Washington Statistical Society
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February 2005


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 2005 will be accepted beginning in February 2005. The last date for submission of nominations is April 1, 2005, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by May 1, 2005. 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 2005. 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 form 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, 2005.

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CDC/ATSDR Symposium Comes To Washington Area

March 1-2, 2005
Bethesda, Maryland

Tenth Biennial CDC and ATSDR Symposium on Statistical Methods

Registration Fees

Before February 1, 2005:
Free for CSC employees
$200 for WSS affiliates
$150 for full-time students
$250 for others
   After February 1, 2005:
Free for CSC employees
$250 for WSS affiliates
$200 for full-time students
$300 for others

"Statistics and Public Health Policy" is the theme of the Tenth Biennial CDC and ATSDR Symposium on Statistical Methods, to be held March 1 to 2, 2005, in Bethesda, Maryland. This marks the first time that the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will hold their Symposium in the Washington area, providing a great opportunity for Washington area statisticians and health policy analysts to get acquainted with recent research in an area of growing importance nationally. A one-day short course, "Dealing with Frame Error and Nonresponse in Surveys," taught by William Kalsbeek of the University of North Carolina, will precede the Symposium.

The program for the Symposium will feature four invited paper sessions, an invited panel session, nine contributed paper sessions (three concurrently), and more than a dozen contributed posters. The first invited paper session, on "Sampling, Surveys and the Role of Observational Data in the Development of Public Health Policy," will include presentations by Robert Groves, Graham Kalton, and Nathaniel Schenker. The second invited paper session, "Determining the Effects of Public Health Interventions," will feature presentations by Monroe Sirken and William Kalsbeek. The third invited paper session, on "Bioterrorism, Biometrics and Security," will have presentations by Joe Scanlon, Martin Kulldorff, and Henry Rolka. The fourth invited paper session, "Evaluating Causation," will include presentations by Susan Murphy and Alan Zaslavsky. The invited panel session, organized by the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University, will feature a discussion of "Statistical Issues in Public Health Surveillance for Bioterrorism Using Multiple Data Streams." Participants will include Howard Burkom, Gregory F.Cooper, Martin Kulldorff, David Madigan, and Henry Rolka.

As in 2003, the WSS is cosponsoring the Symposium, and WSS members will receive discounted registration fees for both the Symposium and the short course. There is an additional discount for students. Registration for both events is free to CDC employees. Please download the registration form (pdf) for both the Symposium and the short course. You are encouraged to register as soon as possible, as space is limited. Registration for the short course will be capped at 200 while registration for the Symposium will be limited to 400. Openings will be filled on a fist come, first served basis. Note, too, that registration fees will increase on February 1.

One Way Ground Transportation
to the Bethesda Marriott
Airport Super Shuttle Taxi
Reagan National (DCA) $25 $35
Dulles (IAD) $25 $45
Baltimore (BWI) $29 $65

The Bethesda Marriott site, located on Pooks Hill Road off of Rockville Pike, has extensive parking available. The hotel courtesy shuttle is no longer available. The hotel is accessible by Metro rail and you should visit www.wmata.com for fares from Reagan National Airport or other stations. Taxi cabs are available at Medical Center and the adjacent Grosvenor and Bethesda stations. The table to the right are estimates of one-way fares to the hotel from each of the three major airports for the Super Shuttle and taxis. Super Shuttle can be reserved by calling 1-800-BLUEVAN or go to www.supershuttle.com.

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First Interdisciplinary Symposium on Statistical Challenges and Opportunities in Electronic Commerce Research

Location and Date: May 22-23, 2005, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park

Chairs: Wolfgang Jank and Galit Shmueli

Steering Committee: Stephen Fienberg (CMU), Donald Rubin (Harvard), Chrysanthos Dellarocas (University of Maryland), Erik Brynjolfsson (MIT), Joni Jones (University of South Florida)

Abstract Deadline: February 28, 2005

Website: www.smith.umd.edu/dit/statschallenges/

Contact: Wolfgang Jank wjank@rhsmith.umd.edu

Description: Electronic commerce produces an increasing amount of data-related questions and problems. Modern web-crawling technologies, which allow for a convenient collection of data from the Internet, result in huge databases. The openness of online marketplaces allows competitors to observe each others moves.

Traditional statistical models are not designed for the amount of data found on the web. They are also not suited to take into account the dynamics of online transactions as competitors react to each others moves in real time. This workshop focuses on identifying problems and research questions related to empirical research in electronic commerce by bringing together researchers from Information Systems, Statistics and related fields to help better understand how these various lines of work connect to one another and how, together, they can contribute to the modernization and enhancement of empirical research methods for electronic commerce and our digital society at large.

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Second Conference on Information and Entropy Econometrics
Theory, Method, and Applications in Honor of George Judge

September 23-25, 2005
American University, Washington DC

Conference Objectives: This conference will (i) study and explore Information-Theoretic (IT) solutions for linear and nonlinear estimation and inference problems, (ii) facilitate the exchange of research ideas in that field, (iii) promote collaboration among researchers from different disciplines, and (iv) highlight the major trends in Information and Entropy Econometrics.

The Second IEE Conference will concentrate on the most recent (theoretical and applied) research in linear and non-linear IT and entropic procedures (Bayesian and non- Bayesian), with emphasis on modeling and measuring information. In addition, the conference will deal with the interpretations and meaning of the solutions to IT estimation and inference (e.g., statistical meaning, complexity and efficiency as well as informational meaning). Both theory and innovative applied papers will be included. Conference topics include theory and methods and applications in various fields. The deadline for submitting a paper for presentation is April 30, 2005. The registration deadline is to be determined.

Program and Advisory Committee: Anil Bera, U. Illinois; Bertrand Clarke, UBC; Amos Golan, American U. (Chair); Alastair Hall, NCState; Yuichi Kitamura, Yale; Essie Maasoumi, SMU; Eric Renault, UNC at Chapel Hill; Ehsan Soofi, U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Michael Stutzer, U. Colorado-Boulder; Arnold Zellner, U. Chicago.

For additional and updated information about the conference, please look at the conference Web page at http://www.american.edu/cas/econ/faculty/golan/conference2.htm or contact Amos Golan at agolan@american.edu.

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Applied Econometric Course

Summer Program in Applied Econometrics
Department of Economics
American University

Basic Objective: The primary purpose of the summer program in applied econometrics is to provide students, researchers and faculty with state of the art econometric/statistic methods for analyzing data in the Social Sciences. Examples include Bayesian Econometrics, Information and Entropy Econometrics, Applied IO, Generalized Method of Moments, Nonparametric and Forecasting, and Time Series.

Each day of the week-long course consists of morning lectures that develop the basic concepts and philosophy as well as their applications to real economic problems and data. Each afternoon, these methods will be applied and practiced in the computer lab. These daily tutorials and work in the computer lab provide students with "hands on" experience in using these methods with real data.

Course Title: Information and Entropy Econometrics

The primary purpose of this class is to provide the background for understanding both (i) the theory, and (ii) to develop the necessary theoretical and empirical tools for practicing the theory in a wide range of economic/econometric estimation problems.

Dates: May 16-20, 2005

Location: American University

The course may be of interest to

  • PhD students interested in new methods of estimation. Students from American University and other universities are welcome.

  • Researchers, faculty, professional economists and econometricians who work in support of decision making in government agencies as well as the private market.

Registration Deadline: May 1, 2005.

For more information, contact and course syllabi, contact the Economics Department or look at: http://www.american.edu/cas/econ/summerprogram/summer_program.htm

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SIGSTAT Topics for 2005

February 9, 2005 - Graphics with R, Speaker: Mike Fleming

The ease of making graphs in R is one of its strongest attractions. Some examples of making graphs were discussed in Part I. In this second part, the topics of making graphs which are annotated with equations, of putting multiple graphs on a single page, and of using polygons will be discussed.

March 9, 2005 - PROC UCM - Unobserved Component Models, Speaker: Charlie Hallahan

Unobserved Component Models are very general time series models that incorporate trends, seasonality, cycles, regression effects, and autoregressive effects. Trends and seasonality can be allowed to change randomly. UCMs can be considered as generalizations of ARIMA and smoothing models. The basics of UCMs will be covered as well as some examples. PROC UCM is new in SAS/ETS version 9.

April 20, 2005 - PROC ROBUSTREG - Robust Regression Method, Speaker: Charlie Hallahan

The experimental ROBUSTREG procedure in SAS/STAT version 9 provides resistant (stable) results in the presence of outliers by limiting the influence of outliers. ROBUSTREG provides four robust methods: M estimation by Huber (1973), Least Trimmed Squares (LTS) estimation by Rousseeuw (1984), S estimation by Rousseeuw and Yohai (1984), and MM estimation by Yohai (1987).

May 11, 2005 - PROC QLIM - Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variable Models, Speaker: Charlie Hallahan

The QLIM (Qualitative ans Limited dependent variable Model) procedure analyzes univariate and multivariate limited dependent variable models where dependent variables take discrete values or dependent variables are observed only in a limited range of values. This procedure includes logit, probit, tobit, and general simultaneous equations models. The simultaneous equations model can contain discrete choice and limited endogenous variables as well as continuous endogenous variables.

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 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than February 22, 2005. 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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