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December 2010


In The Spotlight

Hello Everyone,

Best wishes for a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Below is a letter by President Obama in recognition for our contributions.

Colleen S. Choi, WSS editor

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Seeking Award Nominations
Nominations Sought for 2011 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 2010 award recipient was Dr. Dale W. Jorgenson for for his contributions to the measurement of productivity, innovation, capital, human capital, poverty, and for his leadership in the integration of the U.S. National Accounts.

Because the program was initiated many years ago, statisticians and economists often ask, "Who was Julius Shiskin?" At the time of his death in 1978, "Julie" was the Commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and earlier served as the Chief Statistician at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Chief Economic Statistician and Assistant Director of the Census Bureau. Throughout his career, he was known as an innovator. At Census he was instrumental in developing an electronic computer method for seasonal adjustment. In 1961, he published Signals of Recession and Recovery, which laid the groundwork for the calculation of monthly economic indicators, and he developed the monthly Census report Business Conditions Digest to disseminate them to the public. In 1969, he was appointed Chief Statistician at OMB where he developed the policies and procedures that govern the release of key economic indicators (Statistical Policy Directive Number 3), and originated a Social Indicators report. In 1973, he was selected to head BLS where he was instrumental in preserving the integrity and independence of the BLS labor force data and directed the most comprehensive revision in the history of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which included a new CPI for all urban consumers.

Nominations for the 2011 award are now being accepted. Individuals and groups in the public or private sector from any country can be nominated. The award will be presented with an honorarium of $1000 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.

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. Completed nominations must be received by March 15, 2011.

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Seeking Award Nominations
Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award Nominations Sought

By Carol House, 2011 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 2011 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award. Nominations must be submitted no later than March 25, 2011.

Nominations for 2011 will be accepted beginning in January 2011. The last date for submission of nominations is March 25, 2011, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by April 22, 2011. 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 2011.

For more information about the nominating process for the 2011 award, please go to: http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform11.doc or http://www.amstat.org/sections/sgovt/JEGform11.pdf.

If you have questions about the award, please contact Rick Peterson at rick@amstat.org (703) 684-1221, and Carol House at housca@gmail.com 703-989-1334.

The nomination package may be mailed or emailed no later than March 25, 2011, to:

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

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Seeking Award Nominations
Herriot Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are sought for the 2011 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 2011 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 2011. 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), Lynda Carlson (NSF), and Katharine G. Abraham (JPSM, University of Maryland).

Nominations for the 2011 award will be accepted beginning in February 2011. 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.

Both 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 Robert Fay, Chair, 2011 Roger Herriot Award Committee, at 240-314-2318 or BobFay@Westat.com. Completed packages must be received by April 1, 2011. 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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Section on Survey Research Methods Webinar
Introduction to Sampling for Non-Statisticians

The next webinar in the web-based training program of the Survey Research Methods Section of American Statistical Association and AAPOR will be given by Safaa Amer, Senior Statistician at NORC, on the topic "Introduction to Sampling for Non-Statisticians". The webinar will occur on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 1-3pm Eastern. Full abstract, presenter information, and registration can be found at http://www.amstat.org/sections/SRMS/webinar.cfm. For each webinar, participants register for a modest fee. Each registration is allowed one web connection and one audio connection. The section encourages multiple persons to view each registered connection. For example, an entire classroom can watch for the price of one registration. Registration is now open.

Many researchers, journalists, policy makers, and educators encounter sample surveys in their research, work, reading, or everyday experience. This course will uncover the logic behind sampling. It will give an explanation of the different types of samples and the terminology used by statistician and survey researchers. It will outline and illustrate the steps needed before, during, and after selecting a sample. It will describe the types of errors faced when conducting a survey and whether they are sampling related or not. The goal of the course is to expose non-statisticians to sampling so that they are able to read and understand articles or documents describing sampling designs and communicate with statisticians about their research needs. The course may even motivate participants to design and select simple samples to illustrate concepts and procedures. The presenter Dr. Safaa Amer is a multi-lingual Senior Statistician and Project Director at NORC with wide-ranging experience in data analysis, survey sampling, missing data, and data mining. In addition, Dr. Amer held several academic positions with the most recent being on the faculty list for the Survey Design & Data Analysis Graduate Certificate program at George Washington University.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rick Peterson at the American Statistical Association. Rick is their Education Programs Associate: rick@amstat.org; (703) 684-1221 ext. 1864.

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SIGSTAT Topics for Fall/Winter 2010-2011

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 p.m. Enter the South Tower & take the elevator to the 3rd floor to check in at the guard's desk.

Point of Contact:
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.

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the January 2011 issue of the WSS NEWS will be accepted until the last day of the preceding month. Email items to Colleen S. Choi at wss.editor@gmail.com.

Please submit all materials in MS WORD or plain text.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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