Newsletter Volume 28, No. 1 (82) 2004

Published three times a year, the ISI Newsletter provides a broad overview of the Institute's activities, and also includes additional information of interest to statisticians. The Newsletter is sent to all members of the ISI and its five Sections (approx. 5,000) as part of their membership.

In this On-Line Issue
Message from the President
Message from the Director

IP Programme 55th Session, April 5 - 12, 2005

Proceedings of the 54th ISI Session in Berlin
ISI Membership Elections 2003
News of Members
Historical Anniversaries: Abraham de Moivre
ISI Honorary Member Interviews
Awards, Prizes & Competitions
ISI Committee Matters

Calendar of Events

Check your Personal Data

News from ISI sections Volume 28, No. 1 (82) 2004


Message from the President

The ISI’s role in international statistics has three principal components: meetings (especially the biennial Sessions), publications, and as the international facilitator for development and communication among statisticians (especially through the Sections). Over time, I will address each of these, but a series of recent propitious changes make publications a timely topic for this issue.

The ISI publishes four journals through the Permanent Office: The International Statistical Review (ISR), Bernoulli, Short Book Reviews (SBR), and Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts (STMA). In addition, we endorse the journal Computational Statistics & Data Analysis (CSDA), published by Elsevier for the IASC, and the new Statistics Education Research Journal (SERJ) published electronically by the IASE (check it out at: ), and of course this ISI Newsletter.

Two of the printed journals have had major editorial changes this year. We can celebrate having recruited Eugene Seneta of the University of Sydney to join Asta Manninen in co-editing the ISR, and Peter McCullagh of my own department at the University of Chicago to succeed Willem van Zwet as Editor-in-Chief of Bernoulli. We are indeed fortunate in attracting these major scholars to edit what have become two of the world’s most important statistical journals. The ISR was founded in 1933 and has become our flagship journal – a review journal of the first rank, and Bernoulli has in just less than a decade become one of the two most influential journals publishing research in mathematical statistics.

In other editorial developments, we are pleased that Klaas van Harn and Bert van Es have agreed to join Constance van Eeden as co-editors of STMA, the leading statistical abstracting journal, and that Agnes Herzberg has agreed to serve through 2005, the 25th year of SBR. Agnes was the founding Editor of SBR in 1981 and has played the crucial role in making this publication a remarkable success. The long and exemplary service of both Constance van Eeden and Agnes Herzberg was recognised at the Berlin Session by the granting of awards from the ISI Service Certificates Committee.

We also sponsor books, including the superb volume of biographies Statisticians of the Centuries (Edited by Chris Heyde and Eugene Seneta and published in 2001 by Springer-Verlag), and the excellent new Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms (Edited by Yadolah Dodge with the support of a distinguished Editorial Board and published in 2003 by Oxford University Press). Futhermore, we issue two periodicals, the ISI Bulletin (once the flagship journal of the ISI, now the record of the papers presented at our Sessions), and Cities and Regions, a periodic publication produced by SCORUS with the support of the IAOS. Other ISI publications, mostly proceedings volumes, may be found on the ISI website.

This impressive portfolio of publications serves as a crucial communications link for scientific work today and as an archival resource to communicate with the statisticians of the indefinite future. Our publications are found in every research library and in universities and in administrative offices of government and industry around the world. They do not record all that we do, but they are the means by which we convey our developing statistical technology to an eager and appreciative audience. They present a number of puzzling and unexpected challenges.

The costs of print publication are increasing – even mailing costs are becoming prohibitive. This drives a movement towards electronic publication, and the ISI family is pursuing that not only with the SERJ, which is only issued in electronic form, but also with a trial affiliation with Project Euclid, which now publishes ISR and Bernoulli electronically, parallel to the print edition. I confess that while I view a move to all-electronic publication inevitable, I do not think we are ready for that move yet. The difficulties yet to be addressed fully include those of guaranteeing the indefinite archival survival of the materials. Printed materials from the dawn of printing in the 15th century are still accessible, but computer files from a decade ago may already be unreadable unless someone has overseen the constant migration of files to new platforms. This problem is being addressed, in particular by the eArchive project at the Mellon Foundation.

Another problem is that computer terminals are not the route of choice for most people who actually wish to read a text, rather than selectively consulting small excerpts. I personally resist reading electronic text and will generally not print out materials unless I have particular reason to believe that it is worthwhile. That makes browsing electronic texts problematic, and it is a reason I do not think our review journals ISR and SBR should go to exclusively electronic publication anytime soon. Finally, there is the underappreciated problem that a large segment of our potential readership, even a good fraction of the ISI membership, lacks either access to electronic media or the skills needed to use them.

The abstracting journal STMA has served the profession nobly since 1959, but it is presented with another set of challenges as it seeks to define its future role. As more journals become available in electronically searchable forms, such as those in JSTOR with its powerful textual search capabilities, some of the value of the abstract is eroded. The ASA/IMS Current Index of Statistics is based upon keywords and titles, and faces a similar problem. STMA does not simply reprint article summaries; rather, it provides an effective intellectual synopsis that can only come from a scholarly editor, not from any currently available textual search engine. Thus, STMA has not become obsolete, even for the fraction of the journals it surveys that are electronically available. However, with the continuing exponential growth in the literature, the costs and challenges become more severe. I hope to engage the managers of the Current Index in discussion on how we might consider joining forces in a constructive way. Meanwhile, STMA is making headway in adapting to electronic form, although even there problems remain to be solved.

In addressing these challenges, we will rely on the strength of the staff at the Permanent Office and the advice of the ISI Publications Committee. The new Chair of the Publications Committee is David Brillinger of the University of California, Berkeley, and a former editor of ISR. I do not expect immediate major changes, nor do I expect no change. David Brillinger and I would appreciate any comments or advice that our members may wish to offer.

Stephen M. Stigler
President ISI


Message from the Director 

I am very grateful for the many kind New Year’s messages that we have received at the ISI Permanent Office. On behalf of the ISI Permanent Office, I would like to extend my best wishes for the New Year to all ISI and ISI Section members. I have been informed by several of our Asian members that this will be the year of the “wood monkey”, hence a year of forward movement, expansion, discussion and the exchange of ideas. A professional scientific organisation such as our own can only benefit by such propitious omens!

The New Year brings with it several cyclical membership tasks. The ISI Permanent Office has mailed out the 2004 membership invoices to all ISI, Bernoulli Society, IAOS, IASC and IASE members. We would be grateful if you could process your payment (including your subscription payments for selected publications) in a timely manner to help us to ensure that our membership records are in order and that you receive your intended publications on time. Credit cards are the preferred payment instrument as bank transfers or cheques involve costly transaction fees. If you have not yet received your membership dues invoice for 2004, please contact ISI Accounts Officer Mr. Peter von Vaupel Klein ( To allow ISI members to ensure that their own address details are current, we have introduced a new component on the ISI website (see: ) that not only allows members to view the membership information that we have on file for them, but includes a customised electronic submission form to enable members to automatically inform us about updates to their membership records. 

Speaking of membership matters, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the 35 new ISI members that were elected in the second round of the 2003 ISI membership elections. The names of these new members are indicated below. The ISI Permanent Office is focussing its energy to elicit a larger number of nominations of qualified potential new members. It is our goal to attract 150 new members during the two election rounds that will take place in 2004. We cannot obtain this goal without your help! Although the membership nomination procedure has been simplified (see:, we are still dependent upon the initiative of our members to identify qualified statisticians who would benefit by affiliating themselves with our association. I ask you to take the time in 2004 to please nominate at least one person to ISI elected membership. As a token of our appreciation for such efforts, we will award the three ISI members whose name appears most frequently as a sponsor of successfully elected new members in 2004 with a complimentary ISI watch (see:

This issue of the Newsletter contains two new features. Each issue of the Newsletter will henceforth include a profile of at least one particular ISI Committee. Many ISI members are not aware of the work being conducted by our various Committees, whose interests are as diverse as the statistical profession. To obtain an overview of all ISI Committees (and an indication of the contact addresses of the Chairpersons responsible for each Committee), please visit

Another added Newsletter feature, we have decided to introduce a series of brief interviews with ISI Honorary members. For those of you who are not familiar with this membership designation, ISI Honorary members are elected from the ranks of "elected members" recognising that their contributions to statistics merit special appreciation. Our first profile is of ISI Honorary member (and former ISI President) Sir David Cox, who I might add will be celebrating his 80th birthday this year.

While Honorary membership is a way of recognising the statistical accomplishments of our members, the ISI Service Certificate programme was introduced in 2001 to recognise distinguished long-term service to the ISI and its Sections. These certificates are presented biennially at the ISI General Assembly. The ISI Service Certificates Committee, Chaired by Dr. Ivan Fellegi, welcomes your proposals for deserving candidates (more...).

In an ongoing collaboration with the Indian Government, the ISI is continuing its initiative to biennially award the P.C. Mahalanobis Prize in memory of this eminent Indian statistician. The ISI Mahalanobis Committee, Chaired by Mr. Jean-Louis Bodin, welcomes proposals for deserving candidates (more...).

Continuing our ongoing series of historical anniversary articles, ISI Committee on the History of Statistics Chairman Professor David Bellhouse has prepared a brief tribute celebrating the 250th anniversary of the death of Abraham de Moivre (more...).

We are pleased to observe that we are receiving a substantial number of subscriptions to the new on-line versions of the International Statistical Review and the Bernoulli journal, available via Project Euclid. Details about this publications initiative can be found at . Please take note that Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts, which provides worldwide coverage of published articles on mathematical statistics and probability, is also available in electronic versions, either as CD-ROM (which also includes Short Book Reviews) or the recently updated On-line version. For more details, see

Although she has already been working with us for several months, I would like to welcome Ms. Shabani Mehta to the ISI Permanent Office (see below). Shabani ( has taken up the position of Administrative Project Officer, and will assume responsibility for several tasks pertaining to ISI meetings, Committees and Publications (including co-editorship of this Newsletter). 

Any members sharing an interest in statistical literacy should make a special effort to visit the IASE’s new International Statistical Literacy Project website at . Visitors to the site will find a treasure trove of information and resources that are useful for the development of statistical literacy at all levels. The site includes web pages for official statisticians, journalists, the mass media, as well as web pages devoted to useful datasets and links to statistical literacy projects developed by national statistical offices, national statistical societies and other non-profit organisations. We are grateful to Committee Chair Professor Carol Blumberg and her productive team of page co-ordinators. 

Please do not forget to mark April 5-12, 2005, on your conference calendar. This is when the ISI Session in Sydney will take place. Information Bulletin #1 for the Sydney Session will be distributed to all members in March of this year. Sydney Session information can also be found at . Young statisticians from developing countries may be interested in participating in the ISI Jan Tinbergen Award Competition, to be awarded in Sydney. Details can be found below. 

Last but not least, I would like to welcome new ISI Ex-Officio Council member Mr. Gosse van der Veen, who has recently assumed the position of Statistics Netherlands Director-General. The ISI Permanent Office is very grateful to Statistics Netherlands for their constant support (the ISI Permanent Office is situated in the Voorburg offices of Statistics Netherlands), and Mr. van der Veen’s input in Council discussions will be welcome. I would like to thank former Director-General Mr. Ruud van Noort for his support over the years, and wish him a happy and healthy retirement. 

Daniel Berze
Director ISI 


The Invited Papers Programme for the 55th ISI Session, Sydney (5-12 April, 2005)

Sydney: April 5 - 12 2005 (logo)

ISI Organisation

Organiser or Meeting Co-ordinator

Contact Details




Stephen Stigler

President’s IPM


Executive Committee

Stephen Stigler

See no. 1

Best papers from developing countries


Local Programme Committee

Geoffrey F. Lee

Title to be announced later


Theme Day I

Almut Steger

Cost, quality and relevance of financial statistics


Theme Day I

Sean Craig

International Monetary Fund

Financial soundness indicators


Theme Day I

Almut Steger

See no. 4

Accounting standards and their impact on financial statistics


Theme Day II

Peter Guttorp

Statistics, environmental health and environmental risk assessment


Theme Day II

Richard L. Smith

Safeguarding the food chain


Theme Day II

Abdel El-Shaarawi

Beyond Kyoto - the science, policy and impacts of climate change


Theme Day III

Olle Nerman

Interpretation of genomic data


Theme Day III

J. W. Lee


Computational tools for microarray analysis


Theme Day III

Max P. Baur

The continuing role of pedigrees


Theme Day III

Joseph N. Perry

Ecological aspects of genetically manipulated crops



Iain M. Johnstone

Random matrices and methods for high dimensional data



Jianqing Fan

Recent developments in financial econometrics



Hans-Georg Müller

Division of Statistics University of California USA

Nonparametric methods for functional data



Joseph L. Horowitz

Nonparametric methods for structural econometric models



Irene Gijbels

Errors in measurement: recent advances



Ilze Ziedins

Stochastic networks



Jean-P. Florens

Inverse problems and functional estimation



Fushing H. Hsieh

Recent developments in joint modeling of longitudinal and survival models



Alan Welsh

Sampling methods for animal populations



Byeong U. Park

Local parametric modeling for curve estimation



Jean-P. Florens

See no. 19

Estimation of the support and efficiency frontiers



James S. Marron

Internet tomography



Michel Delecroix

Recent developments in index modeling regression



Rodney Wolff

Modeling complex dependence using copulas, with applications in finance



Frederick Ho

IAOS Forum



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

Impact of the “international indicators of development” movement on national statistical programme priorities



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

Statistical measurement issues requiring collaboration among NSOs



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

Statistics on international migration



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

The role of official statistics in innovation, knowledge management and development of the new economy



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

The regional and urban dimension of official statistics:
small area statistics and data of particular relevance to regional and urban planning



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

Standards for regional and urban indicators



Frederick Ho

See no. 27

Asian statistical forum



Frederick Ho / P. Silva

See no. 27 /

Response burden and public cooperation in statistical surveys



Gökhan Aydinli / O. Blaskowitz / Wolfgang Härdle

Functional data analysis in quantitative finance



John A. Eccleston

Optimisation algorithms for experimental designs



Lutz Edler / Gilbert Saporta

Statistical learning from data



Junji Nakano

Statistical environments in the network age



Gerald McLaughlin

Computational advances based on the EM algorithm



Carey E. Priebe

Pattern recognition in high dimensions



Michael G. Schimek

Introduction to technical aspects of DNA microarray experiments



V. E. Vinzi


The PLS (partial least squares) approach in data analysis



Pilar Muñoz-Gracia / Frederick Ho See no. 27

Statistical methods in transportation analysis



Christine Reading / Dani Ben Zvi

Reasoning about variation



Larry Weldon

The use of simulation in statistics education



Junlue Zhang

Teaching statistics on-line



Chris J. Wild

Statistics for life: what are the statistical ideas or skills that matter most and why?



Kay L. Lipson / Maria G. Ottaviani

Research in statistical education



Abbas Bazargan / Brenton Dansie / Elizabeth Taylor

Quality assurance In statistics education



Pilar Martín-Guzmán / Frederick Ho See no. 27

Promotion of statistical literacy among students


IASE, History Committee

Carol J. Blumberg

Using history of statistics to enhance the teaching of statistics



Steven G. Heeringa

Developments in the analysis of longitudinal survey data



Ray Chambers

Use of model diagnostics in survey sampling



Michel Latouche

Calibration in practice



Lars Lyberg

Quality measurement and reporting for surveys



Kenneth Brewer

Resampling methods for variance estimation in complex surveys



Pedro Revilla

Experiences in data collection with Internet surveys



Vasja Vehovar

Inferential potentials of non-probability samples



Kari Djerf

Access to micro data while securing confidentiality protection



D. Maligalig


Surveys of small and medium sized enterprises



Ibrahim S. Yansaneh

Estimation with rotating panel designs



P. Silva / Chris J. Wild/ Frederick Ho

See no. 35, no. 48 and no. 27

Educating the media on how best to report statistics


General Topics

Sir David Cox

The design and analysis of observational studies


General Topics

Erica Keogh

Poverty and deprivation: concepts and measurement


General Topics

Kurt Weichselberger

Universität München Ludwigstrasse 33 1, Stock 8000 München 22 Germany

The theory of Interval probability


General Topics

Fred Smith

Using small area statistics for resource allocation: addressing the problems


General Topics

Denise Lievesley Personal assistant Katja Frostell:

The future of statistical societies


General Topics

Lawrence Cox

Quantitative methods for balancing data confidentiality and data quality


Business Committee

Bovas Abraham

Industrial Statistics and Quality Engineering


Tourism Committee

Scott Meis and Stephan Smith and

International tourism flows: measuring volumes, values and characteristics


Risk Analysis Committee

Susie ElSaadany

Chief, Statistics and Risk Assessment Section, Blood Safety Surveillance and Health Care Acquired Infections Division, Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Population and Public Health Branch Health Canada A.L. 0601E2, Building No. 6 Tunney 's Pasture, Ottawa, ON K1A 0L2 Canada

Risk models and their interpretation


Agriculture Committee

Kaku S. Nokoe / Ch. Bryan

Agricultural investigations in challenging situations


Women Committee

Cynthia Clark

Surveying women’s issues


History Committee

Eugene Seneta

Contributions from early Australian statisticians


Sports Committee

Donald Guthrie

Measurement of sports participation and physical activity


Life Sc. Committee

Yoshisada Shibata

Long term health effects of exposures


Life Sc. Committee

J. (Hans) C. van Houwelingen

Statistics for medical diagnosis


Life Sc. Committee

Nick Lange

Improving drug quality


Life Sc. Committee

M. Gayle / J.P. Daures


Statistical methods for combining information from studies


Ethics Committee, IASE

Mary A. Gray

Ethical Standards in statistics education



Jose M. Bernardo / Murray A. Aitkin

Bayesian statistics



P. Silva / Chris J. Wild

See no. 35 and no. 48

Challenges in the teaching of survey sampling



D. Banks / N. Carlo Lauro

Classification methods for complex data structures


Finance Committee, IAOS

Richard Walton

Bank of England

The development of quarterly national accounts by institutional sector



Proceedings of the 54th ISI Session in Berlin 
(August 13th – 20th, 2003)

The proceedings of the 54th ISI Session are nearing completion. Session participants were provided with the pre-Session volumes (in hard copy and/or CD-Rom formats) at the Berlin Session registration desk. The final post-Session volume (containing invited discussants’ papers, invited contributed papers received after the deadline, and records pertaining to the ISI General Assembly meeting, etc.) will be made available for dissemination beginning in April 2004.

The German Federal Statistical Office will make copies of the CD-Rom and print versions (one book) of the post-Session Proceedings available to ISI and Section members only by April 2004 (non-members are to contact the ISI Permanent Office directly to purchase their copies). To obtain your personal copy, please send an e-mail to stating your request for either a CD-Rom or hard copy version and indicate your complete postal address. The CD-Rom or book will be sent to you by post. There is no postal or purchase charge for the CD-Rom. While there is no purchase price for the hard copy, members interested in obtaining a copy must cover the postal charges. The postal charge for the book can be transferred to the following account information:

Bank Account: NOC 54th ISI Session 2003
Commerzbank AG
Bank Code: 100 400 00
Account Number: 2682219 00

The postal charge, which is dependent upon the recipient’s address, is as follows:
• Europe - €6.20*
• World - €14.30

After having received your postal payment, the German Federal Statistical Office will send a copy of the book to you.

*Please visit for a list of countries which are classified as belonging to the European postal zone according to the German Postal Service.


ISI Membership Elections 2003

We congratulate the thirty-five new ISI members who were elected in the second round of the 2003 ISI membership elections. For those who wish to contact any of these individuals, please note that the ISI website contains a component including the names and addresses of all ISI members (see: ), and these new members will be added to this list in the coming weeks.

Accrombessy, Felicien D.E.T. (Benin)
Bera, Michel (France)
Bercovich, Alicia M. (Brazil)
Broström, Göran R.A. (Sweden)
Dalgaard, Peter (Denmark)
Dryden, Ian L. (UK)
Dumitrescu, Ilie (Romania)
Eideh, Abdulhakeem (Palestine)
Esterby, Sylvia R. (Canada)
Gal, Iddo (Israel) 
Gardner, Sugnet (South Africa)
Grieve, Andrew P. (UK)
Guttorp, Peter (Sweden)
Helland, Inge S. (Norway)
Hsieh, Fushing (China)
Jersky, Brian (USA)
Khan, M.G.M. (India)
Kim, Gyungtae (Korea)
Kunitomo, Naoto (Japan)
Lee, Sukhoon (Korea)
Mason, Robert L. (USA)
Mateu, Jorge (Spain)
Mecatti, Fulvia (Italy)
Morales González, Domingo (Spain)
Murtagh, Fionn (Ireland)
Nychka, Douglas W. (USA)
Ojikutu, Rasheed K. (Nigeria)
Palipudi, V.T. Krishna Mohan (India)
Pantula, Sastry G. (USA)
Peiris, Mahatelge S. (Australia)
Scheike, Thomas (Denmark)
Tikkiwal, Gopi C. (India)
van Es, Albertus J. (Netherlands)
van Harn, Klaas (Netherlands)
Yadavalli, Venkata S.S. (South Africa)

Please contact Margaret de Ruiter - Molloy ( in case you have any modifications. Alternatively, you can use the on-line form.


News of Members 

Dr. Hermann Habermann

Dr. Hermann Habermann, an ISI and IAOS member, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. The National Academy of Public Administration is a non-profit organisation chartered by the United States Congress to provide expert advice and analysis to government leaders on issues of governance and management. Dr. Habermann is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Census Bureau, where he is responsible for transforming the enumeration process in preparation for the 2010 decennial census. As Chief Statistician at OMB and later as Chief of the Statistical Division at the United Nations, Habermann’s work has improved the quality of economic and social statistics, both domestically and internationally. 


Dr. Hasan Abu-Libdeh

Dr. Hasan Abu-Libdeh, an ISI and IAOS member, has been appointed as the Bureau Chief of the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Secretary of the Palestinian Cabinet. The Government has been voted in by the Palestinian Legislative Council.


Dr. S.N. Dwivedi, Additional Professor to the Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, who is an elected member of the ISI and also an IASE member, has been honoured with the title of “Fellow of the Indian Society for Medical Statistics” (FSMS) during the 21st Annual Conference of the Indian Society for Medical Statistics held during 28-30 November 2003 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.


Ms. Shabani Mehta

New Face at the ISI Permanent Office


Ms. Shabani Mehta has taken up the position of Administrative Project Officer, and will assume responsibility for several tasks pertaining to ISI meetings, Committees and Publications (including co-editorship of this Newsletter). 


Deceased Members

The ISI regrets to announce the death of our colleagues:

  Born Elected Deceased

Dr. Petter J. Bjerve



12 January 2004

Mr. Diego de Castro




Professor Raymond J. Jessen



14 December 2003

Professor Vytautas Statulevicius



23 November 2003



Historical Anniversaries: 250th Anniversary of the Death of Abraham de Moivre (1667 – 1754)

Abraham de Moivre was born in France in the town of Vitry-le-François on May 26th, 1667. He studied logic at the Protestant Academy at Saumur from 1682 to 1684, and then joined his parents in Paris where he studied mathematics with Jacques Ozanan. Along with many other French Huguenots, he left France as a result of Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In 1687, he was in London, England, where he remained until his death in 1754.

In England, he earned his living as an author and as a private tutor, where he included members of the nobility amongst his students. His most popular books were The Doctrine of Chances, published in two editions during his lifetime (1718 and 1738), and Annuities upon Lives, published in four editions during his lifetime (1725, 1743, 1750 and 1752). Both books came out in posthumous editions. The Doctrine of Chances was a highly influential piece of work. Both Lagrange and Laplace planned to make French translations of it; and it remained the standard work on probability in England well into the nineteenth century. 

Based on his work on annuities, de Moivre could be considered, after Edmund Halley, one of the founders of the method of life contingencies. His life table approximation that the number of lives in the table is a linear function of age lasted into the early nineteenth century. De Moivre’s other major publication in mathematics was the Miscellanea Analytica published in 1730 in which he obtained, among several other results, Stirling’s approximation to factorials. This approximation led to the result for which de Moivre is most famous, his normal approximation to the binomial, which he obtained in 1733. 

According to Ivo Schneider in Statisticians of the Centuries, “From a technical point of view de Moivre considered his central limit theorem as a generalization and a sharpening of Bernoulli’s Theorema aureum which was later named the law of large numbers by Poisson.”

David Bellhouse
ISI History of Statistics Committee


ISI Honorary Member Interviews

Sir David Cox

The following article marks the introduction of a new ongoing feature in the ISI Newsletter, which will present brief interviews with ISI Honorary members. ISI Honorary members are elected from the ranks of "elected members" in recognition that their contributions to statistics merit special appreciation. We hope that these articles will lend an opportunity for Honorary members to provide readers with observations concerning their their professional experiences or reflections on the statistical profession in general. We are grateful to Sir David Cox (who celebrates his 80th birthday this year) for his agreeing to participate in the first of this series. (Shabani Mehta)

S.M.-Although I am aware that you studied mathematics at Cambridge and obtained your Ph.D. at the University of Leeds, could you tell us when your interest in Statistics began? Did you follow in the footsteps of anyone in your family? Have any family members, even distant ones, followed your statistical interests?

D.C.-I initially became interested in statistics not in an academic context, but through my first job in the Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering, Royal Aircraft Establishment, and, even more specifically, in my second employment at Wool Industries Research Association. There, I had the enormous good fortune to work with Henry Daniels, a remarkable statistician, probabilist and, incidentally, experimental physicist. Other major influences on me have been too numerous to mention; the simplest thing to say is that I have been quite outstandingly fortunate, personally and scientifically, in my colleagues and co-workers, of course counting postgraduate students as colleagues. I was the first member of my family to get a University education, although a very distant relative, whom I met only twice, was a distinguished engineer. None of my children has chosen a career as a scientist; I have my own ideas as to why that is!

S.M.-Of all your accomplishments, which one in particular are you most proud of achieving?

D.C.-One may be asked: what is one's best piece of work? A friend of mine, having been asked this question at an interview, gave the definitive answer: I haven't done it yet. I would still want to give this answer myself, although the probability that the implied hope will be realized obviously has decreased sharply with age. Nevertheless, one can still hope.

S.M.-You were knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1985 and were honoured as a F.R.S. in recognition of your considerable contributions. Do you think that statisticians in general receive sufficient recognition for their work? 

D.C.-Concerning the recognition of statisticians, it is not false modesty to say that I feel personally over recognized, but that the contribution of many of our colleagues is absurdly undervalued. This applies particularly, but not only, to those whose contribution is less public than one whose primary contributions come from open publication in the international literature. It is part of an often-commented-on general undervaluing of the care needed in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. This under recognition applies to some extent in scientific research, but even more so in public affairs. 

S.M.-If you were to start up a statistics department at a new university, what advice would you give to the new department head?

D.C.-My comments have to be properly conditional, but perhaps two broad points are first the importance of aiming to make the first course in statistics that students receive of especially high quality and relevance, and secondly, at a research level, the importance of making contact with the best research workers in other subjects and aiming over a period to establish genuine involvement and collaboration in their activities. Of course, I recognize the difficulties of achieving these goals.

S.M.-You have served many administrative roles within the statistical community (President of the ISI, the Bernoulli Society, and the Royal Statistical Society). Were you concerned that these roles would limit the time you could spend on further statistical research? 

D.C.-Although no doubt I have complained tediously and incessantly about the burden of administration, except for one period more than thirty years ago, I have never felt much serious tension; the same applies to teaching, which in the kind of work I do, combines naturally with research, always provided of course that the demands are not excessive. I think, however, I was fortunate to have worked in a period in which British universities were by and large quite efficient and pretty unbureaucratic, and in which academics were in control, in some sense. That has all changed; no doubt with some good results but I fear many bad ones. But that's another story!

Awards, Prizes & Competitions

IISA Young Statistician Award

The International Indian Statistical Association (IISA) presents the “Young Statistician Award” to recognise contributions of high quality in research, education, and applications. The 2004 Award may be shared by at most two candidates who were born on or after January 1, 1959, and have been an ordinary member of the IISA continuously since 2002 or a life member of the IISA since 2003. The first Award was given in the year 2002 and was shared by Ravindra Khattree and Sastry G. Pantula.

Nominations for the 2004 Award must be received by February 27, 2004. A cover letter by the nominator along with at least four supporting letters and any other supporting documents should be submitted as a single file electronically to the Chair of the Selection Committee: Professor Subir Ghosh, University of California at Riverside at 

Nominations should include the nominee's degrees, present position(s) followed by significant former positions, list of major contributions in research, education, and application emphasising the high quality aspects in them.

The 2004 IISA Young Statistician Award Committee consists of Professors U.N. Bhat, J.N.K. Rao, J. Sethuraman, and S. Ghosh (Chair).

Proposals Welcome for Deserving ISI Service Certificate Recipients

ISI Service Certificates are to be presented biennially at the ISI General Assembly to recognise particularly distinguished service to the ISI and its Sections. Any ISI member has the right to make nominations to the ISI Service Certificates Committee. 

The criteria for potential recipients include service over an extended period of time and in a variety of leadership roles (or exceptionally for distinguished service in one capacity for a truly abnormal length of time) including, but not limited to, official positions in the ISI, its Committees and Sections, editorial roles, organisation of the biennial conference or Section conferences and representing the ISI on external bodies. The Award is intended to reflect services to the ISI itself rather than distinction in the field of statistics per se. 

The recipients must be members of the ISI at the time of receiving the Award. However, services rendered to any ISI Section, before membership of the ISI is achieved, may be taken into consideration when deciding to confer the Award. 

The number of Awards shall not normally exceed five in any biennium. Members of the Executive and the Council of the ISI are not eligible for the Award during their period of Office. 

Proposals should be sent to the ISI Service Certificates Committee Chairman: 
Dr. Ivan Fellegi 
Statistics Canada 
Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa 
Ontario, K1A OT6, Canada 
Tel: +1-613-951 9757
Fax: +1-613-951 4842

The Mahalanobis Prize

On behalf of the Indian Government, the Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is continuing its biennial initiative to award the P.C. Mahalanobis Prize in memory of this eminent Indian statistician. The Prize is to be awarded to a statistician who comes from a developing country and has worked there in recognition of his/her lifetime achievement in statistics and promotion of best statistical practice. This initiative will serve the double purpose of keeping the memory of P.C. Mahalanobis alive and of recognising and stimulating progress in statistics in developing countries. The previous winner of the prize was Professor C.R. Rao.

The Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation for the Government of India and the International Statistical Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. According to this Memorandum, a Committee has been established to propose a candidate for this Prize. The ISI administers a Fund of US$62,000 provided by the Indian Government, of which the interest will be used to award the Prize, which will consist of an economy class return airplane ticket to the Sydney ISI Session, a per diem payment for accommodation and other living expenses while in Sydney, and US$5,000. The Prize will be awarded at the ISI Session in Sydney (April 5-12, 2005).

The Mahalanobis Committee Jury invites all ISI and Section members and all statisticians to propose a candidate to the Committee, with arguments supporting the proposed candidate. All National Statistical Societies and National Statistical Offices on record at the ISI will be approached for this purpose.

Proposals can be sent to the Chair, Jean-Louis Bodin ( ), or to Daniel Berze at the ISI Permanent Office ( before May 15, 2004.

Jan Tinbergen Awards Competition for Young Statisticians from Developing Countries 2005

The International Statistical Institute (ISI) announces the Twelfth Competition among young statisticians from developing countries who are invited to submit a paper on any topic within the broad field of statistics, for possible presentation at the 55th Session of the ISI to be held in Sydney, Australia in April 2005. Applications are particularly welcome from women.

Participation in the Competition is open to nationals of developing countries who are living in a developing country, who were born in 1973 or later (see Developing countries will be defined as countries with an annual GDP per capita of less than US$4,000 (U.N. November 2000); see list at .

Previous winners of the Award are prohibited to compete again. Papers submitted must be unpublished, original works which may include material from participants' university theses. The papers submitted will be examined by an International Jury of distinguished statisticians who will select the three best papers presented in the Competition. Their decision will be final. 

Each author of a winning paper will receive the Jan Tinbergen Award in the amount of € 2,269 and will be invited to present his/her paper at the Sydney Session of ISI, with all expenses paid (i.e. round trip airline ticket from his/her place of residence to Sydney plus a lump sum to cover living expenses).

Manuscripts for the Competition should be submitted in time to reach the ISI not later than September 1, 2004.

The rules governing the preparation of papers, application forms and full details are available on request from the ISI Permanent Office. The address is as follows:
The Director of the Permanent Office
International Statistical Institute
428 Prinses Beatrixlaan
2273 XZ Voorburg, The Netherlands
Fax: +31 70 3860025;

2003-2004 Fellowships for Threatened Scholars
Scholar Rescue Fund Fellowships

The Institute of International Education's (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) provides fellowships for scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries. These fellowships permit scholars to find temporary refuge at universities and colleges anywhere in the world, enabling them to pursue their academic work and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues, and the community at large. When conditions improve, these scholars will return home to help rebuild universities and societies ravaged by fear, conflict and repression.

How the Scholar Rescue Fund Works

Academics, researchers and independent scholars from any country, field or discipline may qualify. Preference is given to scholars with a Ph.D. or other highest degree in their field; who have been employed in scholarly activities at a university, college or other institution of higher learning during the last four years (excluding displacement or prohibition); who demonstrate superior academic accomplishment or promise; and whose selection is likely to benefit the academic community in the home and/or host country or region. 

Applications from female scholars and under-represented groups are strongly encouraged. 

Universities, colleges and research centers in any country may apply to serve as hosts. 

Applications and nominations should be made to the Fund's Selection Committee. Institutions interested in hosting a particular scholar should submit a letter with the scholar's application. Fellowships are awarded to institutions for support of specific individuals, to be matched in most cases by the institution or a third-party. Fellowship recipients are expected to continue their work in safety at the host institution: teaching, lecturing, conducting research, writing and publishing. Fellowships from three months to one calendar year will be considered with up to 25 fellowships awarded annually. The maximum award is US$20,000.

Applications are accepted at any time. Emergency applications receive urgent consideration. Non-emergency applications will be considered according to the following Spring 2004 schedule: Applications received by April 1, 2004; decision announced by June 1, 2004.

How to Apply

Use this link to download the application: 
To apply or to learn how your institution might host an SRF scholar, contact:
IIE Scholar Rescue Fund Fellowships
809 U.N. Plaza, Second Floor
New York, New York 10017, USA
Tel: +1-212-984-5472
Fax: +1-212-984-5401


ISI Committee Matters

ISI Committee for the Strengthening of Co-operation between the ISI and National Statistical Societies

Committee History

At the 2001 ISI meetings in Seoul, South Korea, Denise Lievesley conducted a session of representatives from several statistical societies that were affiliated with the ISI. A questionnaire of these societies was conducted prior to the meeting. Fruitful discussions from that meeting led to her summary, as follows:

The value of the meeting was the exchange at the time and I am aware that many bilateral discussions took place following the meeting so I think it was a success. Problems of recruitment into the profession, the ageing of the profession and accreditation were all topics which were raised at the meeting two years ago.

At the 2003 Berlin ISI meeting, I was asked to conduct similar queries and lead the discussions of a group made up of members of the several ISI affiliated statistics societies. 

Results of the ISI 2003 NSS Questionnaire and Discussion Items In the paragraphs below, the consensus answers to the questions are presented. These responses served as a basis for the interactive involvement of the individuals in the group.

Can you please provide information about any long-term reviews, strategies, business plans, or reviews of activities produced by your statistical society. 

Generally, documentation available to members and prospects within the country.

How many members does your society currently have? Have these numbers changed in the society since 2000?

Most organizations have stable membership numbers, ranging from 200 to 17,000.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your society in regard to their coverage of statisticians?

Strengths: Diversity, ubiquity, breadth. Weakness: Size, recruitment into discipline, lack of diversity.

What actions are being taken (or planned) to improve the membership numbers and distribution? 

More services Student recruitment

Do you have reduced price membership for young, retired, or developing world statisticians? 

Students – Yes
Retired – Yes/No
Developing countries – Generally no, few yes.

Are there any other distinctions in the membership classes, such as a higher rate for those who have chartered status or particular qualifications? 

Higher rates are charged in a few cases.

Are there any policies in place to improve the involvement of women in the society, or in statistics more generally, or is this not perceived to be an issue? 

Not an issue (Note: It is an issue for the ASA).

Are there any policies in place to improve the involvement of developing country participants in the society, or in statistics more generally, or is this not perceived to be an issue? 

Generally, no.

Are there any strategies in place (or planned) in relation to the promotion of recruitment to the discipline of statistics? Is this of concern to your society and if so, why and what are they doing about it? 

Yes to all

How do you view the role of your society in relation to career development? Are you providing training courses or taking any other actions in relation to training? 

Generally, yes

Is your society consulted by the government or other institutions or individuals in relation to statistical issues? Is your society involved in review committees? Does it provide any other form(s) of professional feedback? 

Little direct government influence, generally. 

Does your society see the increasing use of the Web as an aid or a threat to their development, particularly in relation to publication?

Electronic communications by persons, society newsletters, and publications are becoming increasingly important. During the discussion some issues of common concern were raised:

• Individual membership totals.
• Effects of electronic publication and its evolution.
• Effects of commercial publishing on association publications.
• Effects of worldwide tensions and health issues on meeting attendance.
• Influence of societies on government issues and the media.
• Recruitment into the profession.
• Recognition of the profession. Resulting Recommendations and Actions

The group recommended to the ISI Council that a permanent committee should be established within the ISI to help foster cooperative efforts between the several societies, as well as to enhance the ISI’s involvement with the societies. The ISI Council responded by creating the Committee for the Strengthening of Cooperation between the ISI and Statistical Societies and naming me as its first Chair. The members are being appointed now and will include representatives from all continents. 

Additionally, in the group’s discussion of professional recognition, Nicholas Fisher pointed out the efforts being made by the Statistical Society of Australia (SSAI) in the area of accrediting statisticians (see: ). This effort includes a program to make the general public aware of the contributions being made by statisticians in solving problems of interest. Press releases are produced on a regular basis; they summarize successful and interesting applications of statistics. As a result, public awareness of statisticians in Australia has increased, and the members of SSAI are frequently approached for comments on issues. Other society certification programs include the Chartered and Graduate Statistician designations made by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). Details concerning the RSS program are given at

After the Berlin meeting, other societies pointed out interesting approaches to ascertaining the state of our discipline in order to aid in positioning learned societies for future support of statisticians. Of particular note is the extensive survey that was conducted by the Société Française de Statistique (SFdS): Les statisticiens et leur organisations professionnelle: Compte rendu de l’enquête effectuée par le Groupe des membres français de l’IIS et la Société Française de Statistique, - décembre 2002 – avril 2003. The report (available from SFdS) reveals the diversity within the group of statistical societies; for example, 14% of SFdS members classify themselves as academics, whereas 40% of ASA members do so. So, as revealed in the 2003 questionnaire, diversity is both a strength and weakness of the statistics profession; i.e., strong because of our ubiquity and weak for having a diffuse center.

Future Plans and Goals

It is inappropriate and more than a bit premature for me to speculate as to the goals that will be set by the Committee, but be assured that closer cooperation by the societies through the ISI and directly will be a focus. To meet this obvious communication need, the ISI central office is preparing for the ISI Committee for the Strengthening of Cooperation between the ISI and Statistical Societies a listserver. This article invites participants to such a listserver. The ISI Permanent Office will establish and maintain this site (with Yahoo groups) and the Committee will serve as moderator. This virtual meeting site will allow members to communicate with each other and stimulate increased activity.

In addition, I expect that the Committee will plan to involve itself in bilateral and multilateral agreements between societies and the ISI, hold open meetings at the biennial ISI meetings for feedback purposes, and advertise other society’s events as appropriate (Note: the Joint Statistics Meetings welcomes the ISI by providing a booth for its use). 

I look forward to being part of this important cooperative activity. Together, the societies and the ISI will be better able to meet the current and future needs of our profession.

William B. Smith
ASA Executive Director
Chairman of the ISI Committee for the Strengthening of
Cooperation between the ISI and Statistical Societies


Out now …

Proceedings of the Satellite Conference “Examining the Essential Functions of Statistical Organisations” held in Szczecin, Poland, on August 8-9, 2003. Published by the ISI in collaboration with the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS).

Recognising that yesterday’s organisational paradigms are today’s dinosaurs, this Conference provided the opportunity for several distinguished speakers, each one of them authorities in their own country, to elaborate upon their individual approaches as to how national statistical offices can structure the essential components that comprise a national statistical office, and lead their organisations to effectively provide the statistical services that are demanded of them. The Conference papers provide many insights of interest to the official statistics community. 

For your personal copy, please contact the ISI Permanent Office by e-mail at or use our electronic publications order form at .

ISBN 90-73592-21-6
Price: €15

Become an Elected Member of the ISI

ISI Elected members are elected by virtue of their distinguished contributions to:

- the development or application of statistical methods;
- the administration of statistical services;
- the development and improvement of statistical education. 

Candidates for elected membership must be nominated by three existing honorary or elected ISI members (view the ISI membership list at ). Elections take place twice a year, under the authority of the ISI Elections Committee, whose recommendations are subject to the approval of the ISI Executive Committee. 

If you would like to nominate someone who you believe to be deserving and interested in ISI membership, nomination forms (referred to as "presentation of Candidacy" forms) may be obtained at:

This form is electronically submitted to the ISI Permanent Office. 
If you prefer to down load an alternative format, and e-mail this to the ISI Permanent Office ( ), this is also possible: 

Word version: 
PDF version: 

Erratum to the Historical Membership List

The list of Directors of the ISI Permanent Office (page 10) contains a regrettable error. As can be learned from the obituary of Professor Gijsbert Goudswaard in the last issue of the ISI Newsletter, we totally failed to recognise the most important role that Professor Goudswaard had in the functioning of the ISI Permanent Office.

In fact, Goudswaard was Director of the ISI from 1948-1955, directly succeeding Henri Methorst, who was Director of the ISI from 1913-1948. The mentioning of Philip Idenburg in our overview is erroneous: Idenburg was Director General of Statistics Netherlands for the period mentioned, but did not function as Director of the ISI Permanent Office.

For a full account of Goudswaard’s merits for the ISI, we refer to the above-mentioned obituary. We apologise for the confusion caused by these mistakes.

Check your Personal Data (and Some Extra if Possible!)
The Continuing Story…
Correct information about our members is of vital importance to our functioning. Therefore, all participants of the 2003 Berlin Session were invited to visit the ISI booth and check their personal data in both the ISI Membership Directory and the Historical Membership List. Many people did so, and we are very grateful for their effort. We now repeat that request. We invite you to check your data as they were printed in both publications. All additions and corrections are welcome, also those referring to others! Please send any comments to the ISI Permanent Office, preferably by e-mail ( ).

May we ask your special attention to e-mail addresses? Too many of them are still missing in our database. Apart from that, it is well known that nothing changes as frequently as e-mail addresses. E-mail has become an indispensable means of contact with our members, because of its speed and low costs. Help us to have these addresses as complete as possible.


News from ISI Sections:
Bernoulli Society
Previous Newsletters:
Volume 27 No 3 (81) 2003
Volume 27 No 2 (80) 2003
Volume 27 No 1 (79) 2003
Volume 26 No 3 (78) 2002
Volume 26 No 2 (77) 2002
Volume 26 No 1 (76) 2002
Volume 25 No 3 (75) 2001

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News from ISI sections Volume 28, No. 1 (82) 2004