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

Summer 2000




WSS Home | Newsletter | WSS Info | Seminars | Courses | Employment | Feedback | Join!

Edwin R. Dean to Receive the Julius Shiskin Award

A distinguished award in the field of economic statistics, the 2000 Julius Shiskin Award, was awarded to Edwin R. Dean of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Washington Statistical Society on June 7. In granting the 2000 award, the Julius Shiskin Award committee cited Dr. Dean for his important contributions to the improvement of and understanding of productivity measures and for his leadership in international comparisons of labor statistics. His expertise and innovation have also expanded the Bureau of Labor Statistics international technical cooperation program. These steps helped foster the reputation of the United States as a leader in the World's increasingly global economy.

The Award was established in 1979 by the family of the late Julius Shiskin and is administered by the Washington Statistical Society and the National Association of Business Economists. The award both memorialized Shiskin, for his career as a celebrated government economist economic statistician, and encourages others to engage in innovative work. The selection committee is made up of several representatives of the economic statistical community.

Contact Howard Hogan, Secretary of the Shiskin Award Committee, on 301-457-4242 for more information about the award.

Return to top

2000 Science Fair Winners

WSS presented awards to 54 Washington area students at five regional science fairs this spring (District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, Prince George's County). Since 1986, WSS has been recognizing students whose projects demonstrate excellence in the application of statistical methods. This year, the Gallup Organization generously donated $850 for prizes. Of this amount, a total of $600 was divided among 6 first place winners (prizes ranged between $75 and $150) and the balance was used to purchase ASA school memberships for the winners' schools. There were 9 second place winners and each received a copy of Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown, by Tanur, et al. All first and second place winners also received a one-year subscription to STATS magazine. Others received certificates of honorable mention.

The judging was coordinated by Lee Abramson. Thanks to all WSS members who volunteered as judges. They are: Kim Ault, Jeff Bailey, Dwight Brock, Gene Burns, Jo Burns, Bob Clickner*, Michael Cohen, Brenda Edwards*, Gloria Gridley, Ellen Hertz*, Gene Heyman*, Tzu-Cheg Kao, Fotios Kokkotos, Heidi Krause- Steinrauf, Jurate Landwehr, Ruey-Ping Lu, Michael Messner, Mark Otto, Arnold Reznek, John Rogers, Fritz Scheuren, Sid Schwartz, Stuart Scott, Bob Steinrauf, Mike Stoto, Andy White, Glenn White*, David Whitford and Heather Young.

* Chief Judge

Return to top

Current Population Survey Technical Paper 63

Technical Paper 63: Current Population Survey (CPS) - Design and Methodology was published and issued March 2000. The CPS is the primary source of labor force statistics for the U.S. population. It is sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This technical paper describes the many changes made to the survey since the publication of the previous technical documentation (Technical Paper 40) over two decades ago. While the basic approach to collecting labor force and other data through the CPS has remained intact, many changes have been made to the survey, including the improvement of numerous questions and the computerization of the survey instrument, both introduced January 1994.

The document describes the CPS design and methodology as of December 1995. Appendices cover updates that have been made to the survey since then. The document is available via the Internet at the CPS website at Future changes to the survey will be documented at this site.

Return to top


Wray Jackson Smith, 75, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, died suddenly died suddenly of a cardiovascular disorder on May 19, 2000, at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Smith was elected as a Fellow in 1985. He was a member and chair of the ASA Committee on Subnational Statistics (1985-88) and was instrumental in the founding of the Government Statistics Section. He also had served on the ASA Board and the Board of the Washington Statistical Society.

Wray was a man of deep convictions and great gentleness, but also great persistence. He always used his professional training and talents to aid those who were disadvantaged. Many of us were mentored by him something he never stopped doing right up to the last day of his life.

Among his other professional activities, Wray and his wife Dolores were longtime members of the Caucus for Women in Statistics joining 16 years ago in 1984. Wray also had been a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He was also a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Society of Association Executives.

Dr. Smith was born in Los Angeles and raised there and in Arizona. He received a Certificate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Arizona in 1944, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Physics from the George Washington University in 1948, a Master of Science degree in Instrumentation Science (control systems) from the University of Michigan in 1958, pursued doctoral-level studies at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher Education in 1958-60, and earned a Doctor of Science in Operations Research, with minors in Applied Statistics and Econometrics, at the George Washington University, School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1980.

Wray began his federal civil service career as a physicist and physical science editor for the National Bureau of Standards in 1947. He served as a scientific staff assistant at the US Naval Ordnance Laboratory, Corona, California (1951-54); as a senior professional staff member (chief of education staff) with the Committee on Education and Labor, US House of Representatives (1961-62) and as senior training officer and Deputy Associate Director at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington (1962-63). In 1965 he joined the Office of Economic Opportunity where he supervised evaluation studies, information systems development and survey research. He also was interim Director of Policy Research and helped with the operational startup of the Job Corps.

From 1973 to 1980, Dr. Smith was the Technical Director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at what was then the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. There he had overall responsibility for the operation of that office's policy research data center. He was responsible for statistical research and survey planning and operations, where he played major roles in planning and directing large-scale surveys of households and establishments. He served as the department's technical coordinator for the Survey of Income and Education and the Survey of Institutionalized Persons conducted by Census in the mid-1970s and for the development phase of the Survey of Income and Program Participation that was launched by the Census Bureau in 1983.

From 1980 to 1983, Dr. Smith was Director of the Energy Information Administration's Office of Energy Markets and End Use, and as Assistant Administrator for Energy Systems and Support at the Department of Energy. There, Dr. Smith was responsible for energy modeling and data systems development, including software development for large-scale models used in energy forecasting and analysis. He had responsibility for major surveys of energy consumption in the residential, transportation, commercial, and industrial sectors. He also contributed to the development of data systems for conventional and emerging energy sources.

After retiring from the federal civil service, Dr. Smith joined Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Washington, DC as a visiting research fellow and Synectics for Management Decisions Inc. in Arlington, Virginia as a senior research adviser and director of advanced studies. From 1988 to 1994 he served as Director of Research at Synectics with responsibilities for applied research activities in support of the National Center for Education Statistics, the Defense Manpower Data Center, and the Bureau of the Census. This work has included such activities as provision of technical assistance on statistical methods or problems related to survey design, nonresponse analysis, weighting, and imputation for missing data; development of generalized variance functions for major surveys; and development of a prototype quality profile for a major survey. It also included planning and conducting workshops on methodological topics relevant to the work of NCES and coordination of a high-visibility survey of all employees of the US Department of Education. Dr. Smith served as the Synectics project director (1992-1998) for Census task order contracts which included a 1993-1994 task on assessing data capture technologies for the Year 2000 Census and a 1998 task on design choices for the Year 2000 mailout questionnaire.

Dr. Smith was a trustee and president (1997-2000) of The Harris Smith Institutes (HSI), which was established in 1997 as a nonprofit research foundation by the directors of Harris-Smith Research, Inc. (HSR) and was the program director for an HSI-Synectics cooperative research program. In 1997-1998, Dr. Smith served as study director for an HSI special study that collected and analyzed the views of key data users and other stakeholders of the Survey of Income and Program Participation regarding the proposed redesign alternatives in 2000 and beyond. The study report provided findings and recommendations to the Bureau of the Census to support key elements in the Bureau's planning and design efforts prior to the launch of a new panel in 2000 or 2001. From 1985 to 1996 Dr. Smith also served on a part-time basis as a senior research scientist and board chairman of Harris-Smith Research. There, he directed a study team (1991) that provided the Department of the Treasury with specialized technical and analytic services relating to the possible consolidation of Regional Financial Centers. He also served as co-principal investigator on a project concerned with developing statistical software for auditing archival databases of time series measurements of river water quality. He also led the HSR and Synectics teams that conducted three membership surveys for The Retired Officers Association.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Dolores Silva Smith of Bethesda, Maryland; their daughter, Anne Hahn-Smith of Benicia, California; four daughters from his first marriage, Patricia Smith Vahedi of San Francisco, California, Irene Smith Landsman of Washington, DC, Sara Jocham of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Ruth Goodspeed of Northridge, California; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Return to top

Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the September 2000 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than July 25, 2000. E-mail items to Michael Feil at

Return to top

WSS People

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

Vice Chair for District 2 of
Council of Chapters

Ron Fecso (703) 306-1780 ext. 6906
Council of Chapters Representative
Carolee Bush (301) 457-3840
Carolyn Shettle (202) 537-6793
Linda Atkinson (202) 694-5046
John Czajka (202) 484-4685
Glenn White (202) 327-6414

WSS Program Chairs
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Anne Peterson (703) 235-5218 ext 113
Art Kennickell (202) 452-2247
Linda Atkinson (202) 694-5046
Methodology Section
Stuart Scott (202) 606-7383

Methodology Program
Ginny de Wolf (202) 395-7314
Public Health and Biostatistics
Paul Hshieh (301) 295-9762
Jai Choi (301) 458-4144
Public Policy
Carolyn Shettle (202) 537-6793
Phil Ross (202) 260-5244
Quality Assurance
Amrut Champaneri (202) 690-3130
Short Courses
Robin Lee (202) 327-7575
Social & Demographic Statistics
Roberta Sangster (202) 606-7517
Manual de la Puente (301) 457-4997
Statistical Computing
Bob Jernigan (202) 885-3170
Doug Samuelson (703) 978-5030
Data Collection Methods
Brad Edwards (301) 294-2021
Linda Stinson (202) 606-7528
Jonaki Bose (202) 219-1619

Fotios Kokkotos (202) 822-5592
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 (202) 261-5886
Quantitative Literacy
Wendy Rotz (202) 327-7822
Carolyn Carroll (703) 379-4500
Science Fair
Lee Abramson (301) 415-6180
Video Librarian
Mel Kollander (202) 537-6700
Social Arrangements
Jeri Mulrow (202) 327-6772
Local Arrangement
Kevin Cecco (202) 874-0464
WSS Historian
Michael P. Cohen (202) 219-1917
WSS Committee on ASA Fellows
Phil Kott (703) 235-5211 x 102
Jacobs Memorial Committee
Paul Cook (703) 235-5218
Wendy Rotz (202) 327-7822
Shiskin Committee
Howard Hogan (301) 457-2665
Hansen Lecture Committee
Nancy Kirkendall
Wes Schaible
Rich Allen
Bob Groves
Joseph Waksberg
Student Representative
Currently Vacant

Return to top

WSS Home | Newsletter | WSS Info | Seminars | Courses | Employment | Feedback | Join!

First posted July 19, 2000
Last modified July 19, 2000

Webmaster: Dan Jacobs, Maryland Sea Grant