Newsletter - January 2005

Message from the President
2005 Nevada K-12 Statistics Poster Competition
Treasurer's Notes
New Officer Bios
Program Volunteers -- Help Wanted !!!!

Dear Nevada ASA Members,
We hope you enjoy the first issue of the NV-ASA Newsletter for 2005.


Message from the President
  By Debra Stiver, President

2005 has arrived and it’s time to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and challenges and also discuss our chapter’s plans and actions for the new year. I would first like to congratulate our new officers for 2005 and thank retiring officers for their past and upcoming service to the Nevada chapter. They include Carol Thompson, newly installed Southern Nevada Vice President, Hokwon Cho, Chapter Representative, and Paul Nakayu, Treasurer. Both Hokwon and Paul were elected to serve another term in their respective offices. The entire chapter sends their thanks and appreciation to outgoing officer Chad Cross, who finished his term as the Southern Nevada Vice President. Although Chad has retired as an officer – he won’t be going far from the fold and continues to contribute to the chapter. He is currently developing a mentoring program in southern Nevada, which could be applied to other areas of the state as well. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to our Past President, Sandra Catlin and Northern Vice President Alicia Hansen. Sandra has been helpful both for her support to me and the chapter and her contribution via the knowledge that comes with the experience as a founding member and Past President. In spite of going on sabbatical this past year, she has managed to help with chapter activities from afar. Alicia needs to be recognized for her contributions to the newsletter and northern Nevada functions in spite of a grueling last year graduate school schedule.

The most successful accomplishments for the past year were the statewide K-12 Poster Competition and the Annual Meeting held at UNLV in October. Many kudos to David Thiel, Regional Trainer, K-12 Math, Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program, for almost single-handedly starting this important competition and raising awareness of statistical knowledge for students (and their teachers) throughout the state of Nevada. As a first year effort, the competition was quite successful. For a while there were actually fears that he and his volunteers might be overwhelmed by the entries. However, they came through with a great success. We owe David a huge thanks for developing this program and hope that the annual competition will be even bigger and better during 2005 and for years to come. The 2005 competition is near at hand, scheduled this year for February. Thanks also to the many volunteers who helped with judging and to those members and others who provided monetary support for prizes and poster expenses. We will be implementing a statewide fund-raising campaign for this year’s competition. The fund-raiser provides prize money for the student participants, but also increases awareness of the Nevada ASA chapter in both the business and academic communities of Nevada.

The Nevada Chapter was represented by Sandra Catlin and Hokwon Cho at this year’s national ASA proceedings in Toronto. They participated in meetings designed to review and discuss individual chapter functions such as career day.

This year’s annual meeting was held in October on the UNLV campus and at a local Las Vegas business. The chapter saw an increase in the number of participants at this year’s annual meeting. The agenda provided an interesting opportunity for chapter members and UNLV students to hear two thought-provoking and fascinating presentations by Fritz Scheuren, President-Elect of national ASA. Dr. Scheuren offered his insight on human rights activities from around the globe and discussed problems and challenges facing the American election process. It was a most timely presentation given just prior to the 2004 presidential elections. Dr. Scheuren also provided valuable membership information, knowledge and support to our Chapter. The Head of the UNLV Department of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Dieudonne Phanord and our own Hokwon Cho sponsored several graduate students during the annual meeting proceedings. As an additional wonderful surprise, Fritz donated his travel fees to the chapter to pay for ASA membership for the attending students. We truly extend our heartfelt thanks to Fritz and Hokwon for this support – they lead and inspire by example!!

Both the Northern and Southern sections sponsored spring activities in their prospective regions. A spring mixer was feted in April in the North on the UNR campus. The primary purpose of this mixer was to provide a venue for getting to know one another. The mixer was attended by several members and prospective members. The Southern members held a dinner with a featured speaker.

Increasing membership and awareness of both the national and Nevada ASA organizations remains the primary goal for this year. While there have been successes in this area – our active membership numbers are still too low to adequately develop the kinds of programs the board seeks to implement. We would like to particularly increase awareness in the community colleges throughout the state and in the business and government arenas. This year, the chapter will actively pursue national ASA grants to boost membership growth and awareness and enhance chapter programs.

Additionally, the Southern and Northern areas will each host Career Days during the spring. Career Day activities provide workshops and featured presentations from professionals working in varied statistical disciplines. Students from high school to graduate school are invited to participate to enhance their knowledge of the professional field of statistics and the career opportunities available in the workplace. The mentoring program being developed will also advance these educational efforts. The planned Career Days provide a forum for current and future ASA members to mingle and network. To further facilitate professional networking in the state, a member directory, with areas of expertise listed, is planned for release in 2005. This year’s Nevada annual meeting will take place in the Reno area. Look for announcements for all events and plan to attend. Besides the professional contact, there is always good food and conversation to be had!! Finally, representatives of the Nevada chapter will again participate in the national meetings held this year in Minneapolis. We plan to participate in round-table discussions on chapter functions and return with fresh ideas.

Many warm regards for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!!
Deb Stiver

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Help Make NV-ASA’s Second Annual K-12
Statistics Poster Competition A Winner!!!

Make a donation to the Statistics Poster Competition fund
or contact Paul Nakayu

100% of the prize money collected will be used to provide certificates with cash awards for the students and plaques for the schools.



2005 Nevada K-12 Statistics Poster Competition
  By David Thiel, Education Committee

What activity enables kids to explore their world, apply statistical knowledge, and earn great prizes all at the same time? It can only be the Nevada K-12 Statistics Poster Competition! NV-ASA, in conjunction with Nevada’s two major universities and several other professional organizations, is sponsoring this competition to encourage students to answer questions by collecting and analyzing data. Results are communicated via posters that “tell a story” from beginning wonderings to final conclusions. Any student in the State of Nevada in grades Kindergarten through 12 may enter.

The first Nevada competition was held in 2004 and saw over 400 students submit nearly 170 posters in four grade categories: K–3, 4–6, 7–9, and 10–12. The 2005 competition was generating interest as early as September and promises to be at least as large as last year. Judges for this year’s competition will gather on February 19 to select the best posters on the basis of their overall impact, clarity of message, methods of data collection, graphical components, and creativity. Winning entries will be displayed at local mathematics conferences and NV-ASA events this spring, before being sent on to the ASA national competition in April. Winners also earn cash prizes and plaques recognizing their achievements.

Professional organizations and educational institutions also play a role in the success of this competition. The Nevada Mathematics Council, an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, has generously donated to the competition prize fund. The Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program offers workshops and classes on data analysis and probability to K-12 teachers. Paradise Elementary School in Las Vegas plays host to the judging.

Results from 2004 can be viewed on the NV-ASA website. Members interested in judging may contact David Thiel by January 31 at Donations to the prize fund may also be made through the NV-ASA website.

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Treasurer's Notes
  By Paul Nakayu, Treasurer

Two changes related to dues were approved during October's Annual Meeting in Las Vegas and are now in effect.

One change allows individuals to designate $5 of their dues for the Nevada Statistics Poster Competition prize fund when they join or renew their Chapter membership. In this way Chapter members will help determine the portion of our operating expenses used to support this annual event. The 2005 competition is too close to benefit much from this initiative so additional contributions to the prize fund would be greatly appreciated at this time.
Please note that 100% of the money collected for the prize fund goes to plaques, certificates and cash awards for the students. In addition, NV-ASA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable association. Contributions (but not membership dues) made to the Chapter where no goods or services were received are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


The other change involves the amount of dues paid for Associate and Student Chapter memberships. Associate members, those individuals who are not also members of the national ASA, will be asked to pay higher dues than before. This is in recognition of the fact that national dues paid by our members come back to benefit the Chapter indirectly through grants and other services provided by ASA. Higher local dues will allow Associate members to give their fair share in support of our Chapter's programs and activities.
The corresponding change to Student membership dues is aimed less at generating revenue and more at introducing students to the benefits of membership in the ASA. Student members of the national organization will now receive Chapter membership at no additional cost. Students who are not members of the ASA will be asked to pay $10 to join or renew their membership in the NV-ASA, but that same $10 will buy them their first year of ASA membership with Chapter membership thrown in for free! If a student can come up with $20 they can join ASA and the Chapter for two years, saving themselves $15 off the normal $25 second-year dues.

To join or renew your NV-ASA membership visit

For more information regarding student membership in the ASA visit

Paul Nakayu

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New Officer Bios
  By Sandra Catlin, Past-President and Chair, Nominating Committee

Welcome to our newly- and re-elected officers. The vote, by electronic ballot sent to all current NV-ASA members, was unanimous in favor of the three candidates:

     Carol Thompson, Southern Nevada Vice-President
     Paul Nakayu, Treasurer
     Hokwon Cho, Chapter Representative

Congratulations and many thanks to Hokwon, Paul, and Carol as well as to all those who participated in the election. Brief introductions to our new officers follow below.

Carol Thompson has been a member of ASA for over 30 years. She is currently a Senior Programmer/Analyst with Anteon Corporation, responsible for projects involving web-accessible databases and statistical and data mining analyses on human exposure to chemical contaminants. Carol has held leadership and board positions in several business and non-profit organizations over the last 15 years.

This is Paul Nakayu’s second term as Chapter Treasurer. Until recently, he provided statistical software support to faculty, staff and student researchers at institutions of the University and Community College System of Nevada. This past summer he moved with his family from Las Vegas to Reno. He still works for UCCSN System Computing Services, but his current job responsibilities will move him in the direction of administrative statistical support. Paul received an MS in Statistics from the University of Washington in Seattle. He loves his wife and four children, enjoys helping others in his work and church service, and cheers for the Seattle Mariners.

Hokwon Anthony Cho is a Statistician and Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UNLV. He received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been a member of the ASA since 1990 and NV-ASA from its inception. He has served as Chapter Representative since August 2002. He is glad to be re-elected and hopes to contribute more to the Nevada Chapter as well as the ASA.

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Program Volunteers -- Help Wanted !!!!
Program meetings and Career Day are two of the activities coming up this spring in Las Vegas and Reno, and the Program Committee would like your help in planning and coordinating them.  If you have some interest, expertise, and/or time to share, we would love to have you join us.

In Las Vegas, contact Carol Thompson at or at (702) 731-5550 x207.  

In Reno, contact Debra Stiver at or at (775) 784-1124.

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