Washington Statistical Society
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September 2004


Message From The President

I am very pleased to be serving as president of the WSS for the year that began at the end of June. We are the largest and, by far, the most active chapter of the American Statistical Association. With several seminars each month and other special events scattered throughout the year, the opportunities for professional and social interaction with other statisticians in the DC area are many and varied.

A few months ago we acted to lower our dues. This will take effect with your next annual membership renewal. (For most of you, this is through your ASA renewal.) This reduction was made possible by steps that we took to shift more of you to receiving the monthly newsletter electronically. Our hope is that we can eliminate the paper newsletter except for a limited number of members without regular access to email. If we can do so, we can reduce the dues even further.

With the paper newsletter, it cost us as much to add a new member as we received in dues. With a fully electronic newsleter our unit costs will fall dramatically, making this a good time to expand our membership. There remain many local members of ASA who have not joined the WSS, and many other statisticians in our area who have not joined either organization. Expanding our membership will be a priority of mine over the coming year.

One thing that was driven home to me in my year as President-Elect is the amount of work carried on behind the scenes by members who have served in their various roles--or multiple roles--for years. Having a steady stream of new volunteers who are willing to step into their shoes is critical to our continued vitality as the organization that we all know. If you have not volunteered in any capacity previously, I urge you to think about doing so. Or think about giving or organizing a seminar. If you are interested, you can contact me at jczajka@mathematica-mpr.com or, by phone, at (202) 484-4685.

Lastly, I want to call your attention to a special event coming up at the end of February. Two years ago the WSS jointed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a co-sponsor of the CDC's biennial statistical symposium, which was held in Atlanta. This year the 10th biennial symposium will be held in the Washington area, at the Bethesda Marriott, from Sunday February 27 through Wednesday March 2. WSS members wil receive a discount on short course and symposium fees, and there are still opportunities to sign up as presenters. Watch the newsletter for further information.

I hope to see you at one or more events this year.

John Czajka

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2005 CDC and ATSDR Symposium on Statistical Methods

Statistics and Public Health Policy
February 28 - March 2, 2005

Call for Abstracts
Deadline for Abstracts - October 31, 2004

Statisticians, epidemiologists, and all others interested in the application of statistics to public and environmental health are invited to participate in the Tenth Biennial Symposium on Statistical Methods, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC & ATSDR) and the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) Chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA), to be held at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, MD. The theme for the 2005 Symposium is "Statistics and Public Health Policy." A short course on a related topic will be offered on February 28, 2005 in conjunction with the Symposium.

The Symposium will include invited talks and contributed papers. Authors are encouraged to submit abstracts for contributed papers related to one of the following session topics:

  • Using observational data to develop public health policy
  • Using interventions trials to develop public health policy
  • Evaluating causation
  • Bioterrorism, biometrics, and security

Abstracts will be considered for either an oral or poster presentation and must be postmarked by no later than October 31, 2004. All accepted papers will be considered for publication in a dedicated issue of Statistics in Medicine.

For more information, please visit the Symposium website at http://www.cdc.gov/od/ads/sag/ or contact:

Harvey Lipman
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Hwy NE (MS G-23)
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
(770) 488-8113
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Symposium On Frontiers of Statistical, Mathematical and Computational Sciences (SMCS)

The Marvin Center, George Washington University
800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC

Friday, September 24, 2004 - 8:30 AM - 4PM

The objective of this meeting is to highlight the traditional and growing partnership and synergy among statistics, mathematics, and computational sciences, and their contributions to other disciplines such as physical, biological, environmental, and social sciences. With partial support from the Army Research Office (ARO), the Institute for Reliability and Risk Analysis (IRRA) in the Department of Statistics (the Columbia College of Arts and Sciences), the George Washington University, is organizing this inaugural symposium .The institute develops mathematical tools and methodologies for the assessment and the management of uncertainties in complex systems. The broader interests of the institute are in the modeling of complex highly interactive dynamical systems that will contribute to better understanding of a wider class of applications ranging from reliable performance of critical infrastructure systems to functioning of social and economic networks. While a major focus of this meeting is on probabilistic, statistical, and computational methods, the broader context of this symposium is aimed at a wider audience represented by the Columbian College of Arts and Science (particularly, by the departments of Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics). This inaugural symposium will feature the following pre-eminent Mathematical scientists, whose life-time achievements have made seminal contributions to the synergy of mathematics, statistics, and computational sciences.


Professor James Glimm, (2004 Medal of Science winner, member NAS) SUNY at Stony Brook, Large-scale computing, and mathematical modeling of multi-physics

Professor David Mumford, (Fields Medalist, MacArthur Fellow, member NAS.) Brown University, Stochasticity, pattern theory, and Mathematics of perception

Professor S. R. S. Varadhan, (FRS, member NAS) Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. Extreme events and the large deviation theory

Professor Bin Yu, (Fellow of IMS and Fellow of IEEE) University of California at Berkeley, Remote sensing, Statistical theory/Machine learning and Bio-Informatics

REGISTRATION IS FREE. All are very welcome. Please email jchandra@gwu.edu to let us know that you plan to attend

Contact Details: Jagdish Chandra, Research Professor, Department of Statistics, George Washington University,Washington, DC.Tel: (202) 994-0179 ; E-mail: jchandra@gwu.edu.

Directions and Parking: Foggy Bottom/GWU metro stop is located on the Orange/Blue lines. Marvin Center is short 3-block walk from the Marvin Center. Parking: A visitor's parking garage is located between 23rd and 22nd Streets and H and Eye Streets. The visitor entrance is on Eye Street.

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Mid-Atlantic Regional Probability & Statistics Day

November 13, 2004

This year's Mid-Atlantic Regional Probability and Statistics Day will be held Saturday, 13 November 2004, at the Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, located approximately midway between Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC. This informal meeting provides an opportunity for professionals in academia, government, business and industry to meet and communicate recent findings and discuss common interests. Informal talks on all aspects of probability and statistics are invited, including discussions of preliminary and on-going work. Participation by graduate students is also encouraged.

For more information, contact:

Joseph D. Warfield
The Johns Hopkins Universit
Applied Physics Laboratory, Room 24-E135
Laurel, MD&nbps; 20723-6099
phone: (240) 228-5580/Washington and (443) 778-5580/Baltimore
e-mail: joseph.warfield@jhuapl.edu
fax: (240) 228-8240

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Federal Committee On Statistical Methodology Statistical Policy Seminar

Achieving Statistical Quality in a Diverse and Changing Environment
December 15-16, 2004

The Seventh in a Series of Seminars Hosted by COPAFS (The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics)

Participants will Include Statistician, Economists, and Managers, as well as Others in the Broader Statistical Community who Share an Interest in the Quality of Federal Data

Support Provided by:

  • Agency for 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 Division of the Internal Revenue Service
  • U.S. Census Bureau


  • Standards for Statistical Surveys
  • Agency Initiatives to Monitor Survey Quality
  • Recent Advances in Measuring Quality Assurance
  • Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?
  • Integrated Survey Designs: Analytical Enhancements Achieved Through Linkage of Surveys, Administrative and Secondary Data
  • Telephone Surveys in a Changing Environment
  • Incentives in Government Surveys: Practices and Perspectives
  • Web Surveys: A Research Agenda For a Changing Environment
  • Advisory Panels: Seeking user Feedback to Improve the Quality of Statistical Programs
  • Researcher Access to Confidential and Micro Data From Home Institutions
  • Data Mining: Policy Implications and Applications
  • Tools, Policy, and Procedures for Survey Improvement

Keynote Address: Richard Kulka, Research Triangle Institute

Location: The Holiday Inn Select, 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland

Cost: $150.00 per person

For Further Information, Contact the COPAFS Office at:
Phone: 703-836-0404, Fax: 703-684-3410 and Email: copafs@aol.com

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Course Announcements
Statistics Department
The George Washington University

The Statistics Department at The George Washington University will offer the following Graduate Course in Fall 2004 (September 1 December 22, 2004). Enhance your statistical analysis skills by taking one or more of these courses. Registering as a non-degree student is easy - please visit www.gwu.edu/~regweb/ and click on 'Non-Degree Registration Information' for all relevant information. For questions or further information please contact Dr. Tapan Nayak, e-mail: tapan@gwu.edu, ph: 202-994-6888.

Statistics 201. Mathematical Statistics
Thursday, 6:10pm-8:40p.
Instructor: Dr. K. Ghosh
This is the first part of a two-part graduate level series in Mathematical Statistics. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the concepts of probability that are useful for understanding statistical theory (the course continues on to Stat 202 in Spring, which deals with the theory of statistical inference). Topics to be covered in Stat 201 include basics of probability theory (including conditional probability, Bayes theorem, random variables, density and mass functions), univariate transformations, expected values, moment generating functions, common probability distributions (including binomial, normal, uniform), multivariate distributions and transformations, covariance, inequalities and sampling distributions. This is roughly chapters 1 through 5 of the text: Statistical Inference (2nd Ed.) by Casella, G. and Berger, R. L.; Duxbury Press, CA.

Statistics 215. Applied Multivariate Analysis
Tuesday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. R. Modarres
This course is intended for students interested in statistical analysis of several variables, most likely dependent, following a joint normal distribution. It covers inferential and descriptive multivariate techniques, including the multivariate normal distribution, assessing the assumption of normality, transformations to near normality, Hotelling test for the mean vector, confidence regions and simultaneous comparisons of component means, missing observations and the EM algorithm, comparisons of several multivariate means, one and two-way MANOVA, profile and principal components analysis

Statistics 217. Design of Experiments
Wednesday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. E. Bura
This course is a graduate level introduction to Design of Experiments, an area of statistics concerned with the planning of scientific investigation. The main components of an experimental design are the selection of the independent and dependent variables to be studied, determination of sample size, and allocation of experimental units to experimental treatments.

Statistics 225. Fundamentals of Biostatistics
Thursday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. Y. Lai
This course provides a review of the core biostatistical methods for asymptotically efficient tests and estimates of relative risks and odds ratios from prospective and retrospective, matched and unmatched studies.

Stat 227. Survival Analysis
Wednesday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. Ping Hu
This course will discuss parametric and nonparametric methods for the analyses of events observed in time (survival data). Topics include: survival distributions, Kaplan-Meier estimate of survival functions, Greenwood's formula, Mantel-Haenszel test, logrank and generalized logrank tests, Cox proportional hazards model, parametric regression models, and power and sample size calculations for survival analysis.

Stat 257. Probability
Wednesday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. S. Balaji
This course will discuss rigorous modern measure-theoretic probability. No prior knowledge of measure theory is assumed; the necessary concepts will be developed as necessary. Topics to be covered include: Sigma fields and Probability measures, Probability Axioms, Lebesgue integration and expectation, Measure-theoretic independence, Borel-Cantelli Lemmas, Modes of probabilistic convergence, Weak and strong laws of large numbers, and Central limit theorems.

Stat 262. Nonparametric Inference
Thursday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. S. Kundu
This course will discuss inferential methods when the form of the underlying distribution is not specified or is only partially specified. Topics to be covered in this course include: U-statistics, rank tests, locally most powerful rank tests, one and two-sample tests, asymptotic distribution theory, asymptotic relative efficiency, nonparametric point estimates and confidence intervals, goodness of fit tests.

Stat 263. Advanced Statistical Theory I
Tuesday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. T. Nayak
This is an advanced course on principles and theory of statistical inference. Topics include: sufficiency, ancillarity, completeness, unbiased estimation, Cramer-Rao inequality, Bayesian estimation, admisibility, hypotheses testing.

Stat 287. Modern Theory of Survey Sampling
Monday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. P. Chandhok
The main objectives of the course are to provide a rigorous treatment of sampling theory and its applications. This course will introduce the following topics: simple random sampling with and without replacement, systematic sampling, unequal probability sampling with and without replacement, ratio estimation, difference estimation and regression estimation.

Stat 289. Statistical Method for Genetics
Monday, 6:10pm-8:40pm
Instructor: Dr. Z. Li
There are three objectives of this course: 1) to provide an introduction of quantitative genetics for students without any genetics background; 2) to give a rigorous statistical treatment of some genetic problems; 3) to introduce current research topics in the area of statistical methods for genetic analysis.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Fall 2004

October 13, 2004 - R for the non-S Experts, Speaker: Mike Fleming

November 10, 2004 - ODS Statistical Graphics, Speaker: Linda Atkinson

December 8, 2004 - PROC MIXED - Part 7: Generalized Linear Mixed Models, Speaker: Charlie Hallahan

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 November 2004 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than September 28, 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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