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Morris Hansen Lectures

The Morris Hansen Lecture series was established by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) in 1990 with a financial grant from Westat, Inc. It was set up to honor Morris Hansen, whose pioneering contributions to survey sampling and related statistical methods during his long and distinguished career at the Census Bureau and at Westat established many standards and methods, mostly still in use, for the conduct of surveys. In later years, Westat has made periodic financial contributions to WSS so that the Hansen Lecture series could continue.

The Morris Hansen Lecture usually is held in the fall of the year, typically October or November. The usual format is to have a primary speaker of outstanding merit cover an important topic of wide interest, and two discussants, one local. The Hansen Lecture series seeks to achieve balance between theory, applications, and policy; and to highlight the diversity of disciplines that inform survey practice. There were no lectures in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2014 Hansen Lecture: Danny Pfefferman, John Czajka, Larry Brown, John Eltinge

The first lecture was held at the National Academy of Sciences and was co-sponsored by the Committee on National Statistics, with tentative plans to rotate the series, and co-sponsorship, among various government agencies. However, when arrangements worked very well in year two, the National Agricultural Statistics Service became a co-sponsor, and it has hosted sessions at USDA's Jefferson Auditorium and Whitten Building Patio ever since. Typically, the Hansen Lecture is held at 3 or 3:30 p.m. and is followed by a catered reception. The speaker receives an honorarium of $1000. Expenses are paid for the speaker and discussants.

Annual Lectures

Topics and speakers for the Hansen lectures have covered an appropriately broad range of statistical applications. Some presentations specifically focused on review and extension of Morris's work. Others represented topics that Morris likely would have pursued, either through his own efforts or by asking questions. Most presentations have been by traditional lecturers with discussants. In 2002, a 3-person panel spoke on Privacy and Confidentiality.

Most lectures have been published. The first five lectures were published in the International Statistical Review. The majority of the subsequent lectures have been published in the Journal of Official Statistics, but several of the lectures have been published elsewhere. Abstracts for each lecture can be obtained via the appropriate link below.

Year Speaker(s) Lecture
2023 Jiming Jiang, University of California; Jane Meza, University of Nebraska; Andreea Erciulescu, Westat Model Selection and Its Important Roles in Surveys
Presentation slides: Jiming Jiang
Presentation slides: Jane Meza
Presentation slides: Andreea Erciulescu
2022 (November 16) Rick Valliant, University of Michigan & University of Maryland; Jay Breidt, NORC; Trivellore Raghunathan, University of Michigan The Evolution of the Use of Models in Survey Sampling
Presentation slides: Rick Valliant
Presentation slides: Jay Breidt
Presentation slides: Trivellore Raghunathan
2022 (March 1) Courtney Kennedy, Pew Research Center; Yan Li, University of Maryland; Jean-Francois Beaumont, Statistics Canada Working with Non-Probability Samples: Assessing and Remediating Bias
Presentation slides: Courtney Kennedy
Presentation slides: Yan Li
Presentation slides:Jean-Francois Beaumont
2019 Malay Ghosh, University of Florida Small Area Estimation: Its Evolution in Five Decades
Presentation slides: Malay Ghosh
Presentation slides: J.N.K. Rao
Presentation slides:Julie Gershunskaya
2018 Roger Tourangeau, Westat How Errors Cumulate: Two Examples
Presentation slides: Roger Tourangeau
Presentation slides: Kristen Olson
Presentation slides:Jill Dever
2016 Nancy Bates, U.S. Census Bureau Hard-to-Survey Populations and the U.S. Decennial Census
Presentation slides: Nancy Bates
Presentation slides: Brad Edwards
Presentation slides: Linda Jacobsen
2015 Professor Steve Thompson of Simon Fraser University Adaptive and Network Sampling in Changing Populations

2014 Danny Pfeffermann, University of Southampton, UK; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; and Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel Methodological Issues and Challenges in the Production of Official Statistics

2013 Stephen E. Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University Envisioning the 2030 U.S. Census

2012 Kenneth Prewitt, Columbia University
Thank you Morris et al., for Westat et al.
JOS Article: Kenneth Prewitt
JOS Article: Margo Anderson
JOS Article: Dan Gaylin
2011 Robert M. Groves and Roderick J. Little, U.S. Census Bureau Missing Conceptual Components, and Design-Based/Model-Based Viewpoints
2010 Carl-Erik Sarndal, Statistics Sweden Dealing with Survey Nonresponse: In Data Collection, in Estimation
JOS Article: Carl-Erik Sandal
JOS Article: J. Michael Brick
JOS Article: Roger Tourangeau
2009 Sharon L. Lohr, Arizona State University The Care, Feeding and Training of Survey Statisticians
JOS Article: Sharon L. Lohr
JOS Article: Donsig Jang
JOS Article: James M. Lepkowski
JOS Article: David Morganstein
2008 Louis Kincannon, Former Director, U.S. Bureau of the Census The Federal Statistical System: Is It Stronger Now Than It Was Eight Years Ago?
2007 Joe Sedransk, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio Assessing the Value of Bayesian Methods for Inference About Finite Population Quantities
2006 Michael F. Goodchild, University of California Santa Barbara Statistical Perspectives on Spatial Social Science (with links to presentation slides)
JOS Article: Michael F. Goodchild
JOS Article: Sarah Nusser
JOS Article: Linda Williams Pickle
2005 Donald Rubin, Harvard University Causal Inference Through Potential Outcomes: Application to Quality of Life Studies with 'Censoring' Due to Death and to Studies of the Effect of Job-Training Programs on Wages
2004 Jennifer Madans, National Center for Health Statistics Bridging the Gap: Moving to the 1997 Standards for Collecting Data on Race and Ethnicity
2003 Paul Biemer, Research Triangle Institute International Simple Response Variance… Then and Now…
2002 Eleanor Singer, Miron Straf, & Katherine Wallman Joint Lectures
2001 Murray Edelman Mitofsky Election Night Estimation
2000 Graham Kalton Models in the Practice of Survey Sampling (Revisited)
1999 David F. Findley Diagnostics for Modeling and Adjustment of Seasonal Data
1998 J. N. K. Rao Some Current Trends in Sample Survey Theory and Methods
1997 Norman M. Bradburn Statistics in the Information Age
1996 Joseph Waksberg The Hansen Era: Statistical Research at the Census Bureau, 1940-1970
1995 Ivan Fellegi Characteristics of an Effective Statistical System
1994 Leslie Kish Developing Samplers for Developing Countries
1993 Norbert Schwarz What Respondents Learn from Questionnaires: The Survey Interview and the Logic of Conversation
1992 Wayne Fuller Estimation in the Presence of Measurement Error
1991 T. M. F. Smith Sample Surveys - 1975-1990: An Age of Reconciliation
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Committee Membership

The committee consists of a total of 6 members: 2 special members and 4 regular members. The special members represent the sponsoring organization, Westat, and the cosponsoring host organization, currently NASS. The 4 regular members are appointed to serve staggered 4-year terms. One of the regular members is appointed annually by the WSS President. The appointment occurs in the Fall of the year, in time for the new appointee to participate in the Hansen Lecture. Members will be selected to represent a broad view of statistical and survey methodology. The regular members should include government experts and at least one academic expert. The regular member serving the third year of his/her term will be Chair of the Committee.


The committee organizes the Morris Hansen Lectures. This includes selecting and inviting the primary speaker and discussants; making arrangements for the Lecture facility and the reception facility; assuring that WSS has made the arrangements for catering of the reception; inviting the Hansen family to the event; and organizing the participant dinner following the reception. It also includes publicizing the event through the WSS newsletter and the preparation of a special brochure; and arranging for publication of the papers from the event (if appropriate).

Committee Members

  • Ron Fecso (2011 chair)
  • Connie Citro (2012 chair)
  • Don Malec (2013 chair)
  • John Czajka (2014 chair)
  • Eric Slud (2015 chair)
  • Barry Graubard (2016 chair)
  • Frauke Kreuter (2017 chair)
  • Morgan Earp (2018 chair)
  • Steve Cohen (2019 chair)
  • Brian Harris-Kojetin (2021 chair)
  • Partha Lahiri (2022 chair)
  • Jenny Thompson (2023 chair)
  • Linda Young (NASS representative)
  • Jeri Mulrow (Westat representative)
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Biography of Morris Hansen, Historic Items

The National Academy of Sciences has included a biography of Morris Hansen in its 1996 volume entitled "Biographical Memoirs" (vol. 70) published by the National Academy Press. The memoir of Morris Howard Hansen was co-authored by Joseph Waksberg and Edwin D. Goldfield and is available at the NAS site.

Historic pictures and items from Morris Hansen's life were shown at the 2018 lecture.

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