[Washington Statistical Society] WSS

News about activities of the Washington Statistical Society
A Chapter of the American Statistical Association

Summer 1997


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1997 Julius Shiskin Award Given To Jack E. Triplett

The Washington Statistical Society and The National Association of Business Economists announced that the 1997 Julius Shiskin Award has been awarded to Jack E. Triplett, Chief Economist of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In granting the 1997 award, the committee cited Dr. Triplett's broad contributions to the field of economic measurement, including the development and introduction of hedonic price index measurement techniques and superlative price and quantity indices in the National Income and Product Accounts and, most recently, the development and implementation of the North American Industry Classification System.

Martin Fleming, Chairman of the Award Committee said "Jack's work is at the heart of the most important efforts, today, to provide improved economic information to policy makers in the Administration, Congress and the Federal Reserve." Dr. Fleming also said "Jack's contribution to the effort to develop new and sophisticated price indices, while somewhat arcane to many, has been very important in the effort to separate the effects of inflation and real growth and to ultimately understand the true wealth creating potential of the US economy." The current launch of the North American Industry Classification System by the US statistical agencies was termed "a critical piece of the foundation for the future of our economic statistics system" by Dr. Fleming and he said "Jack's hard work and perseverance have made all the difference in the success of this massive undertaking."

The Julius Shiskin Award was established by the family of the late Julius Shiskin and is administered by the Washington Statistical Society and the National Association of Business Economists. The committee said that the award was intended to honor original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics and in their use in interpreting economic events. Mr. Shiskin's government career as an economic statistician spanned more than 30 years during which time he worked at the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the Office of Management and Budget and culminated at the U.S. Department of Labor as the Commissioner of Labor Statistics.

In recent years the award has also been received by David Findley of the Census Bureau; Fritz Scheuren formerly of the Internal Revenue Service; Richard D. Allen of the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Joel Popkin of Joel Popkin and Company.

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1997 Science Fair Winners

WSS presented awards to 51 Washington area students at five regional science fairs this spring (District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, Prince George's County). Since 1986, WSS has been recognizing students whose projects demonstrated excellence in the application of statistical methods. This year, the Gallup Organization generously donated $1,300 for prizes. Of this amount, a total of $900 was divided among 11 first place winners (prizes ranged between $50 and $150) and $400 was used to purchase ASA school memberships for the winners' schools. There were 11 second place winners and each received a book (Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown, by Tanur, et al., or Statistics: Concepts and Controversies, by Moore). All first and second place winners also received a one-year subscription to STATS magazine. Others received certificates of honorable mention.

The judging was coordinated by Lee Abramson. Thanks to all WSS members who volunteered as judges. They are: Eugene Burns*, Jo Burns, Bill Cleveland, Bob Clickner*, Michael Cohen, Brenda Edwards*, Linda Hardy, Ellen Hertz, Gene Heyman*, Bill Iwig, Tzu-Cheg Kao, Fotios Kokkotos, Jurate Landwehr, Ruey-Ping Lu, Mary Marion, Fred Olson, Amy Rathbun, Arnold Reznek, Louis Rizzo, John Rogers, Sid Schwartz, John Schwemberger, Mike Stoto, Leslie Wallace, Glenn White*, David Whitford, Lorie Wijntjes. (* Chief Judge)

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SIGSTAT, the Special Interest Group in Statistics for the Capital PC User Group and WORMSC, will have its August meeting on the 13th at 12:30 in Room 1208, 1301 New York Ave, NW and will feature a demo of S-PLUS 4.0 (beta version).

S-PLUS 4.0 is a major new release that integrates the complete functionality of the S-PLUS data analysis system and object-oriented programming language with a user interface that is full-featured and customizable. Data sets are managed through an intuitively designed visual interface. Editing presentation-quality graphics is as easy as pointing and clicking. The S-PLUS 4.0 user interface contains six types of windows: the Object Browser, Data Editor, Graph Sheet, Command Window, Script Window, and Output Window. New statistical features include functions for multiple comparisons, bootstrapping and jackknifing, linear and non-linear mixed effects models, a clustering library for six methods of cluster analysis, two functions - hexbin and rayplot - designed for visualizing spatial data, and a function validate for validation.

Information on S-PLUS can be found at http://www.mathsoft.com/splus.html.

If this is your first SIGSTAT meeting, contact Charlie Hallahan at 202-501-6928 or hallahan@econ.ag.gov to get your name on the roster. Further information on SIGSTAT can be obtained from its website at http://www.ers.usda.govsigstat/ or from the Members/Sigs page of http://www.cpcug.org.

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Mentoring For Science Fair Projects

In conjunction with the science fair judging which WSS does every spring, a mentoring program for students planning science fair projects for the 1997-98 school year is now being organized. This would involve helping individual or small groups of students whose projects involve statistical topics such as survey or experimental design, data collection, data analysis, etc. If you would like to participate in such a mentoring program, please call or e-mail Lee Abramson at 301-415-6180 or LXA@NRC.GOV as soon as possible. Also, please indicate the school or geographic area you would like to work in.

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Elder To Teach Short Course In Alexandria

Find the useful information hidden in your data!

Tools for Discovering Patterns in Data will survey the leading computer-intensive methods for data analysis, classification, and inductive modelling, drawn from statistics, machine learning, and data mining. The course will be taught by John Elder on Friday, October 3, 1997 at the George Washington University Alexandria Graduate Education Center from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

It will describe the key inner workings of various algorithms, compare their merits, and (briefly) demonstrate their relative effectiveness on practical applications. Dr. Elder will first review classic statistical techniques, both linear and nonparametric, then outline the ways in which these basic tools are modified and combined into more modern methods. The course pays particular attention to four powerful approaches: neural networks, polynomial networks, kernels, and decision trees, and uses actual scientific and business problems to demonstrate useful accompanying techniques (such as scientific visualization, resampling, and bundling) employed by experienced analysts.

For a tuition fee of $350, students will receive comprehensive notes and the recent book chapter, "A Statistical Perspective on Knowledge Discovery in Databases," by Elder and Pregibon, in addition to refreshments and lunch. The facility is located across the street from the King Street Metro Station, only two stops from National Airport. It is adjacent to the Embassy Suites Hotel on Duke Street in Old Town, Alexandria. John Elder is chief scientist of Quantitative Solutions, a data mining research firm in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. He has more than a decade of experience developing and applying adaptive, data-driven techniques to practical problems. He has been a researcher at Rice University and director of research at an engineering consulting firm and for an investment management company. He has authored four book chapters and numerous articles on pattern discovery and is the technical chair of the Adaptive and Learning Systems Group of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society.

Those from industry and academia who work with data and wish to understand recent developments in pattern discovery, data mining, and inductive modeling will most benefit from this course. At its conclusion, participants should be able to discern the basic strengths of competing methods and select the appropriate tools for applications. Participants should have prior working experience with computers and knowledge of, or interest in, applied statistical techniques.

For more information or a registration form, contact Sue Kulesher, sue@amstat.org, at the American Statistical Association, 1429 Duke Street, Alexandria VA 22314 or by fax at 703-684- 2037 or check it out on the ASA CE website. Visit the ASA home page: http://www.amstat.org.

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Meeting Announcement

32nd Annual Symposium of the
Washington Operations Research-Management Science Council

November 5, 1997

The Washington DC Metro Area Chapter of INFORMS

Managing Change . . .
The Contribution of Operations Research and Management Science

Keynote Speaker:
Honorable James L. Witt
Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Chair of the President's Management Council on Customer Service

The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-2188

The Symposium has simultaneous, day-long tracks of interesting speakers and topics:

Plenary Session
Honorable James L. Witt

Subject Tracks and Chair
Public Policy - Phil DePoy, President, National Opinion Research Center
Transportation Systems - George Donohue, Associate Administrator FAA
Military Applications - Clayton Thomas, Chief Scientist, Air Force Studies & Analysis
Cost and Financial Analysis - David Chu, RAND Corporation Information
Systems Technology and Management: Invitation pending

Plan now to attend.

For additional information on presenting your paper, please contact:
Bruce MacDonald, Program Chair <bmac@mcri.com>
Phone 703-506-4600

Information: http://www.sundown-vmp.com/wormsc/symposium.html or 301-939-3012

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WSS NEWS Schedule For The Program Year Of 1997 - 1998

Article Due Date
Issue to Printer
September 1997
July 29, 1997
August 15, 1997
October 1997
August 26, 1997
September 15, 1997
November 1997
September 30, 1997
October 15, 1997
December 1997
October 28, 1997
November 17, 1997
January 1998
November 25, 1997
December 15, 1997
February 1998
December 30, 1997
January 15, 1998
March 1998
January 27, 1998
February 16, 1998
April 1998
February 24, 1998
March 16, 1998
May 1998
March 31, 1998
April 15, 1998
June 1998
April 28, 1998
May 15, 1998
Summer 1998
anytime up to the second week in July

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Note From The WSS NEWS Editors

Items for publication in the September 1997 WSS NEWS should be submitted no later than the week of July 29, 1997. E-mail items to mfeil@helix.nih.gov [Michael Feil] or fmc1@nch08a.em.cdc.gov [Fran Chevarley]. FAX items to Michael Feil at (301) 443-4045.

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WSS People

Graham Kalton (301) 251-8253
Past President
Phillip Kott (703) 235-5211 ext. 102
Dwight Brock (301) 496-9795
Elizabeth Sweet (301) 457-4865
Carolyn Shettle (703) 306-1780

Vice Chair for District 2 of
Council of Chapters

Andrew A. White (202) 334-2511
Council of Chapters Representative
Ron Fecso (703) 235-5211 ext. 142
N. Clyde Tucker (202) 606-7371
Sandra West (202) 606-7384
Alan R. Tupek (703) 306-1780
David Marker (301) 251-4398

WSS Program Chairs
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Bill Iwig (202) 720-3895
Stan Freedman (202) 426-1099
Linda Atkinson (202) 219-0934
Art Kennickell (202) 452-2247
Karol Krotki (202) 944-5243
Brenda Cox (202) 484-4231
Public Health and Biostatistics
Trena Ezzati-Rice (301) 436-7022 ext. 133
Rene Gonin (301) 517-8084
Public Policy
Carolee Bush (202) 366-6946
Phil Ross (202) 260-5244
Quality Assurance
Amrut Champaneri (202) 268-2299
Glenn White (202) 327-6414
Statistical Computing
Bob Jernigan (202) 885-3170
Mike Fleming (703) 235-5213 ext. 170
Social & Demographic Statistics
Michael Horrigan (202) 606-5905
Edith McArthur (202) 219-1442
Short Courses
Roberta Sangster (202) 606-7517
Fritz Scheuren (703) 549-1120
Data Collection Methods
Brad Edwards (301) 294-2021
Linda Stinson (202) 606-7528

Bill Arends (202) 720-6812
WSS NEWS Editors
Michael Feil (301) 443-4234
Fran Chevarley (301) 436-7093 ext. 153
Electronic Mail
Michael L. Cohen (202) 334-3765
Michael Greene (703) 247-1575
S.V. (Vince) Massimini (703) 883-5893
Renee Miller (202) 426-1117
Antionette Martin 202) 426-1110
Fritz Scheuren (703) 549-1120
Quantitative Literacy
Carolyn Carroll (703) 352-1712
Science Fair
Lee Abramson (301) 415-6180
Mel Kollander (202) 973-2820
Social Arrangements
Jill Montaquila (301) 517-4046
Local Arrangement
Wendy Rotz (202) 874-0969
WSS Historian
Michael P. Cohen (202) 219-1917
WSS Committee on ASA Fellows
Brenda Cox (202) 484-4231

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First posted July 29, 1997
Last modified July 29, 1997

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