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February 2004


Herriot Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are sought for the 2004 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. After the sudden death in May 1994 of Roger Herriot, an Associate Commissioner for Statistical Standards and Methodology at the National Center for Education Statistics, the Washington Statistical Society, the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association established an award in his memory to recognize individuals who develop unique approaches to the solution of statistical problems in Federal data collection programs.

The award is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career.

  • Dedication to the issues of measurement;
  • Improvements in the efficiency of data collection programs; and
  • Improvements and use of statistical data for policy analysis.

The award is not limited to senior members of an organization, nor is it to be considered as a culmination of a long period of service. Individuals at all levels (from entry to senior), Federal employees, private sector employees, and employees of the academic community, may be nominated on the basis of the significance of the specific contribution.

The recipient of the 2004 Roger Herriot Award will be chosen by a committee of representatives of the Social Statistics Section and Government Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association and a representative of the Washington Statistical Society. Roger Herriot was associated with and strongly supportive of these organizations during his career. The award consists of an honorarium of $1,000.00 and a framed citation.

Joseph Waksberg (Westat), Monroe Sirken (National Center for Health Statistics), Constance Citro (National Academy of Sciences), Roderick Harrison (U.S. Census Bureau), Clyde Tucker (Bureau of Labor Statistics), Thomas Jabine (SSA, EIA, CNSTAT), Donald Dillman (Washington State University), Jeanne Griffith (OMB, NCES, NSF), Daniel Weinberg (U. S. Census Bureau), and David Banks (FDA, BTS, NIST) are previous recipients of the Herriot Award.

For more information, contact Phillip S. Kott, Chair of the Roger Herriot Award Committee, 703-235-5211 x 102 or pkott@nass.usda.gov

Nominations must be submitted by April 15. Electronic submissions, via pdf, are permissible. Alternatively, nominations may be mailed to Phillip S. Kott, USDA/NASS, Room 305, 3251 Old Lee Highway, FAIRFAX, VA 22030-1504.

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The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award

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.

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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Computational Environmetrics
October 21-23, 2004
Chicago, Illinois

A three-day conference entitled "Computational Environmetrics" to be held October 21-23, 2002, in Chicago, Illinois, at the Palmer House, is being organized by the Statistics and Environment Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the Center for Integrating the Statistical and the Environmental Science (CISES) at the Department of Statistics, University of Chicago. There will be short courses on October 21th. A workshop will begin Friday, October 22th, and extend until mid-afternoon, Saturday, October 23th. Papers will be given on recent advances in computational approaches to the analysis of environmental data. The workshop will consist of a series of invited presentations on applied research topics at the interface of statistics, computation, and environmental applications. Among the invited speakers will be Jay Breidt, Jim Clark, Montse Fuentes, Trent McDonald, Doug Nychka, Chris Paciorek, Paul Rathous, Robert Shumway, and Scott Zeger. Ample time will be provided for a thorough discussion of the topics. A limited number (20) of poster presentations will be available for those wishing to contribute to the conference. Please submit abstract for potential poster presentation. Registration information will be forthcoming.

For further information or poster submission, please contact Anthony R. Olsen at Olsen.Tony@epa.gov or check the Section on Statistics and Environment web site http://www.amstat-online.org/sections/envr/.

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Capital Science 2004
March 20-21, 2004

The Washington Academy of Sciences and its Affiliates present Capital Science 2004 to be held March 20 - 21, 2004

On Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, 2004, The Washington Academy of Sciences and its Affiliated Societies (including WSS) 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 our Affiliates participating, the Conference will serve as an umbrella for scientific presentations, seminars, tutorials, and talks.


  1. The Saturday evening dinner meeting will feature a keynote address by NSF Director and former Washington Academy of Sciences President Rita Colwell.

  2. The Saturday lunch meeting will feature a talk by Nobel Laureate William Phillips, of NIST and the University of Maryland. Dr. Phillips received the Nobel award in 1997 for his work in ultra-low temperature atomic physics.

  3. The Sunday lunch meeting will feature a talk by John Marburger III, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology.

  4. Plenary Sessions --Memorial Session honoring Nobelist Ilya Prigogine. Awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1977, Dr. Prigogine's work spanned mathematics, physics, chemistry, and philosophy. --Science, Ethics, and Religion, a special session of the AAAS lecture series.

  5. A presentation by ASA President-Elect Fritz Scheuren on "Human Rights Issues Around the World: The Role of Good Data"

For more information or on-line registration, go to http://www.washacadsci.org/Website/Index.htm or contact Michael P. Cohen, 202-366-9949, Michael.cohen@bts.gov, the WSS representative to the Washington Academy of Sciences.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Winter 2004

February 11, 2004: PROC MIXED - Part 4: Random Coefficient Models

Continuing the topic begun in October 2003, after discussing the concepts behind a random coefficient model, PROC MIXED is used to fit such a model. Empirical best linear unbiased predictors (EBLUP's) are then computed. Some common causes of nonconvergence are discussed. Finally, a model with both repeated and random effects is estimated in PROC MIXED.

March 10, 2004: PROC MIXED - Part 5: Model Assessment

Continuing the topic begun in October 2003, we examine residual plots and a histogram of the residuals. Subjects with residual values in the first or last percentiles are identified. Finally, we examine how the violation of assumptions regarding the random effects influences the inference of the model.

April 14, 2004: PROC MIXED - Part 6: Generalized Linear Models & Generalized Linear Mixed Models

Continuing the topic begun in October 2003, the difference between general linear models and models using generalized estimating equations (GEE's) is covered. The available correlation structures in PROC GENMOD are discussed and GENMOD is used to fit a longitudinal data model. Finally, the concepts behind generalized linear mixed models are discussed and a longitudinal data model is fit using the GLIMMIX macro.

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 April 2004 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than February 24, 2004. 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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