm

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Be Informed And Get Involved!
Volunteers Needed for the ASA Booth at the
USA Science and Engineering Festival

Volunteers are needed to assist with the staffing of the American Statistical Association booth at the 3rd USA Science and Engineering Festival on Friday, April 25 (from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27 (from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day) at the Washington Convention Center. The basic duties are to help with several hands-on activities that emphasize important statistical ideas in an informal setting and to answer questions from the public. An ASA staff member will also be at the booth most of the time. However, having 2 to 3 additional volunteers there will help immensely since the organizers estimate that around 10,000 people will visit each booth over the three days. Plus, it's fun!!!!

If you can volunteer for two or more hours on any of these days, please contact Carol Joyce Blumberg by April 16 at cblumberg@gmail.com. Please specify which hours you can volunteer.

The festival itself will have more than 3,000 exhibits, stage shows, a book fair with author presentations, a career pavilion and much more. Friday is a sneak peek day (attendance by invitation only). Saturday and Sunday are open to the public and the entire festival is free of charge. Even if you cannot volunteer, bring your family and friends and give your future and current scientists the experience of a lifetime. For more information, the festival website is at http://www.usasciencefestival.org/.

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Be Informed And Get Involved!
Washington Statistical Society's Spotlight on Members Program

The WSS Board of Directors has established a program to highlight members who have made or are making notable contributions to the work of their organization or their professional field of expertise. We know that WSS members are doing interesting work in the fields of statistics, survey methodology, and the social sciences. Through this program, we hope to spotlight the accomplishments of our fellow WSS members.

This is our first request for nominations, to be featured in an upcoming issue of WSS News. We are interested in featuring members at all levels of the employment spectrum including recent graduates, mid-career employees, and those seasoned veterans.

Please feel free to nominate more than one person or a team working together. You may also nominate yourself as well. The nominees must be members of the WSS and not currently affiliated with the Board.

Please provide us with the following information about your nominee or nominees.

  1. Your name, email address, and telephone number
  2. Name or names of nominee(s)
  3. Organizational affiliation
  4. Job title
  5. Their contact information including email address and telephone number
  6. A brief narrative describing the reasons for your nomination
  7. A photo of the nominee, although not required, would be great be greatly appreciated

Please submit your nominations or direct any questions to, John Finamore (jfinamore@nsf.gov), member of the WSS Board.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Spotlight A WSS Member!
Washington Statistical Society's Spotlight on Members Program

The WSS Board of Directors has established a program to highlight members who have made or are making notable contributions to the work of their organization or their professional field of expertise. We know that WSS members are doing interesting work in the fields of statistics, survey methodology, and the social sciences. Through this program, we hope to spotlight the accomplishments of our fellow WSS members.

This is our first request for nominations, to be featured in an upcoming issue of WSS News. We are interested in featuring members at all levels of the employment spectrum including recent graduates, mid-career employees, and those seasoned veterans.

Please feel free to nominate more than one person or a team working together. You may also nominate yourself as well. The nominees must be members of the WSS and not currently affiliated with the Board.

Please provide us with the following information about your nominee or nominees.

  1. Your name, email address, and telephone number
  2. Name or names of nominee(s)
  3. Organizational affiliation
  4. Job title
  5. Their contact information including email address and telephone number
  6. A brief narrative describing the reasons for your nomination
  7. A photo of the nominee, although not required, would be great be greatly appreciated

Please submit your nominations or direct any questions to, John Finamore (jfinamore@nsf.gov), member of the WSS Board. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the June, 2014 issue of the WSS NEWS will be accepted until the 20th day of the preceding month.

Email items to wss.editor@gmail.com.

Please submit all materials in MS WORD or plain text.

Please do not submit your items in pdf or include them in the body of an email.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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