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January 2002


The 12th Federal Forecasters Conference, 2002 (FFC/2002)

The 12th Federal Forecasters Conference, 2002 (FFC/2002) will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2002. The them of the conference is "Major Shifts: Discontinuity, Uncertainty, and Forecasts."

Description: Most forecasts rely on historical trends or past experiences to project or predict the future. When the past cannot be used to predict the future due to major unexpected shifts in economic, political, or social conditions, what can we do as forecasters? The future can be more uncertain due to the occurrence of major events. The measurement of past trends may also be interrupted by changes in policy or data availability. These are challenges that must be faced by agencies responsible for producing forecasts. The theme of FFC/2002 focuses on the issues of discontinuities in past trends, uncertainties, about future trends and events, and the challenges of producing forecasts under these conditions.

The location of the conference is Bureau of Labor Statistics, Conference and Training Center, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.

The registration deadline is March 15, 2002 and the contest deadline is March 1, 2002. For additional information, visit the conference website at

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Confidentiality, Disclosure, and Data Access Theory and Practical Applications for Statistical Agencies

New Book Presents State-of-the-Art Solutions

There is a fundamental tension at the heart of every statistical agency's mission. Each is charged with collecting high quality data to inform National policy and enable statistical research. This necessitates dissemination of both summary and microdata. Each is also charged with protecting the confidentiality of survey respondents. This often necessitates blurring the data to reduce the probability of the reidentification of individuals. The trade-off dilemma, which could well be stated as protecting confidentiality (avoiding disclosure), but maximizing access, has become more complex as both technological advances and public perceptions have altered in an information age. Fortunately, statistical disclosure limitation techniques have kept pace with the rapidly growing changes affecting data access and dissemination.

The U.S. Census Bureau and Elsevier Science of Reed Elsevier, Inc. are pleased to announce the release of Confidentiality, Disclosure and Data Access: Theory and Practical Applications for Statistical Agencies, edited by Pat Doyle, Julia Lane, Jules Theeuwes, and Laura Zayatz. This new book presents the latest developments in statistical data protection methodology and application.

For more information, contact Pat Doyle by email at

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Education Announcements

USDA Graduate School Course Offering

Theory of Sample Surveys - ESTAT 426

Mondays, 6-8 P.M., 1/14 to 4/1/01

Tuition: $289

Instructor: Phillip S. Kott, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Description: This course provides a solid introduction into modern survey sampling theory. The syllabus covers the first 9 chapters (probability sampling, stratification, allocation, multi-stage sampling, ratio and regression estimation, domain estimation, variance estimation in complex surveys, and methods for handing nonresponse) and Chapter 12 (two-phase sampling, capture-recapture estimation, and rare populations) of Sampling: Design and Analysis by Sharon L. Lohr. This is augmented by the instructor's notes throughout and a discussion of the analysis of survey data at the end. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is assumed, but unlike STAT 350 (Introduction to Sample Surveys), this course focuses more on the theoretical (why we do it) than the practical (what we do).

This course is recommended for 2 semester hour credit(s) by the American Council on Education/College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE/CREDIT).

Prerequisites: At least one college-level course in mathematics or statistics and a familiarity with fundamental probabilistic concepts (expectations, variances) is essential. Students with some knowledge of calculus and matrix algebra will get more out of this course than those without.

For more information see the USDA Graduate School web site at or call (888)744-GRAD or contact the instructor at

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SIGSTAT Schedule: January, 2002 - June, 2002

January 9, 2002
Output Delivery System (ODS) in SAS
February 13, 2002
March 13, 2002
R for Windows
April 10, 2002
May 8, 2002
June 12, 2002

SIGSTAT is the Special Interest Group in Statistics for the CPCUG, the Capital PC User Group, and WINFORMS, the Washington Institute for Operations Research Service and Management Science.

All meetings are in Room 3056, 1800 M St, NW from 12:30 to 1:30. Enter the South Tower & take the elevator to the 3rd floor to check in at the guard's desk.

First-time attendees should contact Charlie Hallahan, 202-694-5051, and leave their name. Directions to the building & many links of statistical interest can be found at the SIGSTAT website,

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the March 2002 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than January 29, 2002. 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 January 4, 2002
Last modified November 03, 2015

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