WSS NEWS--News about activities of the Washington Statistical Society - a Chapter of the American Statistical Association

May 1996


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Election Ballot

An election ballot for the 1996-1997 program year of the Washington Statistical Society Board of Directors is being mailed to all members of WSS. Biographical information on the candidates is enclosed in this issue. Ballots must be received by Friday, May 24, 1996 to be counted. Results will be announced at the WSS Annual Dinner at Bish Thompson's Seafood Restaurant in Bethesda, MD on Thursday, June 13, 1996.

Annual Dinner

The WSS Annual Dinner will be held Thursday, June 13, 1996, at Bish Thompson▀s Seafood Restaurant in Bethesda. Please see the attached flyer for details. This is a great opportunity to join with friends, meet colleagues, and make new acquaintances! We look forward to seeing you there!


BLS is sponsoring a seminar series on issues concerning confidentiality of and access to statistical data. Members of the Washington statistical community are invited to attend lectures in this series. These lectures will be held at BLS, Room 2990, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

On Tuesday, May 14th, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., Laura V. Zayatz, Bureau of the Census, will give a talk entitled 'The Census Bureau's Disclosure Review Board and its Role in Data Release.' Robert Burton, National Center for Education Statistics, will be the discussant. Bob will draw from his experiences as a member of NCES's Disclosure Review Board.

Richard A. Moore, Jr., Bureau of the Census, will be speaking on Tuesday, June 18th, 10-11 am. In his talk, 'Controlled Data-Swapping Techniques for Masking Public Use Microdata Sets,' Richard will give a brief overview of the evolution of data-swapping techniques and also summarize his current research in this area.

To receive a copy of the abstract or obtain more information, contact Virginia de Wolf (202-606-7374) or send email to

Please note that BLS has special security procedures for non-BLS employees. Non-BLS staff who want to attend either of these lectures should call or email Ginny de Wolf in order to be placed on the visitor's list. Please provide your name, organization, and date/title of the lecture(s) you want to attend.

Get Online with WSS!

The WSS now distributes the newsletter electronically to over 200 members. These members get the newsletter a week or more prior to folks who get the surface mail version, and can get updates on recent events and changes. Also, WSS saves printing and postage, since we don't need to send a paper copy to the electronic folks.

If you would like to receive the newsletter by email, please send a note to Vince Massimini ( listing your name, organization, and internet email address. If you are an ASA member, it would help if you could include your ASA number and mailing address with Zip code, but this is not critical. Also, if your email address has changed, please let Vince know. Your messages may be bouncing and he can't get them to you.

And don't forget that WSS is on the World Wide Web! If you haven't stopped by, please do so. You can check current lectures, read the newsletter, look for jobs, hook into other statistical organizations, etc. Many thanks to Dan Rope of BLS who put the page together and Jim Gentle of GMU who is providing the WWW site. The WSS WWW page is at URL if you would like to give it a try. Note that the newsletter is also published on the page--it's the same info as the surface or email edition, just a slightly different format.

SIGSTAT Meetings

SIGSTAT, the Special Interest Group in Statistics for the Capitol PC User Group and the Washington Operations Research and Management Science Council (WORMSC), will be sponsoring the following meetings. On May 8, the meeting will examine StatXact 3 for Windows. On June 12, Stata for Windows will be examined.

All meetings are from 12:30 - 1:30 in Room 1208, 1301 New York Ave, NW. First time attendees should call Charlie Hallahan at 202-501-6928 and leave their name. Information on SIGSTAT can be obtained on the WWW using the following URL: http://www.ers.usda.govsigstat and on the Members/Sigs page at


Please mark your selection on the enclosed ballot and return to the address on the reverse side of the ballot by Friday, May 24, 1996.


GRAHAM KALTON is a Senior Statistician and a Senior Vice President at Westat, Inc. He is also a Research Professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. His previous positions include: Research Scientist in the Survey Research Center, Professor of Biostatistics, and Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan; Leverhulme Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Southampton, U.K.; and Reader in Social Statistics at the London School of Economics. His research interests are in survey sampling and survey methodology more generally. He has served as President of the International Association of Survey Statisticians, Chair of the ASA Section on Survey Research Methods, Chair of the Royal Statistical Society's Social Statistics Section, and a member of the RSS Council. He was a member of the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics for six years and has also served on four CNSTAT panels.

EDWARD SPAR is Executive Director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) where his major role is to act as advocate for the development and dissemination of high-quality federal statistics. He also teaches a graduate course in applied demography in the Demography Department at Georgetown University. His previous positions include President of Market Statistics, a demographic research firm and Vice President for Mathematics and Systems for the Daniel Starch and Staff market media research firm. His statistical/research interests include quality and timeliness of federal statistics and the development and uses of demographic data. He is currently Program Chair Elect of the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association, and Vice President of the International Association of Official Statistics. He has served as Secretary and Chair of the ASA Section on Government Statistics and as President of the Association of Public Data Users.


CAROLYN SHETTLE is Chief Statistician, Division of Science Resource Studies, National Science Foundation. She has also held applied social statistics positions at Health and Human Services, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Committee on Criminal Justice. She has a Ph. D. in Sociology with a major concentration in statistics and research methodology from Wisconsin-Madison. Her current activities at the Washington Statistical Society include serving as Treasurer, and being a member of the Finance Subcommittee and the Statistics and Public Policy Group. She is also the 1996 Program Chair of the Government statistics section of the American Statistical Association. Her research interests include social and demographic statistics, statistics and public policy, survey research methods, and performance measures in statistical agencies.


KAROL KROTKI recently joined the Education Statistical Services Institute (ESSI), a federally funded institute located in Washington, D.C. funded to provide support to the National Center for Education Statistics in statistical research and analysis, data development, and project management, as its Chief Statistician. Prior to joining the ESSI, Karol worked for six years at Temple University's Institute for Survey Research as its Senior Study Director and Sampling Statistician. His professional career includes stints in academia, government, and international organizations. His main interests lie in survey methodology, especially sampling and statistical analysis. In addition to his sampling expertise, Karol has worked on problems and issues in the areas of imputation, non-response bias, calculation of sampling errors, weighting, projections, and efficient data processing. On the substantive side, he has worked in a number of subject-matter areas including demography, health, drugs, alcohol, education, aging, and ethnic relations.

ALLEN SCHIRM is Senior Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR). Prior to joining MPR in 1989, he was an Assistant Research Scientist and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. Allen has a Ph. D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. in Statistics from Princeton University. His research interests include sample and evaluation design, small area estimation, food and nutrition policy, and education policy. He has undertaken projects for IRS' Statistics of Income Division, USDA's Food and Consumer Service, DOL's Employment and Training Administration, and Ed's Office of Policy and Planning. His recent reports and articles include work on the relative accuracy of direct and indirect estimates of state poverty rates, the development of small area estimates for fund allocation in the WIC program, the design of random assignment evaluations, the design and weighting of cross- sectional and panel samples of tax returns and the effects of census undercount adjustment.


EDITH McARTHUR is a statistician at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, where her principal responsibilities are to conduct the internal questionnaire reviews of each proposed NCES data collection and to conduct research on education-related issues particularly as they relate to special populations, such as students with limited English proficiency and students who are delayed in their progress through school. She serves as the NCES representative to Federal Interagency Committees on the Review of the Federal Classifications of Race and Ethnicity and on the Year 2000 Census. Prior to coming to NCES, she worked at the Census Bureau on the decennial census, the Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. She has served as Publications Officer and Program Chair of the ASA Social Statistics Section and on the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics; and is the NCES Ex-officio Member of the American Educational Research Association Grants Review Board. She completed her BSFS at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and her MA in Sociology (Demography), Georgetown University.

CLYDE TUCKER is Director of the Behavioral Science Research Center in the Office of Survey Methods Research at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Previously he worked for nine years as a mathematical statistician in the Office of Prices and Living Conditions at BLS. Dr. Tucker began his career as the Assistant Manager of CBS News Polls. His area of expertise is measurement errors in surveys. He has an statistics and a Ph.D. in political science, both from the University of Georgia. He served previously as the WSS program chair for Data Collection Methods.

ALLEN TUPEK is Deputy Director of the Division of Sceince Resources Studies, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation. Prior positions include Chief, Statistical Methods Division, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Mathematical Statistician, Census Bureau. His major areas of interest include sample survey methodology, automated collection methodology, nonsampling error measurement and control, and meta data and electronic dissemination of statistical information. He has an M.S. in statistics from the University of Connecticut. He has served as secretary/treasurer of the ASA section on Government Statistics and is a member of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology.

JOAN TUREK is Director for Modelling, Computer, and Technical Systems in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS. She recently chaired the HHS Task Force on the Privacy of Private Sector Health Records and served as a member of the Information Infrastructure Task Force, Information Policy Committee's Working Group on Privacy. She also serves as the Department's representative to the Department of Commerce's Policy Committee of the Task Force for Designing the Year 2000 Census and Census Committee. Throughout her career, Joan has directed and conducted quantitative applied research. She has a Ph. D. in economics from Yale and is past President of the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association and Publications Officer of the Government Statistics Section of ASA. She is also a member of the citizens committee advising the Maryland State Health Care Cost and Access Committee on the privacy of health reports.

Kullback Memorial Research Conference

A two-day research conference will be held in May, 1996 in memory of the late Solomon Kullback, Professor Emeritus and long-time chair of the Department of Statistics at George Washington University. Professor Kullback died in August 1994.

Kullback had a highly distinguished career both at the National Security Agency, where he played an important role in deciphering codes in World War II, and in academia. He is best known for the development of Kullback-Leibler (K-L) information measures, which have found application in many areas of statistics, and for his work in analyzing multidimensional discrete data in contingency tables.

The Conference will take place on May 24-25, 1996, at the Washington Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington, DC, and will be hosted by George Washington University as part of the University's 175th Anniversary Celebration. A major theme of the Conference will be the use of K-L information measures in statistical research today. Among the speakers at the Conference will be Alan Agresti, Andrew Barron, Herman Chernoff, Tom Cover, Samuel Greenhouse, C. Terrence Ireland, Wesley Johnson, and Robert Shumway.

Lodging is available at the Washington Marriott Hotel at a special rate of $99 for the nights of May 23-26. To make lodging reservations, telephone 202-872-1500 or 1-800-344- 4445 before April 22, 1996 and indicate your Conference participation (in the name of the George Washington University Statistics Department). The hotel is located at 22nd and M Sts. NW and is a short walk from the Metro station at Foggy Bottom/GWU.

There will be a Conference dinner on Friday night, May 24, featuring presentations by Sam Greenhouse and Terry Ireland on Kullback's life and work. At a luncheon on May 25, a presentation will be made on Kullback's work in cryptology at NSA. The cost of the (light) luncheon on Saturday is included in the basic $65 registration fee; there will be a separate charge of $35 for the May 24 dinner.

For more information, contact the Department of Statistics, George Washington University, Washington DC 20052, at (202) 994-6356, (202) 994-6917 (fax).or by e-mail to

If you plan to attend, please provide the following information as soon as possible to --

Dalila Manadjian, Conference Secretary
Department of Statistics
The George Washington University
Washington, D.C. 20052
Fax (202) 994-6917

Checks should be made payable to: The George Washington University, Department of Statistics

Formation of the FDA Statistical Association

The statistical scientists of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally announce the formation of the FDA Statistical Association (FDASA). The mission of the FDASA is to serve as a collective voice in promoting the advancement of statistical sciences within the regulatory environment of the FDA, to address issues specific to the concerns of all FDA statisticians, and to foster FDA-wide consistency and harmonization on crucial regulatory statistical issues. The FDASA has a current membership of approximately 100 professionals.

The 1995/1996 officers are Satya Dubey, President, and Peter (Tony) Lachenbruch, President-elect.

Each center within the FDA has an elected representative. The 1995/1996 representatives are: Cornelius Lynch, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Nancy Smith, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Harry Bushar, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), Stuart Chirtel, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Margaret Lamb, Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and James Chen, National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR).

SOI Bulletin Available

Statistics of Income recently issued its latest income and tax statistics in the Winter 1995-1996 Statistics of Income Bulletin. Highlights of this issue include the following reports and "Data Releases": Environmental Excise Taxes, Focusing on Ozone-Depleting Chemicals, 1993; Corporate Business Activity Before and After the Tax Reform Act of 1986; High-Income Tax Returns for 1992; Projections of Returns to be Filed in Calendar Years 1996-2002; and Data Releases: Controlled Foreign Corporations, 1992; Corporate Foreign Tax Credit, 1992: An Industry and Geographic Focus; and Private Foundations and Charitable Trusts, 1992.

The Winter Bulletin also presents selected income, deduction, and tax data for Tax Year 1992. The data are classified by size of adjusted gross income.

The Statistics of Income Bulletin is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The annual subscription rate is $30 ($37.50 foreign) for four issues; single issues cost $15 ($18.75 foreign).

For other statistical information, write to the Director, Statistics of Income Division CP:R:S:S:P, Internal Revenue Service, P. O. Box 2608, Washington, DC 20013-2608; dial its electronic bulletin board at (202) 874-9574; or telephone its statistical information services office at (202) 874-0410.

WSS People
President                         Past President                
Ron Fecso   (703) 235-5211        Sue Ahmed  (202) 219-1781       

Phillip Kott  (703) 235-5211

Secretary                          Treasurer
Elizabeth Sweet  (301) 457-4860    Carolyn Shettle  (703) 306-1780

WSS Program Chairs

Agriculture & Natural Resources    Economics
Mike Steiner  (202) 690-2486       Linda Atkinson   (202) 219-0934
Robert Latta  (202) 586-1385       Art Kennickell   (202) 452-2247
Methodology                        Physical Sciences & Engineering     
Sandra West   (202) 606-7384       Paul L. Zador    (301) 294-2825
Julia Bienias (301) 457-2696       
Public Health and Statistics       Quality Assurance                  
Sally Hunsberger (301) 435-0434    Harold Johnson    (202) 606-7758
Julie Legler     (301) 493-6832    Amrut Champaneri  (202) 268-2299

Social & Demographic Statistics    Statistical Computing          
Mike Horrigan    (202) 606-5905    Jim Gentle       (703) 993-1994
Robert Kominski  (301) 457-2120    Mark Pierzchala  (703) 235-5218

Short Courses                      Data Collection Methods     
Glenn White     (202) 327-6414     Theresa DeMaio   (301) 457-4894  
                                   Mary Grace Kovar (201) 223-6040
Bill Arends          (202) 720-6812                 

WSS NEWS Editors
Mike Feil            (301) 443-1330                 
Alyson Muff          (703) 918-2217                 

Antionette Martin    (202) 254-5409
Renee Miller         (202) 254-5507
Fritz Scheuren       (202) 549-1120

Mel Kollander        (202) 973-2820 

Quantitative Literacy
Shail Butani         (202) 606-6347

Local Arrangement
Robie Sangster       (202) 606-7517