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February 2012


Currenlty in WSS
Calling for the Gertrude M. Cox Award Nominees

Please help celebrate the 1th Anniversary of the Gertrude M. Cox Award by nominating eligible colleagues for the 1th winner of this award:

  • In memory of Dr. Cox (1900-1978), one of the founders of modern statistics, President of the American Statistical Association (1956)
  • In recognition of early- to mid-career statisticians who have made significant contributions to areas of statistics in which Dr. Cox worked
  • Sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society and RTI International

The Gertrude M. Cox Award Committee is seeking nominees for the 2012 Gertrude M Cox Award. The award was established in 2003 through a joint agreement between the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and RTI International. The award annually recognizes a statistician in early to mid-career (less than 15 years after his/her terminal degree) who has made significant contributions to one or more of the areas of applied statistics in which Gertrude Cox worked: survey methodology, experimental design, biostatistics, and statistical computing.

The award is in memory of Gertrude M. Cox (1900-1978). In 1945, Dr.Cox became director of the Institute of Statistics of the Consolidated University of North Carolina. In the 1950's, as Head of the Department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State College, she played a key role in establishing Mathematical Statistics and Biostatistics Departments at the University of North Carolina. Upon her retirement from North Carolina State University in 1960, Dr. Cox became the first head of Statistical Research Division at the newly founded RTI. She was a founding member of the International Biometric Society (IBS) and in 1949 became the first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute. She served as president of both The American Statistical Association (1956) and the IBS (1968-69). In 1975 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

The award is presented at the WSS Annual Dinner, usually held in June, with the recipient delivering the keynote address on a topic of general interest to the WSS membership. This award is made possible by funding from RTI International, and the recipient is chosen by a six-person committee - three each from WSS and RTI. This year's committee consists of Keith Rust, Jonaki Bose, and Michael Brick from WSS; Marcus Berzofsky, Phil Kott, and Karol Krotki (Chair) from RTI. The award consists of a $1,000 honorarium, travel expenses to attend the WSS Annual Dinner, and a commemorative WSS plaque. Past recipients have been Sharon Lohr, Alan Zaslavsky, Tom Belin, Vance Berger, Francesca Domenici, Thomas Lumley, Jean Opsomer, Michael Elliott, and Nilanjan Chatterjee.

Please email your nominations to Karol Krotki (kkrotki@rti.org) by March 16, 2012. Please submit a supporting statement and cv (or a link) for the candidate being nominated.

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Currenlty in WSS
Seeking Nominations for the WSS Board of Directors

Later this spring, the WSS will hold its annual elections for several important positions on its Board of Directors.

For the 2012 elections, the open positions include:

  • for July, 2012 to June, 2013
  • to serve as President July, 2013 June, 2014 and Past President July, 2014 to June, 2015
  • for July, 2012 to June, 2014 Two Representatives-at-Large
  • for July, 2012 to June, 2014
Methodology Program Chair
  • for July, 2012 to June, 2013
  • to serve as Methodology Section Chair July, 2013 to June, 2014

In recent years, nominations for the President-Elect position have alternated between the government and non-government sectors. For the 2012 election, nominees for President-Elect will be from the government sector. For any other position, nominations may come from either the government or non-government sectors.

For all of the positions listed above, we heartily welcome nominations from any member of the Washington Statistical Society. Please e-mail your nominations to Past President Mike Brick (Mikebrick@westat.com) by March 1, 2012.

In recent years, nominations for the President-Elect position have alternated between the Mike Brick, former WSS President

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Currenlty in WSS
Washington Academy of Sciences with WSS to Host the Capital Science Conference

On Saturday and Sunday, March 31-April 1, 2012, The Washington Academy of Sciences and its Affiliates (which includes WSS) will hold the fifth in the series of our biennial Pan-Affiliate Conferences, Capital Science (CapSci) 2012. This will be the first CapSci to be hosted by a consortium of the three universities that line the University Corridor on Glebe Road in Arlington Virginia--Virginia Tech, GWU, and Marymount (Near the Ballston stop on the Metro).

Registration and plenaries will be held at the new Virginia Tech facility at 900 North Glebe Road. Additional classrooms will be next door at GWU and at Marymount, just across Fairfax Drive.

With over 20 of the Academy's Affiliates participating, 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. The Academy 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 we get closer to the Conference, additional information — including Conference highlights, a list of participating societies, schedule of presentations, abstracts of talks, and registration information — will be posted as it becomes available.

Check www.washacadsci/capsci12/body.htm or contact the WSS representative to the Academy, Michael P. Cohen, at mpcohen@juno.com.

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Classes and Workshops
Course Offering at the Math/Statistics Graduate Program at Georgetown University

The Georgetown University graduate program in mathematics and statistics announces its course offerings for spring and summer, 2012, and its deadline for applications to the program for fall semester, 2012.

This vibrant program, now in its 6th year, culminates in an MS degree in mathematics and statistics. It is attuned to the math/stat workforce in the DC area and emphasizes practical applications, modeling and computation. There is a heavy focus on data analytics. The prerequisites for the program are the equivalent of a minor in mathematics. There is an active internship program, and graduates of the program do very well in the jobs market.

The course offerings are as follows.

410 - Applied Combinatorics
425 - Optimization Theory
502 - Deterministic Mathematical Models
503 - Mathematical Statistics
504 - Numerical Methods
656 - Data Mining

614 - Modeling and Analysis of Stochastic Systems Application

Deadline: April 1, 2012 for Fall 2012

For more information contact the program director, Prof J K Shaw, jks49@georgetown.edu, 202-687-5260, or peruse the website (math.georgetown.edu/programs/graduate/).

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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 more information, 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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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 2012 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award. Nominations must be submitted no later than April 2, 2012.

Jeanne Griffith
Jeanne Griffith

This year marked the 10th year that the award has been presented and the third time the ASA's Government Statistics Section oversaw the award selection process. Jenise L. Swall, Statistician, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, received her award at a ceremony held on June 8, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

If you're not familiar with the award or would like more information about the current honoree and the history of the award, see the excellent article (including some pictures from the ceremony) in the August 2010 issue of Amstat News or go to http://magazine.amstat.org/blog/2010/08/01/governmentstataug10/.

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 2012 will be accepted beginning in January 2012. The last date for submission of nominations is April 2, 2012, and the Award Committee will make its determination of the award winner by April 30, 2012. 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 2012.

Sponsors of the Award

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

  • National Opinion Research Center (NORC),
  • Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS),
  • American Institutes for Research (AIR),
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), and
  • Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP).

Please contact Stephanie Shipp (sshipp@ida.org), if you would like to contribute to the award.

The nomination packages are reviewed by a committee comprising six members who each serve a six-year term. 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 awardee 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; Rosemary D. Marcuss (Bureau of Economic Analysis), 2008; Kevin Cecco (Internal Revenue Service), Lillian S. Lin (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 2009; Deborah H. Griffin (U.S. Bureau of the Census), 2010; and Jenise L. Swall (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), 2011.

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 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 April 2, 2012, 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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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.

Curtis Jacobs Award
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.

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.

WSS Statistical Poster Competition
The WSS Statistical 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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Note From The WSS NEWS Editor

Items for publication in the March 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 your items in pdf.

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