Washington Statistical Society
        Washington Statistical Society on Meetup   Washington Statistical Society on LinkedIn

October 2003


The 2003 Morris Hansen Lecture

The Washington Statistical Society is pleased to announce the thirteenth in its 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 serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the time of his death.

This year the Morris Hansen lecture series speaker is Dr. Paul Biemer. Dr. Biemer serves as a Chief Scientist at the Research Triangle Institute, International (RTI) and was named a Distinguished Fellow in 2002, only the second person to reach the highest level of the research track at RTI. He also holds a joint appointment with the University of North Carolina. Dr. Biemer has been associated with RTI since 1991, when he took the position of Principal Scientist and Director of the Survey Methods Program.

Dr. Biemer received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Texas A&M University in 1978. His Ph.D. dissertation examined nonsampling errors in surveys, which has continued to be his major research interest. He is the author of a book with Lars Lyberg, Introduction to Survey Quality (New York: John Wiley, 2003) and is the lead editor of Measurement Error in Surveys (New York: John Wiley, 1991).

Upon completing his graduate work, Dr. Biemer joined the Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. as a mathematical statistician. There he led a number of major quality improvement projects for the 1980 Decennial Census and the current surveys program. He advanced to the position of Assistant Division Chief of the Statistical Research Division. Dr. Biemer left the Census Bureau in 1986 to take an Associate Professor position at New Mexico State University. At NMSU, Dr. Biemer assumed the positions of Head of the Department of Experimental Statistics and Director of the University Statistics Center. He continued his research on nonsampling errors with funding from the Census Bureau and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The lecture will be on Tuesday, October 14, 2003, from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the Jefferson Auditorium, USDA South Building, between 12th and 14th Streets on Independence Avenue S.W., Washington DC. The Independence Avenue exit from the Smithsonian METRO stop is at the 12th Street corner of the building, which is also where the handicapped entrance is located. Except for handicapped access, all attendees should enter at the 5th wing, along Independence Avenue. Please bring a photo ID to facilitate gaining access to the building.

The lecture will be followed by a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the patio of the Jamie L. Whitten Building, across Independence Avenue S.W.

Return to top

FCSM 2003 Conference

The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology's (FCSM) 2003 Research Conference will be held November 17-19 at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Virginia. The conference will feature a plenary address by Colm O'Muircheartaigh and focus on a wide range of current research and methodological topics relevant to federal government statistical programs. For a copy of the advance program and more information about the conference, please refer to


Return to top

COPAFS Seminar

New Metropolitan - Micropolitan Areas
Implications for Statistical and Policy Decision Making

The date and time are November 4, 2003 with a start time of 8:00 a.m. and an ending time of 5:00 p.m. It will held at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria, VA. The session is hosted by the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS).

The session topics include "What We Have and Why," "Using the New Classifications at the National Level," "Regional Uses of the New Classifications, " and "Where Do We Go From Here?".

The cost is $95.00 for the seminar which is payable by purchase order or check made to COPAFS. There is a limit of 150 participants.

For a registration form or for more information, contact the COPAFS office: 703/836-0404 or by email at copafs@aol.com.

Return to top

The Role of Statistics in Achieving the Dream

On October 16, 2003, there will be a 40th anniversary Washington Statistical Society (WSS) session honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., entitled "The Role of Statistics in Achieving the Dream."

A panel format will be used with speakers who are statisticians and demographers, mixed together with civil rights activists. Some of you who read this were on the Mall on August 28, 1963. Please come and share. And if you were not there, come and feel the sense of excitement and hope that existed then. Learn how statistics has played a role at nearly every juncture in leading to progress.

But there is still a long road ahead and much more for statisticians to do in achieving true equality of opportunity. It is safe to say that few of those attending the March on Washington that day would have predicted what happened in the 40 years since. Progress has been slower than hoped but the dream has also been broadened with many legislative, social, and economic accomplishments.

The October 16 session will begin at 12:30 pm and run until about 2:30 pm. The location is the BLS Conference Center, 2 Postal Square Building, across from Union Station. To gain admittance you must call at least two days ahead to Kevin Cecco at 202-874-0464. Because this is a special occasion there will be light refreshments offered.

Return to top

Quality Assurance in the Government Symposium

December 9 and 10, 2003
Sponsored by The Washington Statistical Society

Holiday Inn, Rosslyn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Meyer Drive in Arlington, VA 22209

Symposium Objective

The Washington Statistical Society is pleased to announce the sixth Quality Assurance in the Government Symposium. This symposium picks up with Quality Assurance where the very successful 1988 through 1992 symposia left off. The objectives of this symposium are to provide a basic introduction/update to quality assurance principles, to illustrate through case studies practical applications of these principles, and to address policy and organizational issues associated with quality assurance. The symposium will be held December 9 and 10, 2003.

Lars Lyberg of Statistics Sweden will give the keynote address on 'How European National Statistical Organizations are Continuously Improving Their Quality.' Other program highlights include a panel of agency administrators to discuss 'Why Care About Quality Statistics,' luncheon sessions to provide insights into Six Sigma and Exploiting Technology for Improving Measurement, and a general session on the Government Performance and Results Act with current agency success stories. There will be concurrent sessions covering a variety of topics including sampling, cognitive testing, standards for data quality, quality in graphical displays of data, technology, and statistical consulting.

Location and Metro Service

The Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge is located at 1900 North Fort Meyer Drive in Arlington, VA. Complimentary parking is available for all vehicles. Complimentary indoor parking is available for passenger vehicles only due to height restrictions.

The Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge is located one block from the Rosslyn Metro Station served by the Blue and Orange Lines.

Registration Information

The registration fees will be $225 for members of WSS, ASA, ASQC; $275 for non-members; and $100 for full-time students with ID. Registration includes a copy of the Proceedings available at the symposium, continental breakfasts, buffet luncheons, and a reception. Early registration is strongly recommended. Look for registration forms and program details in the October and November 2003 WSS Newsletters, and in an October 2003 brochure mailed to WSS members. If you are not a WSS member and would like an electronic announcement please e-mail Glenn White at glenn.white@ey.com.


Participants must make their own overnight accommodations. If you use the Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge mention that you are attending the symposium to obtain priority consideration.

Return to top

Introduction to Capital Science

On Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, 2004, The Washington Academy of Sciences and its Affiliated Societies (including the Washington Statistical Society) will hold the pan-Affiliate Conference, Capital Science. It will be held in the Conference Facility of the National Science Foundation in Ballston. With more than 25 of the Academy's Affiliates participating, the Conference will serve as an umbrella for scientific presentations, seminars, tutorials, and talks. After late September 2003, the Conference website will be operative, showing the schedule of events, abstracts of papers, and logistical information, as well as providing the ability to pre-register. Go to http://www.washacadsci.org/

The Conference has two equally important purposes. First, it will provide the Academy's Affiliates with a venue to present and, through the Proceedings, publish papers of scientific merit. Given shrinking budgets and the concomitant loss of travel funds, this alone would be reason enough to hold the Conference.

But the Conference will also highlight the fact that the Washington DC area is not only the political capital of the country but, in many respects, the nation's intellectual capital -- with several major universities and government laboratories that are the homes of an astonishing number of Nobel laureates. The Academy believes that showcasing the intellectual muscle of the area will help provide the support needed to continue to build and keep the United States at the forefront of scientific achievement.

Michael P. Cohen of BTS (202-366-9949, Michael.cohen@bts.gov) is the Washington Statistical Society representative to the Washington Academy of Sciences (not to be confused with the National Academy of Sciences). For more information, please contact him.

Return to top

Annual Holiday Dinner!!!

Please come join your friends and colleagues for a celebration of the holiday season. The 2003 WSS Holiday Dinner will be held Wednesday, December 10, 2003, at the Vantage Point Restaurant & Lounge in the Holiday Inn Rosslyn Key Bridge. Hope to see you there!

Reservations must be received by Friday, December 5, 2003. Simply fill out and send in the 2003 Holiday Flyer (PDF).

Return to top

SIGSTAT Topics for Fall 2003

October 15, 2003: PROC MIXED - Part 1: Introduction to Longitudinal Data Analysis (www.sas.com)

This session will be the first of several sessions showing how PROC MIXED in SAS/STAT can be used to estimate longitudinal data models. Longitudinal data consists of observations measured not only over individual subjects, but there are repeated observations per subject, usually over time, but also allowing for repeated observations over space. The material covered will be extracted from a 3-day course on the topic taught by SAS Institute. This first session on this topic features exploratory data analysis applied to a data set with unequally-spaced observations per subject. This example will be used throughout the other sessions on the topic.

November 12, 2003: Code Portability: SAS Data step in DBMS/Copy - using it as a SAS Work-Alike

Many SAS users own Conceptual Software 's DBMS/COPY , a widely used utility for transferring data between software packages. Conceptual's software product lines have been acquired by DataFlux [a subsidy of SAS Institute].in October of 2002. This talk is a "Primer" on running SAS DATA step code with minimal change in the DBMS environment.

Yesvy Gustasp gives the presentation.

December 10: PROC MIXED - Part 2: The General Linear Mixed Model & Evaluating Covariance Structures ((www.sas.com)

Continuing the topic from October, we'll discuss the general linear mixed model and how it is specified in PROC MIXED. In particular, the options specifying the covariance structures appropriate for longitudinal models will be covered. The sample variogram is defined and used as a diagnostic tool for selecting a covariance structure. Finally, goodness-of-fit statistics for the selected covariance structure will be calculated and plotted.

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 S3031 (Food Safety and Nutrition Room), 1800 M St, NW from 12:30 to 1:30. Enter the South Tower and 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, hallahan@ers.usda.gov and leave their name. Directions to the building and many links of statistical interest can be found at the SIGSTAT website, www.cpcug.org/user/sigstat/

Return to top

Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the December 2003 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than October 28, 2003. E-mail items to Michael Feil at michael.feil@usda.gov.

Return to top

Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
Return to top