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March 2010


Capital Science 2010 To Be Held March 27-28

On Saturday and Sunday, March 27-28 2010, The Washington Academy of Sciences (WAS) and its Affiliated Societies (including WINFORMS and IIE) will hold the fourth in our series of our biennial pan-Affiliate Conferences, Capital Science 2010. It will be held in the Conference Facility of the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA at the Ballston Metro stop. The Conference will serve as an umbrella for scientific presentations, seminars, tutorials, and talks. These pan- Affiliate Conferences underline 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. WAS 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. As the Conference gets closer, additional information including Conference highlights, schedule of presentations, abstracts of talks, fees, and registration information will be posted as it becomes available at http://www.washacadsci.org/capsci10/Index.htm

Featured Speakers

The Saturday evening dinner meeting will feature a keynote address by NSF Director Dr. Arden Bement. The speaker at Saturday lunch meeting will be Dr. Jay Sanders, President and CEO of The Global Telemedicine Group and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was a member of the Department of Defense Telemedicine Board of Directors with the Surgeon Generals of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and, during the Clinton administration he directed the U.S. telemedicine initiatives to the G-8 nations. The Sunday lunch meeting will feature a talk by Dr. James Yorke, Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics and Physics and Chairman of the Mathematics Department of the University of Maryland. His current research projects range from chaos theory and weather prediction and genome research and the investigation of computer networks to the population dynamics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He is best known to the general public for coining the mathematical term "chaos" with T.Y. Li in a 1975 paper entitled "Period Three Implies Chaos". Among his honors is the Japan Award from the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan and the Washington Academy of Sciences Award. Professor Yorke is widely recognized as a brilliant speaker.

Planto attend the Conference. It is certainly among this area's premier events. Feel free to contact Michael P. Cohen, the WSS representative to WAS, mpcohen@juno.com, 202-254- 5532 (TuTh) if you have any questions.

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Herriot Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are sought for the 2010 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. 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 within Federal statistical agencies, other government organizations, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and the academic community may be nominated on the basis of their contributions.

The recipient of the 2010 Roger Herriot Award will be chosen by a committee comprising representatives of the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, and of the Washington Statistical Society. Roger Herriot was associated with, and strongly supportive of, these organizations during his career. The award consists of a $1,000 honorarium and a framed citation, which will be presented at a ceremony at the Joint Statistical Meetings in August 2010. The Washington Statistical Society will also host a seminar given by the winner on a subject of his or her own choosing.

The previous recipients of the Roger Herriot Award are Joseph Waksberg (Westat), Monroe Sirken (NCHS), Constance Citro (CNStat), Roderick Harrison (Census Bureau), Clyde Tucker (BLS), Thomas Jabine (SSA, EIA, CNStat), Donald Dillman (Washington State University), Jeanne Griffith (OMB, NCES, NSF), Daniel Weinberg (Census Bureau), David Banks (FDA, BTS, NIST), Paula Schneider (Census Bureau), Robert E. Fay III (Census Bureau), Nathaniel Schenker (NCHS), Nancy Kirkendall (EIA), Elizabeth Martin (Census Bureau), and Lynda Carlson (NSF).

Nominations for the 2010 award will be accepted beginning in February 2010. Nomination packages should contain:

  1. A cover letter from the nominator that should include references to specific examples of the nominee's contributions to innovation in Federal statistics. These contributions can be to methodology, procedure, organization, administration, or other areas of Federal statistics, and need not have been made by or while a Federal employee.

  2. Up to six additional letters in support that demonstrate the innovativeness of each contribution.

  3. A current vita for the nominee, including contact information.

oth individual and group nominations may be submitted. The committee may consider nominations made for prior years, but it encourages resubmission of those nominations with updated information.

For more information, contact Frank Potter, Chair, 2010 Roger Herriot Award Committee, at 609-936-2799 or FPotter@Mathematica-MPR.com. Completed packages must be received by April 1, 2010. Electronic submissions in MS-Word or as a "pdf" file are strongly encouraged. Please contact the chair if you need to make arrangements to fax or mail a nomination.

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Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Nominations Sought

Beth Kilss, 2010 Chair, Griffith Award Selection Committee

It's time to start thinking about nominating an outstanding supervisor, technical director, team coordinator, or other member of a governmental statistical staff who encourages mentoring of junior staff in the Federal, State, or Local statistical system for the 2010 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award. Nominations must be submitted no later than March 26, 2010.

This year marked the first time in the award's 7-year history that two winners were chosen, as well as the first time the ASA's Government Statistics Section oversaw the award selection process. Kevin Cecco, Chief of the Corporation Statistics Branch, Statistics of Income Division, IRS, and Lillian Lin, Mathematical Statistician, Division of HIV and AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received their awards at a ceremony held on June 17, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

If you're not familiar with the award or would like more information about the current winners and the history of the award, see the excellent article (including a number of pictures from the ceremony) in the August 2009 issue of Amstat News, pp. 51-54, or go to http://www.amstat.org/publications/amsn/2009/august.cfm.

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award was established to honor Dr. Griffith who 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.

Nominations for 2010 will be accepted beginning in January 2010. The last date for submission of nominations is March 26, 2010, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by May 7, 2010. The award will consist of a $1,000 honorarium (to be split if there is more than one awardee), a citation, and a plaque, which will be presented at a ceremony arranged by the co-sponsors in June 2010.

The nomination packages are reviewed by a committee comprising six members who each serve a six-year term:

  • Emerson Elliott, National Center for Education Statistics (Retired)
  • Carol House, National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • Dan Kasprzyk, Mathematica Policy Research
  • Beth Kilss, 2010 Chair, Internal Revenue Service (Retired)
  • Stephanie Shipp, 2009 Chair, Science & Technology Policy Institute
  • Clyde Tucker, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Andy Orlin, Jeanne Griffith's husband, serves as emeritus member, thus providing continuity and historical perspective.

The recipients of the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award previous to this year's two winners are Rich Allen (National Agriculture Statistical Service), 2003; Beth Kilss (Internal Revenue Service), 2004; Renee Miller (Energy Information Administration), 2005; Martin O'Connell (U.S. Census Bureau), 2006; Stephanie Shipp (National Institute of Standards and Technology at the time of the award), 2007; and Rosemary D. Marcuss (Bureau of Economic Analysis), 2008.

The winning mentor(s) will be selected for his or her efforts in supporting the work and developing the careers of junior 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.

Nominations should be prepared in the form of a letter or memorandum for the Award Selection Committee:

  • The letter or memorandum should summarize the nominee's actions that support and encourage junior staff in the Federal, State, or Local statistical community in developing their careers.
  • Nominations may be accompanied by up to six supporting letters. These should be attached to, and submitted with, the nomination.
  • The Award Selection Committee finds that descriptions of what nominees actually do are the strongest demonstration of candidate mentoring. Here are some examples: the mentor is a source of advice counsels with long-term goals in mind thought I was well qualified even though I had some doubts encourages staff to seek out positions that will increase their visibility and stretch their professional capabilities. These are more explicit and unique to the mentor than generic statements such as: the mentor is a coach a teacher.

Photo copies and email copies of support letters are acceptable.

For more information about the nominating process for the 2010 award, please go to: http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform10.doc or http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform10.pdf.

If you have questions about the award, please contact Monica Clark at monica@amstat.org, (703) 302-1860, and Beth Kilss at bakilss@msn.com, (703) 451-7240.

The nomination package may be mailed or emailed no later than March 26, 2010, to:

The Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Committee
c/o The American Statistical Association
732 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1943

Sponsors of the Award: The Government Statistics Section (GSS) of the American Statistical Association manages the award. GSS would like to thank our original co-sponsors:

  • Washington Statistical Society,
  • Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association,
  • Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP),
  • Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics,
and our two new co-sponsors:
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), and
  • National Opinion Research Corporation (NORC).

Please contact Stephanie Shipp (sshipp919@gmail.com), if you would like to contribute to the award.

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WSS Seeks Suggestions for Seminar Topics

The Washington Statistical Society (WSS) Seminar series has long provided a fine selection of early afternoon presentations, for the benefit of the Washington area statistical and related communities, as a free public service. Please note the following link for a list of abstracts: http://science.gmu.edu/~wss/seminar.html.

In order to better serve the WSS membership and friends, the WSS Board of Directors and the program chairs who sponsor these seminars are now soliciting suggestions for topics that you would like to have covered in upcoming seminars. Please consult the list of program chairs at this URL: http://www.scs.gmu.edu/~wss/board.pdf. Topics may fall under the categories of general methodology, agriculture and natural resources, economics, human rights, data collection, public health and biostatistics, national security, public policy, statistical computing, quality assurance, and social and demographic.

Please send your suggestions to the program chair or program chairs that seem most appropriate. Perhaps you would like to consult your colleagues, and/or the supervisor(s) who may approve your attendance at such a professional meeting. You could note that this is a free local learning experience (or "training").

So, please go to the above link, find a program chair, and send a suggestion, or two, or three, or .

Thank you,
WSS Board

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Announcing the 2010 Student Travel Award Competition
Deadline: April 9, 2010

The Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association will repeat its successful Student Travel Award Competition in 2010. This initiative encourages students to gain exposure to opportunities in survey research methods and to become familiar with the section and its work.

Up to twotravel awards of $750 each will be awarded to graduate students to attend the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, see the application located at www.amstat.org/sections/srms/travelapp_2010.pdf.

The application and supporting documents are due no later than April 9, 2010.

Dawn E. Haines
Chair, Student Travel Award Committee
SRMS Treasurer, 2009-2010

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Volunteers Needed!

Volunteers are needed at different times between March and June 2010 -- to judge entries in the Curtis Jacobs Memorial Prize for Outstanding Statistics Project; to judge entries in the WSS Statistical Poster Competition; and to judge science fair projects at the regional science fairs in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and the District of Columbia. The WSS needs you to volunteer now for any one or all three!

The WSS has a longstanding and active program of reaching out to elementary and secondary school students to encourage them to gain an understanding and appreciation of Statistics. We do this in part by sponsoring two annual competitions the Curtis Jacobs Memorial Prize and the WSS Statistical Poster Competition and by awarding prizes at the annual regional high school science fairs.

Since 1986, WSS has provided special awards at the five regional science fairs to students whose projects demonstrate excellence in data analysis or the application of statistical methods. The fairs are held on Saturdays in March. They need volunteers willing to devote one Saturday morning to interact with students, judge their projects, and give them some guidance and encouragement. Those who have participated in these activities have very much enjoyed meeting the students, talking with them, and seeing the widely diverse projects they have presented. Last March, 32 of your fellow WSS members judged and awarded prizes to projects in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Engineering, Plant Sciences, Chemistry, and Mathematics. If you are interested in being a science fair judge, contact Bob Clickner at Robertclickner@westat.com, or 301-294-2815.

The Curtis Jacobs Award program focuses on gathering information and analyzing for making decisions. Entries are typically due in May; judges review and score the entries at their convenience and transmit their evaluations and scores by late May. If you are interested in volunteering to judge the entries, contact Tom Krenzke at TomKrenzke@westat.com or 301-251-4203.

The poster competition is open to students in grades K-12 and entries may be in any area of statistics. Judging is typically in May or June. If you are interested in judging, contact Cammy Fine at Cammy.Fine@ey.com or 202-327-7730, or Nicole Miller at nicole.miller@ey.com or 202-327-8309.

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Hailin Sang Appointed Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences

Hailin Sang hasbeen appointed as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). NISS is a research institute created by the statistical professional societies with support from a consortium of North Carolina universities.

Sang will join one of three teams at NISS that are collaborating with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Sang, together with Professor Linda Young of the University of Florida and Associate Professor Pamela Arroway of North Carolina State University, NASS project leaders Andrea Lamas, and Denise Abreu, as well as Kenneth Lopiano, graduate student from the University of Florida, will address "New Statistical Editing and Imputation Methods that Preserve Data Quality," for implementation in the Quarterly Agricultural Survey. Sang will be located at NASS in Washington DC during the academic year and will then spend the summer at NISS in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Sang has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati since September 2008. He received his masters in statistics and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Connecticut.

David Yang Joins NISS as Research Associate to Work on Projects for NCES

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) is happy to announce that David Yang has joined its staff as the Research Associate to work with the Education Statistics Services Institute (ESSI). ESSI provides technical expertise to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the areas of statistical methodology research, statistical analysis, survey development and project management. NISS is a partner with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and RTI International in operating ESSI.

As part of his new position at NISS, Yang will be responsible for providing methodological and statistical support for technical review activities, including leading reviews and providing substantive and technical comments on draft NCES products such as reports, data files, file documentation and web sites. He will take a lead role in projects that monitor the quality of NCES data and track the use of NCES data products by practitioners, researchers and policy makers. He will also conduct data analyses and write research and technical reports. NCES conducts studies and produces reports that cut across all levels of education, from early childhood through life-long learning. The agency also oversees planning, design, operations, statistical analysis, reporting and dissemination for elementary, secondary and library surveys at the national, state, and local levels.

Yang received his Bachelor of Science degree in biotechnology at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He obtained his Master of Science degree in Statistics at the University of Kentucky. He is a SAS Certifed Advanced Programmer. He interned at the IAQ Laboratories as a Statistical Analyst. Yang will work and reside in the Washington DC area.

About NISS

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences was established in 1990 by the national statistics societies and the Research Triangle universities and organizations, with the mission to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector research involving the statistical sciences. NISS is dedicated to strengthening and serving the national statistics community, most notably by catalyzing community members' participation in applied research driven by challenges facing government and industry. NISS also provides career development opportunities for statisticians and scientists, especially those in the formative stages of their careers. NISS is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

For more information about NISS, go to the new website www.niss.org.

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Nominations Sought for 2010 Julius Shiskin Award

Nominations are invited for the annual Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. The Award is given in recognition of unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy. Contributions are recognized for statistical research, development of statistical tools, application of information technology techniques, use of economic statistical programs, management of statistical programs, or developing public understanding of measurement issues. The Award was established in 1980 by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and is now cosponsored by the WSS, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA).

The award will be presented with an honorarium of $750 plus additional recognition from the sponsors. A nomination form and a list of all previous recipients are available on the ASA Website at www.amstat.org/sections/bus_econ/shiskin.html. Completed nominations must be received by March 5, 2010. For questions or more information, please contact Steven Paben, Julius Shiskin Award Committee Secretary, via e-mail at paben.steven@bls.gov or call 202-691-6147.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Winter 2010

March 17, 2010: SAS for Forecasting Time Series: Part 5

This month continues a series of meetings on the topic using SAS to forecast time series. We follow the book titled "SAS for Forecasting Time Series 2nd Edition" by Brocklebank and Dickey.

Part 5: This month begins Chapter 4: The ARIMA Model: Introductory Applications. Topics include an introduction to seasonal modeling and model identification.

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, 1800 M St, NW from 12:00 to 1:00. Enter the South Tower & 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 & many links of statistical interest can be found at the SIGSTAT website, http://www.cpcug.org/user/sigstat/.

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the April issue of the WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than March 18, 2010. 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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