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October 2002


The 2002 Morris Hansen Lecture

The Washington Statistical Society is pleased to announce the twelfth 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.

This year the Morris Hansen lecture series will have its first panel discussion. Panelists are Eleanor Singer, Norman Bradburn, and Katherine Wallman.

Eleanor Singer is currently serving as Senior Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. She has written widely on survey research methods, with special emphasis on privacy attitudes of individuals and their influence on survey response. Her research has touched on many of the important issues in survey methodology: informed consent, incentives, effects of interview length, refusal conversion, and their effect on survey response rates. She has focused on analyzing these issues in particular for the Nation's Decennial Census. She has been an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the American Statistical Association. She has received the American Association for Public Opinion Research's Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.

Norman M. Bradburn is currently serving as Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation, on leave from the University of Chicago. There he is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Business, the College, and the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. He has written widely on survey research methods and is a pioneer in developing the application of cognitive psychology to the study of nonsampling errors. His recent work has been on cognitive psychological explanations for behavioral reporting errors, particularly telescoping errors, and on context effects in attitude surveys. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Chairman of the National Academy's Committee on National Statistics from 1993 to 1998.

Katherine K. Wallman currently serves as Chief Statistician at the United States Office of Management and Budget. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing and coordinating Federal statistical policies, standards, and programs; developing and advancing long-term improvements in Federal statistical activities; and representing the Federal government in international organizations such as the United Nations Statistical Commission. During her tenure in this position, Ms. Wallman has placed particular emphasis on increasing collaboration among the agencies of the Federal statistical system, strengthening the protection of confidential statistical information, fostering improvements in the scope and quality of Federal statistics, and making the products of the system more readily accessible to the public. She is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Founder Member of the International Association for Official Statistics. In 1992, she served as President of the American Statistical Association.

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Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology & Statistical Policy Seminar

Integrating Federal Statistical Information and Processes

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology is sponsoring a Statistical Policy Seminar titled "Integrating Federal Statistical Information and Processes" on November 6 - 7 2002.

This is the Sixth in a Series of Seminars Hosted by COPAFS (Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics). Support is provided by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Energy Information Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Center for Education Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Social Security Administration, Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Census Bureau.

The subjects include: Access to Data for users, Stakeholders and Sponsors; Ensuring Data Confidentiality; E-Government and New Dissemination Paradigms; Improving Data Quality; Preserving the Past, Linking to the Future; Providing Adequate Technical Support; Achieving Timeliness in a "Real Time" World; Enhancing Data for Statistical Use Through Linkage and Modeling; Capitalizing on Technology to Enhance Survey Reporting; Ensuring Citizen Privacy; Providing Small Area Estimates; and Obtaining Respondent Cooperation.

The keynote address will be given by Jay Hakes who is affiliated with the Jimmy Carter Library.

Participants will include federal statisticians, economists, and managers, as well as others in the broader statistical community who share an interest in the quality of federal data.

The location is at the Holiday Inn Bethesda, 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD. The cost is $150.00 per person. The maximum number of participants will be 300.

For further information, contact the COPAFS office via phone at (703) 836-0404, via fax at (703) 684-3410, or via e-mail at

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WSS Short Course Announcement

Understanding the Language of Nature:
The Past, Present and Future of Graphic Display

Howard Wainer
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Wednesday, October 23, 2002, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Course Overview: This one-day workshop would discuss:

  • Past - the history of graphic display with examples ranging from Huygens, Lister and Plot, and ending with Playfair and Galton
  • Present - a few examples of present usage, indicating both how graphics help us to understand as well as how they have been used to mislead.
  • Future - what display tools are likely to be helpful in the future and how they can help us with the biggest graphics problem-multidimensionality.

Who should attend: The course is intended for an audience with little or no prior experience in data visualization. Some basic understanding of statistical terms and concepts will be helpful. The course will be primarily focused on the application of graphical display of data.

Instructor: Dr. Howard Wainer received his Ph. D. from Princeton University in 1968. After serving as the faculty of the University of Chicago and as Principal Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service (ETS) for 21 years, he is now Distinguished Research Scientist at the National Board of Medical Examiners and Professor (adjunct) of Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Wainer has a long-standing interest in the use of graphical methods for data analysis and communication, robust statistical methodology, and the development and application of item response theory. He was elected an ASA Fellow in 1985, and was awarded the ETS' Senior Scientist Award in 1990. He was selected for the Lady Davis Prize and was named the Schonbrun Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in 1992. He is editor of the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. He is a former Associate Editor of the JASA and other journals. He also writes a popular column on data visualization in the statistics magazine Chance.

Among the 13 books and 300 articles he has published include 'A trout in the milk and other tales of visual discovery', Princeton University Press, 2003 and 'Visual Revelations: Graphical Tales of Fate and Deception from Napoleon Bonaparte to Ross Perot', New York: Copernicus Books, 1997 (Reprinted in Hillsdale, NJ by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates in 2000). He also was instrumental in the translation and publication of Semiology of Graphics (1983) and Graphics and Graphic Information Processing (1981) by Jacques Bertin.

Registration: You may register now! The registration form is available as html and pdf. Mail the filled out form with a check/purchase order/credit card payment to the address on the bottom of the form. All registration materials including the payment should be received by Friday, October 18, 2002. Early registration to guarantee attendance is highly recommended. For confirmation of registration, email Robin Lee at ''. For billing and registration questions, call Robin Lee at (703) 750-6641. Registration fee includes the course notes, continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon breaks.

Location: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is located at 400 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington DC 20001. The hotel is close to the Union Station on the Red Line. For room reservation, call hotel at (202) 737-1234. There is valet only hotel parking at $26 for all day. There are several other public parking available nearby at North Capital St, E St, New Jersey Ave, F St, and Union Station at around $10 for all day.

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2003 Student Paper Competition Sponsored by Consortium of Sections

The Social Statistics, Government Statistics, and Survey Research Methods Sections are pleased to announce a competition for student and postgraduate papers to be presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in San Francisco on August 3-7, 2003. At least five awards will be granted. Winning papers are presented by the authors at a session of the meeting and are recognized at the Sections' business meetings. A subsidy of up to $800 is provided to each winner in order to cover JSM 2003 expenses.

To be eligible to participate in the competition you must be a current undergraduate or graduate student at any level or be a 2002 graduate who presents research conducted as a student. Up to four prizes will be awarded jointly by the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections, and one additional prize will be awarded by the Section on Survey Research Methods for a paper in that area.

Papers entered in the Student Competition must involve either a new statistical methodology or a creative application of statistical analysis to a problem, policy question, or other issue in the subject area of one of the sponsoring sections. Research for the submitted papers does not have to be complete, but competitors must be able to submit an abstract prospectus describing the planned research, including the nature of the intended innovations.

Applications should include

  1. a cover letter including name, current affiliation and status, and contact information (address, telephone, e-mail) of the applicant,

  2. an abstract of up to 300 words,

  3. a draft paper if available, or otherwise a 3-page research prospectus, and

  4. a letter from the adviser certifying student status (or completion of degree within the past year) and describing plans for the completion of the research.

If you have any questions, contact the 2003 Program Chair for the Social Statistics Section, Susan Schechter, on 202-395-5103 or email at

Faculty are urged to encourage students to apply for these awards.

Refer to the section websites for a copy of this announcement and for updates.

Social Statistics Section website -
Government Statistics Section website -
Survey Research Methods Section website -

Send applications to Linda Minor, American Statistical Association, 1429 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3415.

Applications must be post marked by December 15, 2002. Winners will be notified in early January 2003 and must register for the meetings by January 31, 2003.

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Mid-Atlantic Probability and Statistics Day

The Washington Statistical Society (WSS) is pleased to announce that a $200 award will be given to the student with the best presentation given at the Mid-Atlantic Probability and Statistics Day on November 16, 2002. The WSS-sponsored award will be based on both the statistical content and the student's presentation abilities to encourage key strengths required of today's successful statisticians. Below is an announcement on the event. Student's still have until October 18th to submit their abstracts.

The Department of Statistics at the George Washington University will hold the next Mid-Atlantic Probability and Statistics Day on November 16, 2002. Contributed talks (15 minutes) on topics of interest to Statisticians from academia, industry and government are planned. Invited speakers include Professor Bimal Sinha of University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Professor Abdel El-Shaarawi of Water Research Institute and McMaster University, Canada. Special invitation is extended to young researchers from local universities, industries and governmental agencies to participate and present their work.

If you are planning to attend or give a talk, please register at The last day for submitting abstracts is October 18, 2002. Early submissions are encouraged.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Fall-Winter 2002/2003

October 9, 2002: STAMP 6.0

STAMP is a package designed to model and forecast time series, based on structural time series models. These models use advanced techniques, but are set up so as to be easy to use -- at the most basic level all that is required is some appreciation of the concepts of trend, seasonal and irregular. The hard work is done by the program, leaving the user free to concentrate on formulating models, then using them to make forecasts. Structural time series modelling can be applied to a variety of problems in time series. Macro-economic time series like gross national production, inflation and consumption can be handled effectively, but also financial time series, like interest rates and stock market volatility, can be modelled using STAMP. Further, STAMP is used for modelling and forecasting time series in medicine, biology, engineering, marketing and in many other areas.

November 13, 2002: SAS Enterprise Guide

Enterprise Guide software brings the full power of SAS to business analysts, statistical analysts and SAS programmers in a PC client application via an easy to use point-and-click user interface. This Windows client connects to Version 8 SAS System servers and provides access any data types supported by the SAS System, uses the execution power of the server to run any SAS processes, and returns professional reports and graphics to your PC. Enterprise Guide also provides you with web deployment and repeatability of your analysis and results.

December 11, 2002: SAS Graph-n-Go

Graph-n-Go is an interactive application for producing simple or complex graphical representations of data. It can be used for data exploration or for creating presentation-quality graphical images that can be printed or imported into documents.

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 the December issue are due no later October 29, 2002. Please e-mail items to

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First posted October 1, 2002
Last modified November 03, 2015

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