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Annual Report for the Washington Statistical Society

1 October 2019 82 views No Comment
Tom Krenzke, WSS President (2018–2019)

    The Washington Statistical Society (WSS) is the largest chapter of the American Statistical Association, with more than 1,000 members from government, academia, and the private sector. An active chapter, WSS offers opportunities for statisticians and data scientists to do the following:

    • Learn through seminars and workshops and continue your own statistical education
    • Socialize through networking with colleagues
    • Engage in service by increasing the level of quantitative literacy in area schools and motivating and developing the next generation of statisticians

    This past year, the theme was “Let’s Get Together!” Included in Table 1 are the quarterly opportunities for the WSS statistical and data science community.

    Learn, socialize, serve—beyond those mentioned above, there are so many opportunities to highlight. In this summary, I mention a few of the major highlights and examples of others.

    One of this year’s features was the WSS mentoring program, which was started by current mentoring committee member Mark Otto about four years ago. The mentoring program, combined with various receptions, helps build relationships and community. This year, with Theresa Kim as chair of the committee, the number of mentoring pairs grew to 40. Other committee members included Erin Tanenbaum, Michael Messner, and Lloyd Hicks.

    A second highlight was the leadership workshop, which was organized by Mark Otto, Eileen O’Brien, and Jennifer Parker and featured Gary Sullivan, Barry Nussbaum, and Sally Morton. The workshop gave statisticians greater awareness of leadership and helped chart paths forward on leadership development journeys.

    Another focus was the efforts of the Diversity Committee, started in 2018 by Chapter Past President Linda Young and led by Mike Jadoo. Mike arranged several events with local universities, helping awareness and the size of WSS membership to increase.

    Several technical seminars fostered learning in the following areas: agriculture and natural resources, data collection methods, data science and statistical computing, defense and national security, economics, education, human rights, privacy and confidentiality, public health and biostatistics, public policy, quality assurance, and social and demographic statistics. Highlights were the Hansen lecture by Roger Tourangeau with discussants Jill Dever and Kristen Olson, the WSS President’s Invited seminar by Natalie Shlomo, and the Cox Award seminar by Courtney Kennedy.

    Join WSS
    The annual dues for joining WSS are the following:
    ASA Member $10 (Full)
    ASA Student Member $3 (Full-Student)
    Non-ASA Member $10 (Associate)
    Non-ASA Student Member $3 (Associate-Student)

    The education committee, led by Carol Blumberg, sponsored several seminars. In addition, there were four short courses offered, which together involved about 140 participants. The short courses have been managed the past several years by Yang Cheng.

    This year’s social events helped facilitate a vibrant and diverse community. Activities started with a social event at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver. There were two other organized happy hour gatherings, one in Rockville, Maryland, and one in DC. The holiday party, receptions for the highlighted seminars above, and annual dinner provided an opportunity to interact with colleagues from different organizations, and each could not have been successful without the social arrangements led by Glenn White and Ed Mulrow.

    There are many people who served and volunteered (including Dhuly Chowdhury (treasurer) and Will Cecere (secretary)) who deserve to be mentioned. The WSS poster competition and other quantitative literacy (QL) events and awards, such as the student travel award, are a large part of WSS. Maura Bardos led the QL activities, while Elizabeth Petraglia led the poster competition. Every year, WSS members judge data visualization posters submitted by DC-area students and students from all over the country who do not have a local chapter to judge their posters. This year, we received 256 posters. Our 11 judges selected 16 DC-area winners, two of which went on to also win awards in the national competition.

    Our monthly newsletter, The WSS News, has been managed by Colleen Choi for several years; our website is maintained by Chris Moriarity. Each of these outlets provides announcements and descriptions of forthcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and listings of both job opportunities and the credentials of members seeking new positions.

    The WSS mailing list has been managed by Vince Massimini since about 1994, according to the WSS history document, for which a new draft has been submitted for review by Dwight Brock.

    Coordination of communication and social media outlets (e.g., Twitter and Meetup), handled by Phil Kalina, has been improved this year by WSS Communications Officer Leanna Moron.

    I hope this gives you a taste for how active WSS is and provides you with encouragement to learn, socialize, and serve in the coming year. Consider joining the chapter.

    If you have any questions about membership or participation in the WSS, email Tom Krenzke.

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