Washington Statistical Society
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May 2007


Announcement of the 2007 WSS Election

The 2007 WSS election will be held online from Monday, May 7th through Friday, June 8th. Instructions on voting will be sent to members the first week of May. Below are the candidates for this year's election. All WSS members are urged to vote once the balloting begins. The results will be announced at the WSS Annual Dinner on June 27th.

Candidates For President (select one)

Mel Kollander, SciMetrika, LLC

Mel Kollander serves as the Director of D.C. Operations and Chief Survey Methodologist for SciMetrika, LLC. Previously he served as the head of the Survey Methods Unit of the National Centre for Social Research in London, the founder and Director of Temple University's Institute for Survey Research Washington Office, and the Senior Statistician, Manager, and Principal Survey Methodologist for the USEPA. While with EPA, he spent six years as an advisor to the World Health Organization and Kuwait Government. Kollander is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, a member of the International Association of Survey Statisticians, a member of the American Statistical Association, and member of the Washington Statistical Society, where he served on the board as video librarian for six years and currently serves as co-chair of the Agriculture and National Resources Program. He was the 2006 recipient of the Washington Statistical Society President's Award.

Kollander received a BS in Statistics and Operations Research from New York University in 1962 and an MA in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York in 1964. He has served as guest lecturer, written chapters for several books, published papers and participated in workshops. He was the lead author of the EPA's Survey Management Handbook—this manual is now in its second edition and is used as a guideline for EPA staff and contractors when conducting surveys. He serves as Chair of the Bronx High of Science DC Chapter and Treasurer of the NYU Stern School DC Chapter.

Karol Krotki, RTI

Karol Krotki is currently Senior Research Statistician at RTI where he has worked since 2003. He is Manager of the Survey Research Program in the Statistics and Epidemiology Unit. Prior to RTI, he worked at various private, government, and international organizations primarily as a survey statistician.

Karol received his Ph.D. in Sociology (Population Studies) and a Masters in Statistics from the University of Michigan. He studied sampling and survey theory and practice under Dr. Leslie Kish and he has over 30 years of experience in most phases of survey methodology, especially sampling and statistical analysis. He has been a member of ASA for over 30 years and a member of WSS for over 10 years during which term he served as Methodology Section Chair in 1996-1998. He was also President of AAPOR-DC in 1999 and serves on the AAPOR Education Committee.

Candidates for Survey Methodology Section Chair (select one)

Keith Rust, Westat

Keith Rust is a Vice President and Associate Director of the Statistical Group at Westat, where he has been for over 20 years. He is also a Research Professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the ASA and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He has previously served on the executive committees of both the Survey Research Methods and Social Statistics Sections of the ASA. He was formerly a member of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences, and was Chair of the Committee's Panel on Alternative Census Methodologies for the 2000 Census.

Robert Baskin, AHRQ

Robert Baskin is a senior mathematical statistician with over 20 years of experience in project management for a full range of statistical projects and a broad range of statistical consulting. At the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), he is responsible for statistical consulting across the Agency and for conducting statistical research. Since joining AHRQ, Dr. Baskin has worked on a variety of statistical projects including estimating random effects models using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), evaluating the impact of imputation on variance estimation for MEPS expenditure data, and carrying out numerous statistical consulting projects relating to healthcare research and policy. Dr. Baskin has consulted on a range of statistical issues within AHRQ including variance estimation using complex survey data, Bayesian modeling, predictive inference, and sample size determination. Dr. Baskin holds a BA in mathematics from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a PhD degree in statistics from the University of Florida.

Before joining AHRQ, Dr. Baskin worked at Westat where he was associated with projects such as evaluation of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign; sample redesign for the Drug Abuse Warning Network; and regulatory support for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water. In previous work for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dr. Baskin supervised and took part in statistical work related to the Consumer Price Index.

Candidates for WSS Representatives At Large (select two)

Johnny Blair, Abt Associates

Johnny Blair is Abt Associate's Senior Survey Methodologist and Director of Abts' Cognitive Testing Laboratory. Over the course of his career, he has managed survey operations, designed surveys for both population and business establishment research, and conducted methodological research in several areas, including sampling for rare populations, measurement error in proxy reporting, and the design and the analysis of cognitive interviews for pretesting. He has served on committees for the National Academy of Sciences, American Statistical Association and NCES, among others. From 1994-1999, he served on the editorial board of Public Opinion Quarterly.

His publications include "Survey Pretesting: Do Different Methods Produce Different Results?" (with Stanley Presser), "Aspects of Data Quality in Cognitive Interviews: The case of verbal reports," (with Frederick Conrad), "Dual Frame Web-Telephone Sampling for Rare Groups" (with Edward Blair), and the book Designing Surveys: A guide to decisions and procedures 2nd edition (with Ronald Czaja).

Jeri Metzger Mulrow, NSF

Jeri Metzger Mulrow is a Senior Mathematical Statistician at the National Science Foundation where she provides a broad range of statistical and survey expertise to the Division of Science Resources Statistics. She has been a member of the Washington Statistical Society for 20 years and has served on the WSS board on the Short Course committee and as Social Chair.

Jeri has worked in academia, government and the private sector gaining a broad view of statistical applications. She has held positions at Ernst & Young (Senior Manager in the Quantitative Economics and Statistics Group), NORC, IRS Statistics of Income Division, NIST and the University of Southern Illinois. She is an active member of the ASA serving on the Committee of Sections Governing Board.

Brian A. Harris-Kojetin, OMB

Present Position: Statistician, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 2001. Former Positions: Senior Project Leader, Arbitron Inc., 1998-2001. Research Psychologist, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1992-1998. Degrees: Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Minnesota. Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Religious Studies, University of Denver. Fields of Major Statistical Activities: Survey methodology, survey nonresponse, data quality, confidentiality. Publications: "Implementing the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002" (with Katherine K. Wallman) Chance, 2004. "Exploring the relation of economic and political conditions with refusal rates to a government survey" (with Clyde Tucker), Journal of Official Statistics, 1999. Proceedings of the Section on Survey Research Methods, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. ASA Activities and Offices Held: Government Statistics Section Program Chair 2005, ASA Survey Review Committee, WSS Public Policy Chair, Roger Herriot Award Committee.

Joy Sharp, BTS

Joy Sharp is a statistician at the Research and Innovative Technology Administration where she has worked for last six years as part of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). She is currently co-manager of the Commodity Flow Survey and has been actively involved in the design, development and management of several passenger travel and freight surveys. In addition, she has 12 years experience working on health, housing and income surveys at the U.S. Census Bureau, and two years of experience as a consultant while working for the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Survey Research Center. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Mathematics from Jacksonville State University and an M.S. in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland.

Candidate for Secretary (select one)

Chris Moriarity, NCHS

Chris Moriarity is a Mathematical Statistician in the Division of Health Interview Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Chris previously worked at the Census Bureau from 1986 to 1993, in the Office of Research and Methodology at NCHS from 1993 to 2002, and at the Government Accountability Office from 2002 to 2005. He served on the FCSM subcommittee that produced Statistical Policy Working Paper 31, "Measuring and Reporting Sources of Error in Surveys". He received a Ph.D. in Statistics from The George Washington University in 2001.

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2007 Annual Dinner

The WSS Annual Dinner will be held Wednesday, June 27, 2007, at China Garden in Arlington, VA. Further details appear on the last page of this issue. Francesca Dominici of Johns Hopkins University and winner of the Gertrude M. Cox Award will be out Guest Speaker.

As always,this event provides a great opportunity to spend time with friends and make new acquaintances. We look forward to seeing you there!

Download the flyer (pdf) to register for the dinner and to find our more.

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Committee on National Statistics
of The National Academies

Seminar Announcement

Measuring the Economic Effects of


Models, Data, and Policies

Thursday, May 10, 2007 3:00 PM
Auditorium of the Main Building of the National Academy of Sciences
2100 C Street NW

William D. Nordhaus
Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University
Member, National Academy of Sciences
Former Member, Committeeon National Statistics

William D. Nordhaus will present an overview of the current state of research in the field and challenge the federal statistical and research communities to develop the data, statistics, methodological research, and analyses needed to help us chart our future course. Specifically, he will discuss "integrated assessment" and other economic models of global warming; present results of recent modeling efforts attempting to identify the relative efficiency of different policy objectives; assess the major uncertainties that limit our modeling efforts and, in turn, our understanding of the issues; and offer recommendations for improving statistical data that would improve our models, projections, and policy assessments.

Discussants: Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator, Energy Information Administration and J. Steven Landefeld, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Introductory remarks on federal statistics by Katherine Wallman, U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Coffee, tea, and cookies available in Great Hall at 2:30 PM
Reception following the seminar

All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP by May 7 to Bridget Edmonds at (202) 334-3096 or cnstat@nas.edu.

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Students' Corner

One of the best ways to enrich your academic experiences during your studies is to expose your curiosities not only to the topics that you are interested in, but also to those that are even unknown to you. Are you guilty of staying within your comfort zone (e.g., your cozy office on campus surrounded by the same people everyday)? I personally believe that ideas, especially for your thesis research, are often born out of encountering something new and not necessarily related to the topics of your interest. So, where can we, as students, get these opportunities? My answer is "Get out of your campus and attend seminars and short courses!"

As you probably know already, WSS sponsors a series of statistical seminars and short courses. You can get a list of upcoming seminars and short courses at the following web pages:

For seminars: http://vanish.science.gmu.edu/~wss/seminar.html
For short courses: http://vanish.science.gmu.edu/~wss/shortcs.html

Theseseminars and short courses are held multiple times every month across a wide variety of topics. It is good to check these web pages periodically, because for short courses, available seats are limited, especially for student registrations, and they get filled rather quickly.

I attended a WSS short course in March: "R and Analysis of Complex Survey" taught by Prof. Thomas Lumley from the University of Washington. It was a well-attended two-day course: I heard there was a long waiting-list. As a student, I got a discounted registration fee of $50 (which is very reasonable especially with lunch, coffee, and snacks provided!). Prof. Lumley, the instructor, went through well-prepared power-point lecture notes, and it was very interactive sessions where he welcomed many questions. One nice thing about this kind of short courses is that you get to talk with the instructor personally during breaks and ask some of the lingering questions you have been pondering about.

As muchas I liked the content of the course, what I liked the most was the opportunities to interact with working professional statisticians who were also attendees of the course. Through these interactions, I expanded my network in the professional statisticians' community and also received a lot of stimuli for my research ideas.

Finally, let me add to the list the series of seminars that the department of statistics at the George Washington University organizes. You can get more information about the upcoming seminars and also join the mailing list at:


That's all I have for this month. If you have any feedback on this column or ideas of topics for future issues, please send an email to me at hikawa@gwu.edu.

Hiro Hikawa
The George Washington University

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the June issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than May 4, 2007. 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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