News about activities of the Washington Statistical Society
A Chapter of the American Statistical Association

November 1999



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Methodology Section on the WSS Web Site

Thanks to Dan Jacobs, WSS's Web Master, the Methodology Section now has its own subpage on the WSS Web site <>. The first set of materials posted are from the June 10th Seminar entitled "Respondent Incentives in Surveys: A Fresh Look." The speakers' slides (Nancy Kirkendall, Energy Information Administration [formerly, Office of Management and Budget]; Richard A. Kulka, Research Triangle Institute; and Brad Edwards, Westat) and the summary report of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics' 1992 Symposium, "Providing Incentives to Survey Respondents," are available in PDF format. For more information contact Virginia de Wolf (email:; 202-395-7314) or Stuart Scott (email:; 202-606-7383).

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National GIS Day

In honor of the first national GIS Day, the GIS Special Interest Group of the National Cancer Institute is sponsoring two seminars on mapping health data on Friday, November 19. There will be a 15 minute break between seminars to allow for an audience change.

Attend one or both. Further details are inside upcoming seminars

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Multi-Site WSS Seminars

The Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) and University of Michigan's Institute for Survey Research (ISR) have cosponsored biweekly brown bag seminars in which speakers alternate between College Park, MD, and Ann Arbor, MI. WSS's Methodology Section will become a partner in this Venture, by adding a BLS site on some of the seminars.

WSS members in the DC-area are invited to participate at the video conference at either the JPSM at the University of Maryland campus or at BLS. The U of MD location is: 1218 Lefrak Hall. A map to the location is found on

The BLS location is: BLS Conference Center, rooms 2 & 3, Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC, 20212 (Metro Red Line-Union Station). Use the First St. NE entrance. To attend please leave a message at 202-606-7524 or send email to Stuart Scott ( at least 2 days before talk to be placed on the visitor list, and bring photo ID.

The first three-way video conference will be on Thursday, December 2 from 12:10 to 1:30. The speaker will be Trivellore Raghunathan and his talk is entitled "Estimation from Linked Surveys." The abstract follows.

Abstract: The objective of this talk is to present methods that improve efficiency of estimates of the population quantities by using auxiliary data from linked surveys. Estimation in two types of linked surveys will be discussed. The first type of link, a "tight link," occurs when the sample pool from a large survey is used as a frame for another survey. An example of such a link is the National Survey of Family Growth that used the National Health Interview Survey sample pool as the frame. The second type of link, a "loose link" occurs when multiple surveys use the same PSU's or share geographical regions, a common feature in many national surveys. A Bayesian framework is used to develop the estimates. The design-based properties of these estimates will be investigated in terms of bias, the mean square error and the confidence interval coverage. The efficiency of estimates with and without using information from linked surveys will be compared.

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SIGSTAT for November & December, 1999

SIGSTAT, the Special Interest Group in Statistics for CPCUG & WINFORMS, will be resuming its monthly meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each month on November 10, 1999. All meetings are at 12:30 in Waugh A, 1800 M St, NW. See for directions to the meetings and a current schedule. First time attendees should contact Charlie Hallahan at 202-694-5051 or and leave their name for inclusion on the list left at the guard's desk.

The November 10 topic is SAS/INSIGHT.

SAS/INSIGHT software, a component of the SAS System, is a dynamic tool for exploring and analyzing your data. With it you can examine univariate distributions, visualize multivariate data, and fit models using regression, analysis of variance, and the generalized linear model. With SAS/INSIGHT software, all graphs and analyses are dynamic.

On December 8 the topic is PC/TSP.

TSP is a language for the estimation and simulation of econometric models. Although TSP was originally and continues to be developed primarily by economists, there is nothing in its design limiting it to economic times series. Any data consisting of repeated observations of the same variable for different units may be analyzed with TSP.

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International Conference on Establishment Surveys - II
Survey Methods for Businesses, Farms, and Institutions
Call for Abstracts for Contributed Papers

Deadline for Abstracts: December 1, 1999

The Conference: A second International Conference on Establishment Surveys (ICES-II) will be held June 17 - 21, 2000 in Buffalo, New York at the Adam's Mark Hotel. Since the first ICES was held in 1993, many new techniques have been implemented by practitioners around the globe. With the new millennium upon us, it is time for a forward look at methods for surveying businesses, farms, and institutions. ICES-II will contain invited and contributed paper sessions, short courses, and software demonstrations. The preliminary program can now be seen on our website. A hardcover, unedited volume of the invited papers--as well as CD-ROMs of the invited and contributed papers--will be produced after the conference.

Contributed Paper Sessions: At this time, we are soliciting abstracts for contributed papers. The focus of all papers must be on surveys of businesses, farms, or institutions--or issues related to their products. Special contributed paper sessions are also encouraged. These sessions are arranged in advance by an organizer, and include four speakers and a discussant. Potential topics include (among others) the following:

How to Submit Abstracts and Register: An abstract of 200 words should be submitted, accompanied by a completed registration form and registration fee of $350 U.S. Registration forms and more detailed information can be obtained on our website at There you can also find the call for software demonstrations. General questions about the conference can be addressed to John G. Kovar at, or by calling (613) 951-8615. Questions about the contributed paper sessions should be addressed to Pat Cantwell at or by calling (301) 457-8105.

Call for Software Demonstration

Deadline for Nominations: December 1, 1999

The Demonstrations: Since the first ICES was held in 1993, many new processing systems have been developed by statistical agencies or software organisations around the globe. The organising committee will set aside a room for demonstrating software used in establishment surveys. Demonstrations should target live processing of data with possible customisations for the interest of specific audiences, rather than inflexible slide shows or presentations. Proposed software packages should already be in use for one or more establishment surveys and should be designed to automate establishment survey processes, such as Sample design and selection; Data collection, capture and coding: Record linkage and matching: Editing and imputation; Weighting, estimation, and tabulation; Times series adjustment; Disclosure analysis; Survey data analysis; and Publication and data presentation.

Schedule and Equipment: The demonstrations will take place during the regular conference sessions, on June 19-20. They will be split in four different groups, with a dedicated half day for each group. The organizing committee will provide the participants with telephone lines, tables and chairs. The participants will bring their laptops or desktop computers with their own software already set up.

How to send your proposal: A 200 word abstract must be submitted by December 1, 1999. A completed registration form and registration fee of $350 U.S. will be required later. The abstract will help evaluate the proposed software demonstration. It should include a description of the software package, potential applications in other survey organisations, and special equipment required for the demonstration. Registration forms, as well as detailed information can be obtained on our web site. Nominations and questions on the software demonstrations should be sent to Claude Poirier at or by calling (613) 951-1491.

Visit our web site at

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the January 2000 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than November 30, 1999. E-mail items to Michael Feil at FAX items to Michael Feil at (301) 443--4234.

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Probability and Statistics Day, 1999
Saturday, November 13, 1999

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Hosted by: UMBC, NSA and the Maryland Chapter of the ASA Keynote speakers: Wayne Fuller, Dept of Statistics, Iowa State University and David Scott, Dept of Statistics, Rice University.

In addition, there will be contributed sessions as well as invited sessions from FDA and NIST. Since there are limited dining facilities at UMBC on Saturdays, the registration fee will also include lunch. The fee is $25 ($10 for students). Please send checks payable to "MD Chapter, ASA" by November 8 to: Nagaraj Neerchal, UMBC Dept. of Math & Stat, MP 437, 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250

Online registration, abstract submission and other information is at

Please register online and then send your check to Nagaraj. Walkup registrations can be accepted on the day of the conference, but lunch will be provided only to those who register in advance.

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WSS People

Mary Batcher (202) 327-6740
Past President
Dwight Brock (301) 496-9795
Cynthia Clark (301) 457-2165
Tom Mule (301) 457-8322
Jill Montaquila (301) 517-4046

Vice Chair for District 2 of
Council of Chapters

Andrew A. White (202) 334-2511
Council of Chapters Representative
Ron Fecso (703) 306-1780 ext. 6906
Carolyn Shettle (301) 215-9100 x 166
Linda Atkinson (202) 694-5046
John Czajka (202) 484-4685
Glenn White (202) 327-6414

WSS Program Chairs
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Dwight French (202) 586-1126
Art Kennickell (202) 452-2247
Ginny deWolf (202) 395-7314
Stuart Scott (202) 606-7383
Public Health and Biostatistics
Paul Hshieh (301) 295-9762
Public Policy
Carolee Bush (202) 366-6946
Phil Ross (202) 260-5244
Quality Assurance
Amrut Champaneri (202) 690-3130
Short Courses
Roberta Sangster (202) 606-7517
Fritz Scheuren (703) 549-1120
Social & Demographic Statistics
Michael Horrigan (202) 606-5905
Edith McArthur (202) 219-1442
Statistical Computing
Bob Jernigan (202) 885-3170
Mike Fleming (703) 235-5213 ext. 170
Data Collection Methods
Brad Edwards (301) 294-2021
Linda Stinson (202) 606-7528

Fotios Kokkotos (202) 414-4563
Michael Feil (301) 443-4234
Electronic Mail
Michael L. Cohen (202) 334-3765
Michael Greene (703) 247-1575
S.V. (Vince) Massimini (703) 883-5893
Renee Miller (202) 426-1117
Antionette Martin 202) 426-1110
Fritz Scheuren (703) 549-1120
Quantitative Literacy
Carolyn Carroll (703) 352-1712
Science Fair
Lee Abramson (301) 415-6180
Video Librarian
Mel Kollander (202) 973-2820
Social Arrangements
Jeri Mulrow (202) 327-6772
Local Arrangement
Wendy Rotz (202) 874-0969
WSS Historian
Michael P. Cohen (202) 219-1917
WSS Committee on ASA Fellows
Phil Kott (703) 235-5211 x 102

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First posted October 28, 1999
Last modified November 12, 1999

Webmaster: Dan Jacobs, Maryland Sea Grant