- September 2004
Friday Night Mixer
President-Elect Sheds Light on Phantom Voting at Annual Meeting
Southern Nevada Spring Seminar & Dinner Party
Membership Directory Coming!!!!!
Chapter Rep's Comments
Nevada ASA Member,
We hope you enjoy the second issue of the NV-ASA Newsletter.
By Debra Stiver, President
Greetings Nevada Members:
I hope you are considering attending the chapters upcoming
luncheon and speaking event October 22 and 23 in Las Vegas. We
are happy to
present the new president of the American Statistical Association,
Scheuren, as the keynote speaker and round table discussion leader.
Scheuren is the VP of Statistics at NORC, a survey research arm
University of Chicago. He continues to teach at George Washington
and is a Fellow of ASA and AAAS and an elected member of the International
Statistical Institute. Dr. Scheuren has investigated a wide
controversial subjects over his career, including the election vote
problems that occurred during the 2000 presidential election. For
national election, Dr. Scheuren will be studying the effectiveness
reliability of the newer electronic voting machines, including Nevadas
system that was just used in the states primary election.
His opinions and
observations promise to provide considerable food for thought and
maybe just a
wee bit of controversy. You can read a preview of his work
in his editorial
that appeared in the latest AmStat News.
In last issues message, I discussed several important goals
that the Nevada
chapter would like to tackle during 2004 and 2005. Goal number
the need for increased membership in our chapter in southern Nevada,
particularly in northern Nevada and the rural areas of the state.
cities like Elko, Ely, and Fallon provide higher education for Nevadas
populace through community colleges or satellite campuses of UNR
and UNLV. And
of course, the students that graduate from high schools in the rural
on to become students at our universities and perhaps employed in
a variety of
professions that utilize statistical analysis. The government
is a primary
employer in rural areas. Many of these employees are extensive
statistical methodology and analysis. We need to expand our
these areas and hopefully grow our educational poster. Eventually,
we might be
able to conduct annual meetings and/or expand career day activities
rural cities. It is very important, therefore, that word of our
meeting travels throughout the state.
Both the northern Nevada and southern Nevada group held special
events in their
prospective areas this past spring. In the North, a mixer
was sponsored by the
chapter in May. The mixer was held on the UNR campus and provided
libations for members. The main purpose was to introduce members
another. The statewide poster contest that was held during
early spring was
very successful, especially for a first-time endeavor. We
expect this program
to grow dramatically in 2005 now that weve experienced the
Our other major event, Career Day, will take place separately at
both ends of
the state during spring, 2005. We ask that you consider offering
your time and
talent as either a sponsor or speaker. And, of course, we
always need hands to
cover the physical work. Career Day is a great opportunity
to introduce high
school and college students to the wide field of statistics. The
only improve with increased chapter member participation. Look
announcements in future newsletters and flyers. Finally, Nevada
representatives participated in presentations at the 2004 national
in Toronto. We hope to also contribute some information at
next years annual
meeting in Minneapolis. The executive board will continue
to look to other
chapters and entertain suggestions and advice on worthwhile activities
Do You Have a Newsworthy Event We Need to Know About?
If you have any suggestions for improving the Nevada chapter, sponsoring
holding events, or other information, please do not hesitate to
contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-784-1124. Wed like to include a kudos
to our members
section in our newsletters and let everyone know of members
Examples include a newly published paper, conference speech, promotions
(or just some good old interesting announcements). Send them
in and help us
grow our chapter!
By Dorothy Wilson, Secretary
We will be having a fall luncheon in conjunction with our 3rd annual
this October, featuring ASA president-elect Fritz Scheuren.
When: Saturday, October 23, 2004 from 12:00pm-3:30pm
Where: Marie Callender's, 4785 W. Flamingo, 89103, Las Vegas
Topic: The Phantom Candidate: The Impact of Voting System
Errors on Democracy
Description: Lost, missing, and miscounted votes are referred to
as the "Phantom
Candidate". In the 2000 election, this "Phantom
Candidate" had more votes than
all third party candidates combined, including Ralph Nader. In
at least 10
states, the margin of error exceeded the margin of victory, potentially
affecting at least 105 electoral votes. If the upcoming election
is close, we
may again see the margin of error exceed the margin of victory.
Come join us and gain insight to the following intriguing questions:
* Does our election system have the accuracy to determine
a winner when the
votes are close?
* Could our election be too close to call?
* What can we do professionally?
* What steps can be taken to ensure that our leaders are not
determined by the
ability of our election systems, but determined by the will of the
Cost: Chapter Members - $25
Non-Chapter Members - $30, including
chapter membership -$35
Students will receive a $10 discount
Please reserve your spot by registering online by Wednesday, October
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By Dorothy Wilson, Secretary
The chapter will also host a Friday night mixer with Fritz Scheuren
22nd, where you will have the opportunity to participate in a discussion
"the phantom candidate" issue and how it relates specifically
to Nevada. More
details including time and location will be coming soon on e-mail.
Sheds Light on Phantom Voting at Annual Meeting
By Carol Thompson, Program Committee
Dr. Fritz Scheuren is playing a double-header for NV-ASA October
Although the timing fits a discussion of statistics on the World
is your opportunity to hear perspectives on the question: Does
system have the accuracy to calculate a winner when vote totals
Dr. Scheuren will kick off the annual meeting at the Friday evening
an impromptu discussion/panel of the phantom candidate
issue in the upcoming
election nationally and in Nevada. As the keynote speaker
at the Saturday
luncheon and business meeting, Dr. Scheuren will discuss the impact
system errors on democracy, where efforts and energy need to be
lesson the errors, and what role statisticians can play. Both
events will be
open to members and the public.
Dr. Scheuren is President-Elect for the American Statistical Association
and the VP for Statistics at NORC, a survey research arm of the
Chicago. He has been a principal at Ernst and Young, LLP,
and before joining
NORC, was a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute working on welfare
following a long career of public service.
Dr. Scheuren presently focuses as much as possible on human rights
working right now on projects for the Commission on International
Freedom, on Native American Trust Fund issues, and most recently,
improvements in vote counting for the 2004 presidential election.
to teach at George Washington University where he set up a graduate
program in survey sampling that he continues to manage. Dr. Scheuren
Fellow of ASA and the American Association for the Advancement of
is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.
Nevada Spring Seminar & Dinner Party
By C. L. Cross, Ph.D., NCC, Southern
The Southern Nevada region of the Nevada Chapter of the American
Association hosted a seminar and dinner party on May 4, 2004. Seventeen
members and guests dined at Marie Callendars restaurant and
were treated to a
lecture by Dr. Eric Renshaw of the University of Strathclyde entitled:
Killer Bees to Saddles and Quantum Optics A Random Meander
Populations and Forests. Dr. Renshaw provided an introduction
stochastic processes and stochastic approximation theory. Specifically
discussed a predator-prey modeling processes, showed details of
a simulation of
a foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in the UK, and showed examples
of his ongoing
work using space-time lattice structures and marked point processes.
attendance and participation at this event was greatly appreciated.
By Carol Thompson, Program Committee
To promote professional contact between members of NV-ASA, we are
put together a membership directory to be used only for this purpose.
directory will likely be sent out via email in pdf format in late
allow members to include only the information they want to share
members, an email will be sent from the NV-ASA secretary in late
early October to each member with the information currently available.
Adjustments can be made and returned to the secretary. The types
considered for inclusion in the directory are:
Name (minimum to be included)
Mailing Address (member can choose home or work)
Statistical Interests or Areas of Expertise
Any questions regarding the directory can be directed to Dorothy
By Paul Nakayu, Treasurer
The annual treasurer's report will be presented at the Annual Meeting,
but there are several items related to Chapter finances that we
like to bring to your attention right away.
NV SALES & USE TAX EXEMPTION
In July the Chapter applied for sales/use tax exemption. The Nevada
Department of Taxation found that as a professional or trade association
not qualify for tax exempt status as a religious,
charitable or educational organization as described in NRS 372.3261.
We did not appeal the decision.
PAYPAL CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
We have received notification of a pending class action settlement
regarding PayPal. We opened a PayPal account in March 2003 and are
thus members of the class entitled to receive a portion of the
settlement payment if it is approved.
In order to receive a cash payment from the settlement, we would
need to submit
an online claim form by October 23, 2004, the date of our annual
As I understand it, we would not be Dispute Resolution Claimants
because we were not directly affected by the issues in the litigation.
Rather, if we choose to participate in the settlement we would be
seeking recovery under the Statutory Damage Fund. That fund would
distribute one million dollars equally among those who make timely,
If anyone has information regarding reasons we might not want to
submit a claim, please contact me directly at email@example.com.
More information on the proposed settlement is available at
PROPOSED CHANGES TO DUES STRUCTURE
Two changes to the current dues structure are being considered by
The first change involves an increase in dues for Associate chapter
those who are not also members of the national ASA. Many
benefits from the national association, including grants for speakers,
traveling courses and career day support, are funded at least in
from dues paid by ASA members. The argument, then, is that it is
our best interest to promote membership in the national association,
and that Associate members should be willing to provide some
additional financial support for the Chapter and its programs in
of providing it indirectly through membership in the ASA. In addition,
students who join ASA would receive membership in the Chapter at
The second change involves an approach to raising money for the
Statistics Poster Competition prize fund. Rather than solicit Chapter
directly for donations as was done this past year, members would
whether they wanted a fixed portion of their dues earmarked for
the prize fund
when they join and each time they renew their membership. In this
membership as a whole will help determine the level of support our
provides for this annual event, and it will help raise awareness,
among new members, of the importance of this outreach effort. This
would be supplemented by fund raising efforts in the community.
Please contact any of the Chapter officers if you have input regarding
these changes. The Chapter officers will notify the Chapter membership
changes they wish to recommend two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.
changes would then need to be approved by a majority of members
voting at the
By Hokwon Cho, Chapter Representative
One of the main jobs of the Chapter Representative is to promote
interests at the annual meetings of the Council of Chapters (COC)
of the ASA
held during JSM. The other is to submit financial and annual
reports on the
activities of the chapter to the Council and the Board of Directors
of the ASA.
Happily, I have been doing my job (with the help of the other executive
officers) since August 2002.
This summer, for JSM 2004 (held on Aug. 8-12 in Toronto, Canada),
Chapter Past-President, participated in the Annual meeting on my
(Thanks, Sandra.) At the COC Workshop and Reception, she gave
on the two career days that have been held by our chapter and participated
three-person panel discussion. Presentations were given by
the other two panel
members on chapter involvement in local science fairs and the ASA
Competition. Our chapter was one of just a few chapters recognized
by the K-12
Poster Competition speaker. In February 2004, David Thiel,
Committee, helped coordinate our chapter's first participation in
At the COC Business Meeting, the new affiliate chapter status for
Mu Sigma Rho, the national honorary society for statistics students,
introduced. The new "affiliate" status makes it
easier to start a local
chapter. ASA Chapters (and hence our members!) were encouraged
to look into
this possibility. It was also suggested that ASA members might
becoming involved with judging local science fairs and encouraging
emphasis on statistics. For more details about the COC business
can visit the web at www.amstat.org and click on "Chapters".
COC is planning to
start posting more information (e.g. minutes) on the web for Chapter
Thus, much information was gleaned at JSM this year.