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

April 1997


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Election Information

Elections for the Washington Statistical Society Board of Directors for the 1997-1998 program year will be held next month. Biographical information on the canditates is provided.

Electronic Communication

WSS now has over 300 members on its electronic mailing list! This represents a significant saving in postage and printing for the Society, and provides the newsletter to members earlier in the month. Also, folks on the electronic mailing list receive notification of events of interest to statisticians, plus reminders and notices of cancellations of events. Please switch to the electronic distribution if you are able. 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.

The newsletter can also be viewed as a part of the WSS WWW 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. The WSS WWW page is at URL

if you would like to give it a try.

A continuing problem is out of date email addresses. The post office dosen't forward email--if your address changes, you get 'lost' in the Internet. The following folks are lost right now. If you know them, or know their current Intenet address, please have them contact Vince Massimini (

  Donald Fowles (
  AA Khan (
  Phil Smith (
  Bonnie K. Li (bonniel@synmhs.)
  Denice M. Myers (

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.

The April SIGSTAT meeting is on the 9th and will feature a demo of NeuroShell2 3.0 for Windows. NeuroShell2 3.0 is a full-featured program for building and training artificial neural networks. It handles several neural network architectures, including Backpropagation, Kohonen, PNN, and GMDH (which was added in Release 3). GMDH is a polynomial-based network algorithm which can prune the inputs and keep only the most relevant ones. The demo will consist of a stock market prediction example. Information on NeuroShell2 can be obtained at

The May SIGSTAT meeting is on the 14th and will feature a demo of Time Series Forecasting with Neural Connection. This SIGSTAT meeting will follow up on a previous demo of Neural Connections from SPSS by using the neural network program to predict a time series. Information on Neural Connections can be obtained at

There will be no SIGSTAT meeting in June as the chairman will be at the beach avoiding all contact with statistical software.

All SIGSTAT meeting are held from 12:30 - 1:30 in Room 1208, 1301 New York Ave, Washington DC. Directions and a full schedule can be found at the SIGSTAT web site http://www.ers.usda.govsigstat/ or on the Members/SIGS page of First time attendees should contact Charlie Hallahan, or 202-501-6928, and leave their name to gain entrance to the building.

Federal Forcasters Conference

On September 11, 1997, the 9th Federal Forecasters Conference will be held at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Conference and Training Center at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. The theme of the Conference is "Forecasting in an Era of Diminishing Resources." For information, contact: Debra Gerald, National Center for Educational Statistics, 555 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Room 408E, Washington, DC 20208-5654; phone: 202-219-1581; e-mail:

Washington Area Demonstration of S-PLUS 4.0

The demonstration of S-PLUS 4.0 will not be held on May 12. StatSci is going to reschedule the demonstration sometime in August or September. Further details will be forwarded to the membership as they become available

Notes from the WSS Editors

Items for publication in the June 1997 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than April 29, 1997. E-mail items to [Mike Feil] or [Fran Chevarley]. FAX items to Mike Feil at (301) 443-4045.


If you are interested in the editing process of publications and want some experience, contact Mike Feil at or 301-443-1330.



Mary Batcher is the Chief of the Statistical Support Section at the Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of the Internal Revenue Service. A major emphasis in her current role is the delivery of a high quality statistical product that is customer focussed. Prior to coming to SOI, she was a statistician at the National Center for Education Statistics. Mary has been active in the professional statistical community in several capacities. She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Statistical Association and a Past President of the Caucus for Women in Statistics. Mary has also served as a Washington Statistical Society Representative at Large and chaired the Curtis Jacobs Memorial Committee for several years. The Jacobs Memorial Prize is co-sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association (ASA). She has also chaired the Committee on Tutorials for the ASA Survey Research Section. In the past, Mary was also active in area PTA, holding elected office at both local and county levels. Mary holds a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Maryland and has taught statistics classes in an adjunct faculty capacity at both the University of Maryland and George Washington University. Her research interests include survey sampling, statistical disclosure avoidance, and survey methodology in general.

Dwight Brock is Chief of the Biometry Office, in the Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry Program at the National Institute on Aging, NIH. He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Southern Methodist University. He has served WSS as Co-chair of the Social Arrangements Committee (1987-89), Member-at-large of the Board of Directors (1989-91), Chapter Representative to the ASA Council of Chapters (1991-93), District 2 Vice-chair ofthe Council of Chapters (1994-96), member and chair of the Council Nominating Committee (1993-96), and is currently Montgomery County Coordinator for the WSS Quantitative Literacy Program. He served ASA as a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 1989 Joint Meetings and as member and chair of the ASA Snedecor Awards Committee (1989-92). His statistical interests include design and analysis issues related to data on the epidemiology of aging; applications of mixed effects and Markov models to longitudinal data on physical functioning, disability and other measures of aging; extensions of these models to complex sample surveys; and use of follow back survey techniques in studying characteristics of centenarian decedents.


Brenda G. Cox (Ph.D. Statistics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) is a senior fellow in the Washington, DC office of Mathematica Policy Analysis, Inc. Her nearly 20 years of experience in survey sampling spans the design and conduct of national, state, and local surveys on topics such as health care, education and career outcomes, substance abuse, crime victimization, nutrition and the homeless, agricultural production, employee benefit plans, small business finances, stratospheric ozone, pesticide usage, and indoor air quality. She is best known for her early research on the treatment of missing and faulty data in longitudinal surveys and her recent work on the unique problems encountered in surveying organizational entities such as businesses, farms, and institutions. An associate editor of the Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Dr. Cox organized the 1993 International Conference on Establishment Surveys. She edited the 1995 monograph on Business Survey Methods and coauthored Methodological Issues for Health Care Surveys. She serves as chair of the Fellows Committee of WSS and on the ASA Committee on Energy Statistics and the organizing committee for the 1997 International Conference on Health Policy Methods.

Howard Hogan is Assistant Division Chief for Research and Methodology in the Census Bureau's Services Division, working on trade, services and transportation surveys. Until 1993, he lead the program to measure and correct for the undercount of population in the census. He teaches statistics and demography at the USDA Graduate School Evening Programs. He is active in the International Association of Survey Statisticians. He served as WSS representative-at-large from 1993 to 1996, and has served as secretary to the Shiskin Award committee since 1993. Last November, he gave a WSS short course on Exploratory Data Analysis using S-Plus.


Sandra A. West, Ph.D. Harvard University, currently is a mathematical statistician in the Office of Research and Evaluation at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Formerly held teaching positions at Harvard University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Associate Professor). Fields of major statistical activities include: Statistical inference, Bayesian Analysis, Imputation, and Regression Analysis. Publications include articles in the Annals of Statistics, Journal of American Statistical Association, and the Proceedings of Section on Survey Methods, ASA. A long standing member of ASA and WSS including a two year term as methodology section chair for WSS.

David Marker has been a senior statistician at Westat for the last 13 years. He was Methodology Program Chair of the WSS 1987-89 and helped organize and spoke at the five WSS Quality Assurance in Government Symposia. He currently is assisting the ASA Office in its quality improvement activities. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan with a dissertation on small area statistics. He has served on two National Academy of Sciences workshops on this topic and been an invited speaker in Warsaw Poland and San Francisco. Among his many activities at Westat are coordination of its quality improvement consulting and its activities as part of EPA's National Research Center on Statistics and the Environment and its role in NCES' Education Statistics Services Institute.

Sameena Salvucci is Director, Research and Statistical Services, Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc. since 1994. Former Positions: Deputy Director, Research and Statistical Services (1991-1994); Senior Analyst (1986-1991), both for Synectics. Analyst for Harris Smith Research, 1986. Instructor, Mathematics, University College of Bahrain (1982-1985). Degrees: Enrolled in the doctoral program in Mathematical Statistics in the Department of Information Technology at George Mason University, where she is working on her dissertation. M. A., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1982, Mathematics; B. A., Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, 1980, Mathematics. Fields of Statistical Activity: Survey methodology, all aspects of statistical analysis, use of large education, Census, and defense databases, management of large statistical projects. Professional Activities: Member, American Statistical Association, the Washington Statistical Society, and the American Educational Research Association.

Bill Iwig is Chief, Survey Sampling Branch of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Previous positions at NASS include Head of the Sampling and Estimation Research Section in Research Division and mathematical statistician in the Survey Sampling Branch and the Statistical Methods Branch. His major areas of interest include survey design, weighting, and estimation in the presence of influential data points. He has a Masters of Statistics degree from Texas A&M University. Bill was the Communications Officer for the ASA Council of Chapters (1991 - 1996), serving as Editor of the LINK Newsletter sent to ASA Chapters each quarter. He was a member of the Subcommittee on Small Area Estimation of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (Working Paper #21, "Indirect Estimators in Federal Programs"). He will be a WSS Science Fair judge this spring.

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) 457-4865    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) 606-7528


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