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October 2001


The 2001 Morris Hansen Lecture

The Washington Statistical Society is pleased to announce the eleventh in the annual series of lectures to honor the memory of Morris Hansen. This lecture series is made possible by a grant from Westat, where Morris Hansen was senior statistician for 20 years and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the time of his death. Details are available in seminars.

The eleventh Morris Hansen lecturers are Warren Mitofsky and Murray Edelman. Warren Mitofsky is the president of Mitofsky International, conducting election surveys word-wide. He was a founder of the television networks' election consortium. He started the CBS/NY Times Poll, introducing probability methods to election coverage, including the first exit poll. He and Joseph Waksberg developed the first random digit dialing (RDD) telephone sampling. He has served as president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the National Council on Public Polls, and the Research Industry Coalition. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Murray Edelman is Editorial Director of Voter News Service, a pool of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, and the Associated Press, where he is responsible for the exit polling and election estimation. He is responsible for estimates of winners in 500 separate elections, and for exit polls of 100,000 voters on Election Day. He was Associate Director at CBS News, where he helped develop the statistical models used for elections. He is past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1973.

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2001 FCSM Research Conference
November 14-16, 2001

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) Research Conference will be held on November 14-16, 2001 at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington,Va. The conference will open with a plenary session on "The Interplay Between Research Innovation and Federal Statistical Practice," featuring Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University. The 2001 FCSM Research Conference is being sponsored by various Federal government statistical agencies and hosted by the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.

Although conference registration and $150 fee is due by September 28, 2000, periodic updates concerning the conference may be found on the website, Additional information may be obtained from Stephen H. Cohen, Office of Survey Methods Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4915, Washington, DC 20212; Phone: 202-691-7400, Fax: 202-691-7426, and E-mail:

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Committee on National Statistics Fall Seminar

CENSUS CROSSROADS: The Decision on the 2000 Census Adjustment and Early Planning for 2010

Friday, October 26, 2001

3:30 -- 5:00 p.m.

Auditorium at the National Academy of Sciences
2100 C Street, NW

The decennial census has an impact on the entire federal statistical system and affects every U.S. resident. Join us for a discussion on the process and findings behind the October census adjustment decision and early 2010 census planning, featuring John Thompson (Deputy Director of the Census Bureau) and Preston J. Waite (Associate Director for the Decennial Census).

A brief tea from 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at the National Academy of Sciences will precede the seminar. A reception will follow from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. in the Members' Room.

All are welcome, but for security purposes, you must RSVP by October 23. To RSVP, or if you need further information, please contact Danelle Dessaint at (202) 334-3096 or email

Please arrive early as parking is limited, and be prepared to show identification to enter the building. Please note that the entrance to the National Academy of Sciences building at 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, is closed to the public.

Guests wishing to take Metro to the seminar are encouraged to take the National Academies' shuttle, which departs from the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro station every 30 minutes.

We look forward to seeing you on October 26.

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57th Annual Deming Conference

The star-studded array of speakers for the 57th Annual Deming Conference in Atlantic City New Jersey December 10-14 includes Frank Harrell, Ramon Littell, George Milliken, Jeff Wu, Jason Hsu, Stu Hunter, Stanley Lemeshow and Paul Mielke for the tutorials.

The short courses include a one day course by David Ruppert on "Measurement Error in Nonlinear Models", Kathleen Kerr on "Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis of Spotted Microarrays" and Warren Gish on "Challanges Posed by the Human Genome Project".

Topics include multiple comparisons with applications to clinical trial, statistical methods for clinical trials, permutation methods, statistical process control, regression modeling strategies, sequential clinical trials, advances in experimental design and repeated measures analysis of covariance. Most of the topics are based entirely or in part on recent texts by the speakers that our offered through the conference at considerable discounts.

Registrants attending the sessions can get continuing education units for the conference by request.

Available texts include:

  • Multiple Comparisons: Theory and Methods by Hsu
  • Analysis of Messy Data Volume III by Milliken and Johnson
  • Measurement Error in Nonlinear Models by Carroll, Ruppert and Stefanski
  • Statistical Methods for Clinical Trials by Norleans
  • SAS Systems for Linear Models 4th Edition by Littell
  • Permutation Methods: A Distance Function Approach by Mielke and Berry
  • Regression Modeling Strategies with Applications to Linear Models, Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis by Harrell.
  • Applied Logistic Regression 2nd edition by Hsmer and Lemeshow
  • Experiments: Planning, Analysis, and Parameter Design Optimization by Wu and Hamada
  • Statistical Control: By Monitoring and Feedback Adjustment by Box and Luceno

This programme is jam packed with interesting state-of-the-art statistical methodology of interest to all statisticians and particularly those in pharmaceuticals and quality assurance. Get all the details, registration forms and information, abstracts and textbook pricing and order forms at our web site

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Education Announcements

Study in Statistics at George Washington University

The Department of Statistics at George Washington University, the first Department of Statistics in a college of arts and sciences in USA, is internationally recognized for its scholarly activities. In particular, it is well known in the D.C. area for the important role it has played for over 65 years in training the local statistical workforce. Many of our graduates now hold positions of considerable responsibility in government, the private sector, and academia.

The Department currently offers the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Statistics; M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biostatistics and in Epidemiology, in collaboration with the School of Public Health and Health Services; and a Graduate Certificate in Survey Design and Data Analysis. The graduate programs are run entirely in the evening to make them accessible to part-time students.

The degree programs prepare the students for work in a wide variety of challenging positions in government, industry, and academia. The B.S., and M.S. programs also prepare the students for further graduate study. The students learn a variety of statistical methods and how to use them for solving practical problems. Mathematical derivations of the methods and computational aspects are also taught at length. Our goal is to provide students with a solid knowledge of both theory and applications of statistical methods.

The department now has 14 full-time, and 7 part-time faculty who are engaged in teaching and research. The research areas include inference, biostatistics, theoretical and applied probability, statistical genetics, statistics in law and public policy, nonparametric statistics, Bayesian statistics, reliability theory, computational statistics, random discrete structures, parametric and nonparametric regression, regression graphics, multivariate analysis, sequential analysis, time series, survey sampling, and cognitive modeling.

For further information about B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. programs in statistics please visit, or contact Dr. Efstathia Bura (ph: 202-994-6358, e-mail: for the M.S. program, and Dr. Tapan K. Nayak (ph: 202-994-6888, e-mail: for the Ph.D., and B.S. programs.

For further information on the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biostatistics and in Epidemiology please contact Dr. Dante A. Verme (e-mail:, or Dr. John M. Lachin (e-mail:, or visit The Graduate Certificate in Survey Design and Data Analysis is offered at the Alexandria campus of GWU, and consists of four courses. The required courses can be taken in any order, and the program can be completed in less than one year. Graduates acquire the expertise necessary to manage the survey design and data analysis functions in a variety of corporate, association, or government settings. For further information contact Cynthia Powell (ph: 703-248-6209, e-mail:, or Tapan Nayak (ph: 202-994-6888, e-mail:, or visit

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Letter from the President

Missing both the September and possibly the October newsletters, I can certainly relate to the hectic and busy lives that enrich (bedevil) professionals in Washington! I have come to realize that the busier life gets, the more important it is that I make time for the worthwhile things, and in my book, participating in the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) is high on that list. My year as WSS President-elect simply flew by, and now I am to sit in the President's chair for the next eleven months. I am only there because of you - the chance to contribute to a society with such a stellar track record, made up of so many interesting and amiable people is indeed a privilege.

Looking back at past welcome letters from incoming presidents, I ask myself, what could I say that would distinguish this letter from the past letters? After all, there is a time-honored template for these things. Reduced to its most succinct, the components of this formula might be (not necessarily in this order): "Offer greetings, describe the organization's purpose and benefits, praise the volunteers who make the society function, list volunteer opportunities, cite the variety of offerings and invite participation, state personal dedication, offer personal contact, cite contact information, close the letter." Don't get me wrong, letters like this can be extremely well written and interesting, but honestly, it's hard to be original.

OK! Now that I have that off my chest, if you are new to our society, welcome - you are joining a working institution without equal. Congratulations on becoming a member of the American Statistical Association's largest and most vital chapter, WSS, the best metropolitan statistical society in the world, and an organization with a track record and history to be proud of! All thanks to the synergy of teamwork and the dedication of some of the finest professional volunteers in the world. If you have been a member for a few years and have participated in events, welcome back - and stick around and stay involved - you will be pleasantly surprised at the cumulative effects of staying active in WSS. If you are a grizzled veteran, a past and present volunteer and participant - welcome back indeed and hearty salutations- you already know that the high value delivered to all of our members increases exponentially with participation.

Congratulations to all the recent election winners: Brenda Cox, president-elect; Tomas Mule, secretary; Renee Miller, rep-at-large; Jeri Mulrow, rep-at-large; and Mary Batcher, methodology program chair!

Thanks to efforts she began last year, Brenda Cox is improving our contacts and communications with statistics departments in local universities and colleges (see the informational articles in recent newsletters). We are off to a fine start in one of our most important activities: quantitative literacy. Wendy Rotz and Carolyn Carroll, our two QA chairs, are actively planning events that will increase the reach of statistics into our community. Plans for career day(s) for pre-college and college students are coming along; new volunteers have stepped forward to bring an annual poster competition to life. New approaches to involving schools in our Curtis Jacobs competition are taking shape. Lee Abramson returns to keep our hands in as local science fair judges. Our 20+ seminar chairs are compiling an exciting list of seminars (some available at multiple sites through video conferencing) and our first short course has already been held. Jeri Mulrow remains our social chair, and I am looking forward to an active social program under her leadership. Our newsletter editor (Michael Feil) and internet team (Vince Massimini, Dan Jacobs, and Michael Greene) have returned to give us another year of outstanding communications.

In fact, WSS members are not only extraordinarily active locally, a large number of them carry out important functions in our national association (the American Statistical Association).

We are living in interesting times - especially so because the growing impact of technology, science and data are creating new opportunities for statistics to contribute to our nation's progress and future well-being. Society's growing dependence on the quantitatively literate, and the importance of enabling science and data driven decision making are becoming obvious. Indeed, these changes and opportunities are spreading throughout the world at a record pace. It' s a good time to be a statistician! Be a part of it all Get active! Spread the wealth (the more you spread it, the more we all have), encourage students, interns, new hires, and recent area immigrants to join and become active in our society.

Oh yes, as for contacting other volunteers or me and keeping abreast of opportunities to participate - keep reading! I am looking forward to serving with you.

Andy White

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September SIGSTAT

SIGSTAT meetings will resume in September, 2001. The schedule & directions to the meetings can be found on the website:

First-time attendees should contact Charlie Hallahan, 20 Announcements2-694-5051, and leave their name to gain entry to the building.

SIGSTAT Topics for Fall-Winter 2001/2002

September 19, 2001: The Time Series Forecasting System in SAS/ETS

The Time Series Forecasting System (TSFS) is a component of SAS/ETS. that provides a menu-based front-end for forecasting activities. The tasks of creating a date variable, graphing a data series and quickly seeing the results of differencing and/or applying a log transformation, testing for unit roots, examining autocorrelation and partial autocorrelation plots, performing seasonality tests, and, finally, estimating models and producing forecasts are just a mouse click away. In this demo we'll first show how to access the system and generate forecasting models for several variables through automatic selection from a default list of models provided with the TSFS. Next we'll look at overriding the defaults of the TSFS and take control of specifying a model. Finally, we'll show how to add explanatory variables to the forecasting model and control the period of evaluation and fit of a model. Enhancements to the TSFS for Version 8 will be discussed.

October 10, 2001: PROC LOESS in SAS/STAT

The LOESS procedure implements a nonparametric method for estimating regression surfaces. The main features of the LOESS procedures include the fitting of nonparametric models, the use of multidimensional data, multiple dependent variables, both direct and interpolated fitting using kd trees, statistical inference, performs iterative reweighting to provide robust fitting when there are outliers in the data, and supports multiple SCORE statements

November 14, 2001: What's New in SAS 8.2

Release 8.2 of the SAS System is the third release of Version 8. This demo will feature some of the new enhancements that have been added, including updates to the Output Delivery System, Program and Enhanced Editors, SAS/ETS and SAS/STAT.

December 12, 2001: PROC VARMAX in SAS/ETS

The VARMAX procedure estimates multivariate time series models and generates forecasts associated with Vector AutoRegressive and Moving Average process with eXogenous regressors (VARMAX) models. Automatic model selection is available with several information criteria. The VARMAX procedure provides tests to aid in determining the presence of unit roots and cointegration.

January 9, 2002: Output Delivery System (ODS) in SAS

Procedure output became much more flexible with recent versions of SAS. The Output Delivery System (ODS) has been designed to overcome the limitations of traditional SAS output and to make it easy to make new formatting options available to users. ODS is a method of delivering output in a variety of formats and of making the formatted output easy to access.

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the December 2001 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than October 30, 2001. E-mail items to Michael Feil at Any items received after this date will appear in the next issue of the WSS NEWS.

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First posted October 8, 2001
Last modified November 03, 2015

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