Washington Statistical Society
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November 2003


The 2003 Morris Hansen Lecture

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

Download the brochure (pdf)

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.

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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


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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.

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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).

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SIGSTAT Topics for Fall 2003

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/

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the January 2004 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than November 25, 2003. E-mail items to Michael Feil at michael.feil@usda.gov.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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First posted October 31, 2003