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

October 1996


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Sixth Annual Morris Hansen Lecture

WSS is pleased to annouce that the sixth annual series of lectures to honor the memory of Morris Hansen has been set for Wednesday, October 30, 1996 at 3:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium of the Department of Agriculture, South Building. A reception will be held following the lecture.

This year's speaker is Joseph Waksberg who is Chair of Westat's Board of Directors as well as senior statistician. He is widely known for his contributions to sampling theory, innovative applications of the theory, and research in a broad array of survey methodology issues. He is author, or co-author, of papers on: sampling methods for random digit dialing; sampling for rare populations; small area estimation; panel and rotating surveys; the role of sampling in population censuses; effects of telescoping and other problems of recall on survey results; methodological research on labor force measurements; evaluations of the quality of U.S. censuses; models for election night estimates; research on the effect of cash incentives on response rates and survey cost; and numerous papers on practical applications of much of this theory.

Before joining Westat, Mr. Waksberg was on the staff of the U.S. Census Bureau from 1940 to 1973 in a variety of positions relating to the development and implementation of statistical methods. He was Associate Director for Statistical Standards and Methodology during 1972 and 1973. He participated in much of the Bureau's research on sampling methods and related statistical issues from 1940 through 1973, the period of time that research by the Bureau laid the foundation for many of the statistical techniques currently used in censuses and surveys.

The lecture series was established in 1990 by a financial grant from Westat, Inc., to honor Morris Hansen, who made significant contributions to survey sampling and statistical methods during his long and distinguished career at the Census Bureau and at Westat, Inc. Further details can be found on page 8.

WSS Statistics and Public Policy Programs, 1996-97 We are pleased to announce the following programs to kick off our first program year. All sessions will be held from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at a location convenient to Metro. The months are firm; the dates are still in progress. Please note the months!

November: How GPRA will Affect You: A panel discussion of the policy implications underlying GPRA. Scheduled for December 3. Chair: Harold Johnson, BLS.
January: Privatization: What Does It Mean to Statistical Agencies? Chair: Lynda Carlson, EIA.
March: The Role of Congress in Statistical Decisionmaking. Chair: Edward Spar, COPAFS.
May: Risk Assessment: Perception versus Reality. Chair: Phillip Ross, EPA.
June: Maintaining Statistical Objectivity in Times of Stress. Chair: TBA.

Get Online with WSS!

The WSS now distributes the newsletter electronically to over 230 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. During the summer, we also published electronic-only newsletters to give folks advanced notice of August and September events. 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.

The WSS WWW page has some new features also. The newsletter can be viewed as a part of the page, or can be downloaded in Adobe format to be read or printed. This is in addition to the usual employment, seminars, and other useful information. Again we thank Dan Rope of BLS and Jim Gentle of GMW for developing the page and providing the site, respectively. The WSS WWW page is at URL if you would liket o give it a try.

Also, if your email address has changed, please let Vince know. Your messages may be bouncing and he can't get them to you.

SIGSTAT Meetings

SIGSTAT is the Special Interest Group in Statistics for the Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) and WORMSC, Washington Operations Research and Management Science Council. All meetings are from 12:30 - 1:30 in Room 1208, 1301 New York Ave, NW. First-time attendees should contact Charlie Hallahan at 202-501-6928 or Further information is at http://www.ers.usda.govsigstat or the Members/Sigs page of

October 9: What's New on the Internet for Statisticans

We'll take a look at what has happened on the internet during the past year of interest to statisticians. Web sites will be accessed through the Links to Other Statistical Resources link found on the SIGSTAT homepage, http://www.ers.usda.govsigstat. Many new sites have appeared for electronic journals, software support and statistical education.

Programs of the Annual Morris Hansen Lectures, 1991-1996

1991 T. M. F. Smith, U. of Southampton, "Sample Surveys - 1975-1990: An Age of Reconciliation", International Statistical Review, Vol. 62 (1).

Opening remarks: Joe Waksberg, Westat Discussants: Charles Alexander, Bureau of the Census, Richard Royall, John Hopkins U.

1992 Wayne Fuller, Iowa State U., "Estimation in the Presence of Measurement Error", International Statistical Review, Vol 63 (2).

Opening remarks: Joe Waksberg, Westat Discussants: Barbara Bailar, Am. Statistical Assn, Paul Biemer, Research Triangle Institute

1993 Norbert Schwarz, Institute for Survey Research (ISR), University of Michigan, "What Respondents Learn from Questionnaires: The Survey Interview and the Logic of Conversation", International Statistical Review, Vol 63 (2).

Opening remarks: Robert Groves, Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM), U. of Maryland. Discussants: David Cantor, Westat, Eleanor Singer, ISR, U. of Michigan

1994 Leslie Kish, ISR, U. of Michigan, "Developing Samplers for Developing Countries," International Statistical Review, Vol 64 (2).

Opening remarks: Joe Waksberg, Westat Discussants: Tom Jabine, Consultant, Vijay Verma, Consultant

1995 Ivan Fellegi, Chief Statistician of Canada, "Characteristics of an Effective Statistical System", International Statistical Review, Vol 64 (2).

Opening remarks: Margaret Martin, Consultant Discussants: James Bonnen, Michigan State U., Katherine Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget, Janet Norwood, Urban Institute

1996 Joseph Waksberg, Westat, Inc. "The Hansen Era: Statistical Research at the Census Bureau, 1940-1970".

Opening remarks: Daniel Levine, Consultant Discussants: Margo Anderson, U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Robert Groves, JPSM, U. of Maryland.

Note from the WSS NEWS Editors

Items for publication in the December 1996 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than October 29, 1996. EMAIL items to [Mike Feil] or [Fran Chevarley]. FAX items to Mike Feil at (301) 443-4045.

WSS People
President                         Past President                
Phillip Kott (703) 235-5211       Ron Fecso (703) 235-5211
                   ext. 102                       ext. 142

Graham Kalton (301) 251-8253

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                        Public Health and Biostatistics
Julia Bienias    (301) 457-2696    Vance Berger     (301) 594-5756
Karol Krotki     (202) 944-5243    Julie Legler     (301) 493-6832
Public Policy                      Quality Assurance                  
Carolee Bush     (202) 366-6946    Harold Johnson    (202) 606-7758
Phil Ross        (202) 260-5244    Amrut Champaneri  (202) 268-2299
                                   Paul L. Zador     (301) 294-2825 

Social & Demographic Statistics    Statistical Computing                                            
Michael Horrigan (202) 606-5905    Bob Jernigan      (202) 885-3170 
Myron Katzoff    (703) 670-8917    Mike Fleming      (703) 235-5213
                                                           ext. 170

Short Courses                      Data Collection Methods     
Fritz Scheuren   (703) 549-1120    Brad Edwards      (301) 294-2021
                                   Linda Stinson     (202) 606-7228


Bill Arends          (202) 720-6812                 

WSS NEWS Editors
Mike Feil            (301) 443-1330                 
Fran Chevarley       (301) 436-7093
                           ext. 153   
Antionette Martin    (202) 426-1110
Renee Miller         (202) 426-1117
Fritz Scheuren       (703) 549-1120

Mel Kollander        (202) 973-2820 

Quantitative Literacy
Shail Butani         (202) 606-6347

Local Arrangement
Robie Sangster       (202) 606-7517