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

May 1997


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Election Ballot

An election ballot for the 1997-1998 program year of the Washington Statistical Society Board of Directors was enclosed in the surface mail issue. All members of WSS should have recieved it. Biographical information on the candidates was provided on pages 3 and 4 of the April WSS NEWS. Ballots must be received by Sunday, June 1, 1997 to be counted. Results will be announced at the WSS Annual Dinner at China Garden Restaurant in Rosslyn, VA on Tuesday, June 17, 1997.

1997 Annual Dinner

The WSS Annual Dinner will be held Tuesday, June 17, at China Garden Restaurant in Rosslyn. Please see the attached flyer for details and a reservation form. This is a great opportunity to join with friends, meet colleagues, and make new acquaintances! All are invited. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Ninth Annual Federal Forecasters Conference

The theme of this year's meeting will be an examination of federal forecasting in the era of diminishing resources. FFC-97 will try to look at the appropriate role of the public sector in an information economy; how forecasters can maintain timely, reliable forecasting with shrinking resources for themselves and fellow agencies; and how forecasters can contribute to answering these questions for policy-makers and the public. It will be held on September 11, 1997 at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Conference and Training Center, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, DC. Additional information on registration and submitting papers for presentation is available at

Biographical Information for the Secretary of the WSS

Elizabeth Sweet is a statistician in the Statistical Research Division at the Bureau of the Census. Her work interests include electronic questionnaire design and usability testing. She received a BS in mathematics from Loyola College and received a MS in statistics from George Washington University. She has served as the WSS secretary during the 1995-1997 term.

Did you know?

There are three ways to let WSS members hear about your seminars, classes or events.

The WSS newsletter (WSS NEWS) is received by all WSS members! Some receive it via e-mail (about 300) and the remaining receive a paper version. Send Mike Feil ( or Fran Chevarley ( your announcement at least one month before the newsletter is due to be published and your announcement will reach all WSS members.

The WSS FAX is sent bi-monthly to severl dozen members who members have agreed to post the FAX on bulletin boards to let others in their companies hear about WSS events. All items submitted to the WSS NEWS are automatically added to the WSS FAX. If you have late breaking events you can send your announcement to Michael Greene at He'll add it to the WSS FAX.

The WSS e-mail is sent on an as needed basis to our 300 members with e-mail addresses. Send the announcement to Vince Massimini at and he will get it out to the e-mail list in a few hours. The annoucements must be in ASCII (text) format using a non-proportional 12 point font (such as courier 12) and have margins not greater than 72 characters wide. This format allows Vince to send to a large number of different e-mail formats.

Remember to reach all WSS members, publicize your event in the WSS NEWS!

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 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.

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.

Notes from the WSS Editors

Items for publication in the Summer 1997 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than May 30, 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.

Committee on National Statistics Celebrates Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

The Committee on National Statistics celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at its meeting on February 21, 1997 the National Academy of Sciences. Joining the committee in its celebration were many representatives from federal agencies, statistical organizations, and other interested groups. Special invited guests included OMB Chief Statistician Katherine Wallman; the Committee's first chair William Kruskal; former Committee chair Stephen Fienberg, who presented a paper on confidentiality; former chair of the President's Commission on Federal Statistics Allen Wallis; and OMB Director Franklin Raines, who made a special address to the Committee and its guests.

The Committee on National Statistics serves to contribute to a better understanding of important national issues by working to improve the statistical methods and information on which public policy decisions are based. By studying what data and methodology are needed to increase our understanding of the economy, the environment, public health, and other timely issues for which public policy decisions are made, the Committee reviews the statistical programs of federal agencies and suggest improvements. It is a major division in the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education within the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council.

The Committee has established a home page on the Internet at providing information on Committee and panel members, publications, and current studies. Links provide access to academic and government statistics sites. The home page includes summaries of major Committee reports and the text of some. Further information can be obtained from the Committee on National Statistics, 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20416, (telephone: 202-334-3096).

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) 443-4234
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