Washington Statistical Society
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December 2011


Classes and Workshops
Workshops Sponsored by American University

Spring 2012 (March)
Information and Econometrics of Networks, March 30-31, 2012, Washington DC, USA
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Seeking Journal Editors

Searches are currently underway for editors of the ASA following journals. A link to the full announcement follows each. Also, if you know of anyone you might think would be a good fit as editor of any of the journals below, please consider nominating that person.

If you have any questions please contact Eric Sampson, Journals Manager, American Statistical Association at eric@amstat.org or (703) 684-1221, Ext. 1860

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Seeking Award Nominations
Herriot Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are sought for the 2012 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. The award is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career including:

  • 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 2012 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 2012. The Washington Statistical Society will also host a seminar given by the winner on a subject of his or her own choosing.

Past recipients of the Roger Herriot Award: 1995 - Joseph Waksberg (Westat)
1996 - Monroe Sirken (National Center for Health Statistics)
1997 - Constance Citro (National Academy of Sciences)
1998 - Roderick Harrison (U.S. Census Bureau), Clyde Tucker (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
1999 - Thomas Jabine (SSA, EIA, CNSTAT)
2000 - Donald Dillman (Washington State University)
2001 - Jeanne Griffith (OMB, NCES, NSF)
2002 - Daniel Weinberg (U. S. Census Bureau)
2003 - David Banks (FDA, BTS, NIST)
2004 - Paula Schneider (U.S. Census Bureau)
2005 - Robert E. Fay III (U.S. Census Bureau)
2006 - Nathaniel Schenker (National Center for Health Statistics)
2007 - Nancy J. Kirkendall (Office of Management and Budget)
2008 - Elizabeth Martin (U.S. Census Bureau)
2009 - Lynda Carlson (National Science Foundation)
2010 - Katharine Abraham (University of Maryland)
2011 - Michael Messner (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Nominations for the 2012 award will be accepted beginning in January 2012. Nomination packages should contain:

  • A cover letter from the nominator that includes 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.
  • Up tosix additional letters in support that demonstrate the innovativeness of each contribution.
  • A current vita for the nominee with current 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 moreinformation, contact Jill A. Dever, Chair of the 2012 Roger Herriot Award Committee, at 202.974.7846 or jdever@rti.org. Completed packages must be received by April 1, 2012. Electronic submissions in MS-Word or as a pdf file are strongly encouraged.

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Seeking Award Nominations
2012 Julius Shiskin Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are invited for the annual Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics.

The Award is givenin 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 2011 award recipient was Thomas L. Mesenbourg Jr., the Deputy Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, received the 2011 Shiskin Award for his contributions to developing and advancing economic statistics programs that meet the needs of a rapidly changing economy.

The award is in memory of Julius Shiskin, who had a varied and remarkable public service career. 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 2012 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, 2012.

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Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed at different times between March and June 2012 — 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 year 30 of your fellow WSS members judged and awarded prizes to projects in Mathematical Sciences, Behavioral & Social Science, Environmental Management, Animal Sciences, Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering, Earth and Planetary Science, Microbiology, Physics, and Astronomy. If you are interested in being a science fair judge, contact Gloria Gridley at gridleyg@aol.com or 301-762-2618.

The Curtis Jacobs Award program focuses on gathering information and analyzing data 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 Barnali Das at BarnaliDas@westat.com or 301-279-4593.

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Call for Proposals
Kauffman Firm Survey Data Extension and Matching

Deadline: January 15, 2012

As the Kauffman Foundation nears the completion of its eight-year panel study on new firms in the United States, the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), we are seeking interested scholars who would like to extend the core survey data in ways that do not increase the burden on survey respondents. While more than 6,000 variables are included in the confidential version of the KFS microdata, we recognize that there are additional opportunities for research that become available by incorporating new sources of data to leverage the existing KFS survey information. Through this grant program we hope to accomplish the following:

  • Expand the community of experts involved with the KFS to include scholars with expertise in natural language processing, web scraping, and related approaches;
  • Create reusable infrastructure; and
  • Use the prototype/demo infrastructure to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach-- missingness, accuracy, utility--to expand our understanding of different approaches for matching to existing data sets.

Multiple projects are likely to be funded with individual project budgets up to $50,000 being preferred.

Full details available at www.kauffman.org/KFSProposals.

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Student Column

Note from WSS Student Representative

Today I was thinking about what we learn about statistics in school, both in and outside of our classes.

Until this year, I've thought that what I've learned in my classes has been an important and necessary knowledge base for understanding the fields of measurement and statistics, but that what I've learned outside of class has perhaps been more valuable. Running tests, comparing models, and making estimates from clean and well-behaved data (which occupies most of class time and effort) is rare at my job, dwarfed by the tasks of cleaning and making sense of messy real-world data.

Additionally, in my graduate program I've had the opportunity to teach - fully teach, not just TA - undergraduate courses in the department. As part of the planning process, creating assignments, assessments, and other materials, I needed to organize my knowledge, decide what concepts are most important, and figure out how to best present the material. As a result, I am now comfortable walking into any university classroom in the country and teaching basic stats.

But recently, I'm finding that my class work (as a student) may be just as valuable. One example: consulting on a research project on hearing loss at NIH this spring, I was able to dig into the tool bag of advanced longitudinal models (put together in a class that I took several years ago) to uncover interesting and important patterns.

In the coming years, I'm sure I'll be adding more examples to both sides of the ledger.

Ari Houser
Student Representative

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the January 2012 issue of the WSS NEWS will be accepted until the 15th day of the preceding month.

Email items to wss.editor@gmail.com.

Please submit all materials in MS WORD or plain text.

Please do not submit y0ur items in pdf.

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Click here to see the WSS Board Listing (pdf)
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