GSS Newsletter SSS

Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections
American Statistical Association
Vol. 5 No. 3
June 2000

Celebrate Diversity in Statistics

Key Dates

May 2000 - Preliminary program in Amstat News and on the JSM web site

May 15, 2000 - Registration materials available

July 7, 2000 - Last day for advance registration forms to arrive at the ASA office

July 14, 2000 - Hotel reservations deadline

August 13 - 17, 2000 - JSM Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana

Location of Activities - Most activities will be scheduled in the Indiana Convention Center & RCA Dome and the Westin Indianapolis.

For information, contact or phone (703) 684-1221.


Social Statistics Section

Plans for JSM 2000

Elizabeth Stasny, Social Statistics Program Chair

Here is the information some of you have been asking about concerning the SSS program for Indianapolis. Many thanks to those of you who organized sessions. See the ASA web page at to access a preliminary program for the August meetings.

The Social Statistics Section has put together an exciting program for the Indianapolis Joint Statistical Meetings. We have two invited paper sessions, four topic contributed paper sessions, one topic contributed panel, two regular contributed paper sessions and four contributed posters. In addition, we have 6 lunch roundtables.

Invited Paper Sessions:

Sunday August 13
2:00 PM - 3:50 PM
Area-Identified National Crime Victimization Survey Data: A New Resource for Statistical Research

Wednesday August 15
8:30 AM - 10:20 AM
Birth Cohorts and Children's Studies: An International Perspective

Topic Contributed Paper Sessions:

Sunday August 13
4:00 PM
Findings from the Census Bureau's Premier Household Surveys: The Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation

Monday August 14
8:30 AM
Results from an Economic Survey: Inflation Expectations, Credit Card Debt and Debt Stress

Tuesday August 15
2:00 PM
What Do We Know about People Leaving Welfare?

Wednesday August 16
2:00 PM
Measuring Poverty: New Research Findings

Topic Contributed Panel Session:

Wednesday August 16
8:30 AM
How Do We Know What We've Got? Looking at Measures of Educational Attainment Across the Federal Government

Roundtable Lunches:

Leader: Clyde Tucker
Interpreting data using new race and ethnicity classification system

Leader: Charles Alexander
American Community Survey and Community Address Updating System

Leader: John Thompson
Census 2000 Status Report

Leader: Ruth Ann Killion
Census 2000 Testing, Experimentation and Evaluation Program

Leader: Doug Samuelson
Statistics for policy analysis on mental health and violence

Leader: James Fitzsimmons
Metropolitan Area Standards Review Project, new MSA definitions


Government Statistics Section

Plans for JSM 2000 in Indianapolis

John Czajka, Program Chair

Invited Paper Sessions

The Government Statistics Section is sponsoring a large and broad series of sessions at Indianapolis of interest to anyone involved in government statistics. The section is sponsoring three invited sessions.

Monday August 14
10:30 AM
Fund Allocation Formulas: Intersection of Statistics and Public Policy

Tuesday August 15
10:30 AM
Quality Assessment of Quality Assessments

Thursday August 17
8:30 AM
Ethics of Official Statistics, International Perspectives

Topic Contributed Paper Sessions:

Sunday August 13
2:00 PM
Confidentiality and Data Access Issues

4:00 PM
Disclosure Limitation Methods, Industry and Occupation Coding, and Census Metadata

Monday August 14
8:30 AM
The Reporting of Race and Ethnicity in Health Data Systems

2:00 PM
Turning Data into Headlines: Ways to Improve Media Coverage of Statistics

Tuesday August 15
8:30 AM
Classifying and Coding Industry and Occupation in the Census and Surveys

2:00 PM
Research on Government Survey Nonresponse

Wednesday August 16
8:30 AM
Borrowing Strength for Small Area Estimates

10:30 AM
Statistical Applications in the Federal Tax System

2:00 PM
Evaluating and Redesigning Federal Surveys

Thursday August 17
10:30 AM
Disclosure Review Boards of Federal Agencies: Characteristics, Defining Qualities, and Generalizability

Roundtable Lunches:

Leaders: Nancy Bates and Adriana Silberstein
Nonresponse Issues in Government Household Surveys

Leader: Patricia Becker
Whither the MAF

Leader: John Gardenier
International Diversity in the Ethics of Official Statistics

Leader: Ann Morse
Access to Care for Immigrant Families

Leader: James Pick
Dual-Census GIA for U.S.-Mexico Border Twin Cities: Building It and Applying It

Leader: Gregory Robinson
Virtues of the Planning Database

Leaders: Jorge Del Pinal and Nancy Gordon
Race and Ethnicity in Census 2000



...and invited paper sessions in 2001 in Atlanta. Help us plan!

To members of: Social Statistics Section and Government Statistics Section

The crocuses are blooming, the snow is melted, tornadoes are or at least the winds of change are here. Now is the time for proposals for Invited Sessions at the 2001 Joint Statistical Meetings in Atlanta.

Under the new schedule for organizing the JSM meetings, these Invited Session proposals should be presented prior to the planning meeting in August 2000. Because Invited Session ideas are longer in evolution, we invite members of the "sister sections" to begin making proposals.

Invited Sessions are designed for extensive development on a single theme or topic, with the advantage of greater time allocations per speaker than in a contributed session. Each section is allowed a limited number of invited sessions, which is rarely changed from meeting to meeting. Sections also enter the "best" ideas in a competition for additional slots not yet allocated to a specific section or committees.

A typical Invited Session includes three 30 minute invited talks, a 10 minute talk by a discussant, and 10 minutes of floor discussion (110 minutes total). Another Invited Session option is a panel discussion by five panelists on a specified topic. Other formats may also be possible, and some appear in JSM programs for past years

( ).

We welcome your invited session ideas. Please forward to your 2001 Program Chairs:

Government Statistics Section:
Karen Woodrow-Lafield

Social Statistics Section:
Alan Zaslavsky

We will be glad to help you develop your ideas. Nevertheless, we recognize the most refined Invited Session proposals will have an advantage in competing for a limited number of slots. The program for these sessions must be COMPLETE and FIRM by the summer!

We look forward to your input and to putting together next year's exciting program.

Alan & Karen


Wray Smith

Wray Smith, one of the founding members of Government Statistics Section, passed away Friday, May 19. His many contributions to the statistical communtiy will be sorely missed.


             We express our thanks to

         Government Statistics Section's corporate sponsors:

Energy Information Adminstration

Social Security Adminstration

U S. Census Bureau

US. Department of Transportation



Invited Paper Sessions in Indianapolis:

GSS Gains, SSS Loses

Every year at the JSM meetings, each Section is allocated a certain number of slots for Invited Paper Sessions. Invited Sessions focus more attention on topics that the Sections feel are important in their areas of interest. But another important advantage is that non-ASA members who are participating in an Invited Paper Session do not pay the registration fee. This allows the sections to invite prestigious speakers whose views we may not otherwise be able to include.

In the allocation of Invited Paper Sessions for the JSM meetings this year in Indianapolis, GSS has increased its number of sessions from two Invited Paper Sessions in 1999 to three in 2000, while SSS has lost one session, going from three to two.

Overall, one session has been subtracted from each of Sections on Consulting, Graphics, Physical and Engineering, Social, and Quality & Productivity, and one session has been added to each of Health Policy, Epidemiology, Government, Biometrics, and Survey Research Methods Sections.

In order to understand how this happened one must know the process used by the Committee on Meetings (COM) to allocate invited sessions to Sections at the 2000 JSM. That process is described below. Of course, balancing a fixed number of invited sessions among an ever-increasing population is a difficult task.

The main criterion used to carry out the re-allocation was based on the 'importance' of each section, as measured by the number of abstracts that are submitted to the Section. This criterion favors Sections who only have paper sessions and works against those Sections that have a mix of panel discussions and paper sessions. For example, the SSS held two well-attended Invited Panel Sessions and one Topic Contributed Panel Session at JSM99. Although each panel had four speakers (for a total of 12 speakers), these three sessions only counted as three abstracts.

In the table below are listed the Sections by row, where each row represents a category of the number of abstracts submitted to the Section. For example, Sections on Teaching Statistics in Health, Marketing, and Risk Analysis all had between 1 and 10 contributed abstract submissions, on average, over the past (applicable) 7 years. In the parentheses next to the Section name is listed first the *current* number of allocated invited sessions, and second, the *proposed* number of allocations for the 2000 JSM. In the square brackets are the number of contributed submissions that each Section received in 1999.

The Committee on Meetings reallocated sessions based *exclusively* on the criterion above (i.e., on the number of submissions the Sections have received over the past few years), except for a few cases where other criteria applied. They did not want to use this year's submissions as the only number as it would be unfair not to discount the location effect (very favorable, for example, to Biopharmiceutical Section).

In response to questions about the allocation process, the Committee on Meetings is currently drafting a more detailed documentation of the allocation process. This will allow Sections and their membership to become more aware of how the process works and how they can help contribute to the success of their Section's efforts to present excellent programs. Questions about the allocation process can be directed to the Committee on Meetings.

Average number of abstracts submitted since 1993


Section (# of sessions in past, # of sessions in 2000)


1 - 10

TSHS (1,1) MRKT (1,1) RISK (1,1)

[1999: Risk, Sports]

11 - 20

CONS (3,2) GRPH (3,2) SPRT (2,2) HPSS (1,2)

[1999: Cons, Tshs, Mrkt, Hpss]

21 - 30


[1999: Graph, Soc.]

31 - 40

ENVR (3,3) EPI (2,3)

[1999: none]

41 - 50

GOVM (2,3) Q&P (3,2) SOC (3,2)

[1999: Q&P]

51 - 60

EDUC (3,3) SPES(4,3)

[1999: Sbss, Env, Epi.]

61 - 70

SBSS (3,3) COMP(4,4)

[1999: B&E, Educ, Gov.]

71 - 80

B&E (4,4)

[1999: Comp]

81 - 90


[1999: Spes]

91 - 100

BIOP (3,4)

[1999: none]

101 - 110


[1999: none]

111 - 120

BIOM (4,4)

[1999: none]

Student Paper Competition

The Social Statistics Section, with cosponsor Government Statistics Section, is pleased to announce a student competition for papers to be presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings in 2001. Up to four winners of the competition will receive a subsidy of as much as $800 to support their attendance at the JSM in Atlanta on August 5-9, 2001. They will present their papers at a session of the meeting and will be recognized at the Section's business meeting. Current students at any level, including those graduating in 2000 who wish to present research they conducted as students, are eligible to participate.

Papers entered in the Student Competition must involve either a new statistics methodology or a creative application of existing methodology to a problem in Social or Government Statistics. Research for the submitted papers does not have to be complete, but competitors must be able to submit an abstract and a 2-page prospectus describing the planned research, including the nature of the intended innovative work. An additional award sponsored by the Section on Survey Research Methods will support travel for a student presentation on survey statistics.

Applications will include (1) an abstract of up to 300 words, (2) a 2-page research prospectus, (3) a draft paper if available, and (4) a letter from adviser certifying student status. See the social Statistics Section web site ( ) for details. Applications will be due in November.


CLICK! on it


You may want to learn more about Indianapolis before you go in August. To see what the city has to offer go to .

The website is brought to you by the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Statistical Association.

When you get there you can click on the section that answers the important question "Why come to Indy?"

You can click on City Information and find a list of things to do that includes links to attractions in and around Indianapolis.

You will find the top ten list of places to visit in Indy compiled by local ASA members.

Click on the dining guide or Bob & Rocco's Eatin in Indy to plan your dining adventures while you are there.

Don't miss the Photo Gallery with pictures of downtown Indianapolis and surrounding attractions!!


NRFU Operations

Mail-out phase of Census 2000 ends: The mail-out/mail-back phase of Census 2000 ended on April 11. After that date, the Census Bureau prepares the list of addresses to be visited by census takers in the Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU) operation, eliminating those households in its Master Address File that mailed back a census form. However, the Census Bureau continues to accept and process mailed questionnaires received by April 17. It then prepares a second list for Local Census Offices of additional addresses that will not require a personal visit.

The NRFU operation - the most time-consuming, difficult, and costly phase of the census - runs from April 27 through approximately July 7.

Enumerators must make six attempts to collect data from an unresponsive household - three personal visits and three telephone contacts - before turning to neighbors, landlords, or other knowledgeable sources to obtain basic data about the residents.

Update on Race Data:

Update on collection of race data. The guidance recently issued by the Office of Management and Budget on tabulating multiple race data for the purpose of monitoring and enforcement of civil rights law is available on the Internet at . The relevant document, dated March 9, is OMB Bulletin 00-02.

New Resource Reminder

New resource reminder: The Census Information Exchange is an electronic resource designed to keep community-based stakeholders and members of the press informed about fast-moving census operations. The Web site also encourages sharing of effective outreach and promotion strategies, as well as concerns, among communities at greatest risk of an undercount. Go to . The Web site is a joint project of the Census 2000 Initiative, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and the Leadership Conference Education Fund.

These items are taken from News Alert. Copies of News Alert are available at .


Section Contacts

SSS Officers: 2000

Judith Tanur, Chair (2000)
SUNY at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY
voice: (516) 246-7115
fax: (516) 632-8203

Edith McArthur, Past Chair (1999)
National Center for Education Statistics
555 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20208
voice: (202) 219-1442
fax: (202) 219-1575

Keith F. Rust, Chair (2001)
1650 Research Blvd.
Rockville, MD 20850-3129
tel: (301) 251-8278
fax: (301) 294-2034

Carolyn Shettle, Secretary/Treasurer (2000 and 2001)
5504 Uppingham St.
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 657-2825

Elizabeth Stasny, Program Chair (2000)
Department of Statistics
Ohio State University
1958 Neil Ave., 148D Cockins Hall
Columbus, OH 43210-1247
voice: (614) 292-0784

Alan M. Zaslavsky, Program Chair (2001)
Harvard Medical School
Dept of Health Care Policy
180 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115-5899
tel: (617) 432-2441
fax: (617) 432-0173

Kathleen Short, Publications Officer (1999 and 2000)
Bureau of the Census
Rm 1473 (HHES)
Washington, D.C. 20233-3300
voice: (301) 457-8521
fax: (301) 457-3276

Constance Citro, Council of Sections Representative (1998 - 2000)
Committee on National Statistics
National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20428-0006
voice: (202) 334-3096
fax: (202) 334-3751

GSS Officers: 2000

Pat J. Doyle, Chair (2000)
Demographic Surveys Division
Bureau of the Census
Washington, DC 20233
(301) 457-3795

Michael L. Cohen, Past Chair (1999)
9005 Walden Road
Silver Spring, MD 20901-3826
(202) 334-3765

Clyde Tucker, Chair (2001)
Bureau of Labor Statistics
2 Mass Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20212
(202) 606-7371

John L. Czajka, Program Chair (2000)
Mathematica Policy Research
600 Maryland Ave SW
Suite 550
Washington, D.C. 20024-2520
(202) 484-4685

Karen Woodrow-Lafield, Program Chair (2001)
Department of Sociology
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762
(601) 325-7888

Dorothy Harshbarger, Secretary/Treasurer
Alabama Deptartment of Public Health
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5625
(334) 206-5426

Signe Wetrogan, Publications Officer
Population Division
Bureau of the Census
Washington, DC 20233-3700
(301) 457-2093

Carolyn Shettle, Council of Sections Rep.
5504 Uppingham St.
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 657-2825

Robert G. Lehnen, Rep, to COPAFS
Indiana University
801 W. Michigan St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 274-3466

Linda H. Gage, Rep. to COPAFS
Department of Finance
915 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 323-4086


GSS Newsletter SSS


Kathleen Short .............. SSS

Signe Wetrogan ............. GSS


The GSS/SSS Newsletter is published periodically for members of the Social and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association. 732 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1943.