Washington Statistical Society
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December 2003


The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award

On receiving the Roger Herriot Award in June 2001, Jeanne E. Griffith said:

One of the most rewarding aspects (of Federal statistics for me was the opportunity to promote creative activities and energies among my staff When I have had the blessing to mentor young people in their careers, I have tried to emphasize (that) only they, themselves, can make the most of (the) .chances that life presents.

Dr. Griffith died in August 2001 after working for more than 25 years in the Federal statistical system. Throughout her career, and especially in her latter senior management positions at the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Science Foundation, one of Jeanne's highest priorities was to mentor and encourage younger staff at all levels to learn, to grow, and to recognize and seize career opportunities as they came along.

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award has been established to encourage mentoring of younger staff in the Federal statistical system. It is presented annually, beginning in 2003, to a supervisor who is nominated by co-workers and supervisors, and chosen by the Award Selection Committee.

The award is co-sponsored by the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, the Council for Excellence in Government, the Washington Statistical Society, the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, and the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.

Nominations for 2004 will be accepted beginning in November 2003. The last date for submission of nominations is April 1, 2004, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by May 1, 2004. The award will consist of a $1000 honorarium and a citation, which will be presented at a ceremony arranged by the co-sponsors in June 2004.

The winning mentor will be selected for his or her efforts in supporting the work and developing the careers of younger staff. Examples of typical mentoring activities include:

  • Advising junior staff to help them create career opportunities, networking skills, and contacts for growth and development;

  • Counseling junior staff and providing resources to help develop their technical writing, analysis, presentation and organizational skills and knowledge;

  • Encouraging junior staff growth and career development through attendance and oral presentations at meetings with higher level officials, staffs of other agencies, professional associations, training courses, and conferences;

  • Motivating junior staff and building self confidence through feedback on their efforts, being a listener when that is needed, and creating a caring and supportive environment;

  • Serving as a role model for junior staff through professional expertise, information and insights, balancing collegial and personal roles, and including everyone across rank, race, ethnicity, and seniority.

For further information on the award, contact Ed Spar, Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) by phone: 703-836-0404; fax: 703-684-3410; or by e-mail at copafs@aol.com. The nomination cover sheet and guidelines or a photocopy of it should be attached to a nomination memorandum or letter. Forms can be obtained by contacting Ed Spar, or by downloading from the COPAFS website at http://www.copafs.org. All nominations should be returned to the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee, c/o COPAFS, 1429 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 no later than April 1, 2004.

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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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2004 CART Data Mining Conference

Conference Background

This conference honors the original authors of CART (Leo Breiman, Jerome Friedman, Richard Olshen, Charles Stone) with the opportunity to meet with them in person. Each is planning to offer a keynote paper. The conference will provide an opportunity for data mining professionals to exchange ideas.

Contest Background:

As part of the CART 2004 Data Mining Conference, we have organized a student competition focusing on the data mining technology of Leo Breiman, Jerome Friedman, Richard Olshen, and Charles Stone. There is a Grand Prize of $1500. We see this as an opportunity for students to solve a real world data mining problem of personal interest to them while working with cutting-edge data mining software tools. Professors might want to incorporate the contest into projects related to class work.

Complete details can be found on the conference website: http://www.cartdatamining.com

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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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Judges For The 2004 Science Fairs

Volunteers are needed to represent the Washington Statistical Society next spring as judges in five regional science fairs in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and the District of Columbia. Since 1986, WSS has provided special awards at these fairs to students whose projects demonstrate excellence in data analysis or the application of statistical methods. Those who have participated in this activity have very much enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students and to observe the widely diverse projects that are presented. The fairs are held on a Saturday morning in mid-March to mid-April. The only time required is that one Saturday morning, plus one weekday lunchtime meeting to discuss judging strategy.

If you would like to be a science fair judge next spring, please e-mail Lee Abramson at lxa@nrc.gov by January 10, and include your work and home phone numbers, your fax number and your mailing address. If you judged last spring, there is no need to contact Lee unless your e-mail address or phone number has changed. If you have any questions, please call Lee at 301-415-6180.

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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 - December 2003

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 February 2004 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than December 30, 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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