Newsletter Volume 31, No. 3 (93) 2007

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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 Sections (approx. 5,000) as part of their membership.

Editors: Mr. D. Berze and Ms. S. Mehta, Graphic Designer: Mr. H. Lucas
In this online Issue
Message from the President
Message from the Director
Spotlight on the 56th ISI Session in Lisboa, Portugal
57th ISI Session in Durban, South Africa
News of Members
In Memoriam
Report of the ISI Nominations Committee
ISI Membership Elections 2007
Historical Anniversaries: Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788)
The OECD Second World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy
Memories of the ISI's Past
Electronic Payments Made Easy
Calendar of Events
News from ISI sections Volume 31, No. 3 (93) 2007

Message from the President


This is my first newsletter article as President of the ISI. May I take this opportunity to say how honoured I am to have been elected to this position. I look forward to a very active two years.

Members who attended the Lisboa Session will, I’m sure, echo my warm thanks to the Portuguese Government, our Portuguese colleagues, and all the others involved in organising such a high quality programme of scientific papers, very enjoyable social activities and the warmest of welcomes to Portugal. A huge amount of hard work is expended to run a conference of the scale and complexity of the ISI, but it has been greatly appreciated. Many of us carry very happy memories of our days in Lisboa. I have been playing CDs of the wonderful singing of Mariza repeatedly since then!

For the first time, the ISI Executive Committee is conducting a survey both of participants of the ISI Session as well as those who did not attend. The intention is to hear your views, to determine how to increase participation and to make the next conference even more profitable for delegates. We shall of course report back on the outcomes, which I know will be read with great interest by our South African and Irish colleagues as they prepare for the 2009 and 2011 Sessions.

The plans for the Durban Session from 16 to 22 August 2009 are already well advanced – please note these dates in your diary particularly as this will be our first Session running from one weekend to the next. The challenge will be to pack a growing agenda into fewer days! This will be the first time the ISI has held its biennial Session in sub-Saharan Africa. In Lisboa at the South African evening, we were treated to a flavour of the vibrancy of the cultural and social activities that await us in Durban. Elsewhere in this Newsletter, you will find information about the proposed scientific programme reflecting the hard work of John Kovar, Dennis Trewin and Tim Dunne, together with the Sections’ representatives.
It is appropriate that I take this opportunity to thank my predecessor Professor Niels Keiding for his dedication and wisdom in leading the ISI for the past two and a half years. I will sorely miss his wit and dry humour, which enlivened so many of our meetings. The ISI is all the stronger for his commitment and that of the outgoing Executive, two of whom Nick Fisher and Gilbert Saporta have also reached the end of their terms of office. I am grateful to them all and to the Council members, as well as the Officers of the Sections and members of committees who give their expertise and time selflessly to the statistics profession.

I am pleased to be working with the new Executive: ongoing member Len Cook, newly elected members Stefan Morgenthaler and Vijayan Nair, and the next President Jef Teugels. We have met once as the incoming Executive at the end of the Lisboa Session to begin establishing our priorities for the next two years. At this stage, it would be very helpful if ISI and ISI Section members would inform us of their views for our discussions by e-mailing me ( This will continue the consultation process on the role of the ISI that I started through open “surgeries” in Lisboa. Our priorities will certainly include a number on the form and functioning of the ISI:

• Developing and consulting on the plans for the restructuring begun during Niels’ tenure;
• Strengthening the financial position of the ISI and ISI family;
• Increasing the involvement of the ISI Council in the running of the organisation;
• Evaluating the ways in which technology can be used more effectively in support of ISI activities (publications, conferences, communications, committee work, etc.).

In addition, I have a personal commitment to ensuring greater participation by statisticians in developing countries in all of our activities and will be seeking opportunities to listen to statisticians from developing countries about how their work can be supported by professional societies. It is important that we do not focus only on internal or administrative issues and so we will seek to develop some initiatives on the role and impact of statistics. We are always keen to hear from members who would like to be more active in the work of the ISI, so please feel free to e-mail me with your views and interests.


Denise Lievesley,
President ISI


Message from the Director


Participants of the 56th ISI Session in Lisboa were treated to a tremendous experience. The excellent scientific and social programmes, not forgetting the valuable networking opportunities, provided the occasion for participants to get the most out of their stay in Portugal, not to mention the warm hospitality and the aesthetic beauty that the country has to offer. We are indebted to the considerable efforts of many persons who made the 56th Session the success it was, and with 2,595 participants and 1,423 scientific paper contributions, it was clear that the scale of the Session was larger than in previous years. Special thanks are due to Programme Committee Chair Prof. Pedro Silva and Local Programme Chair Prof. Ivette Gomes (and their Committee members) for their hard work in forging a scientific programme that was as broad as it was deep. We are also grateful to National Organising Committee Chair Prof. Paulo Gomes and Vice-Chair Ms. Helena Cordeiro for their wise and efficient management of the preparations. Executive Secretary Mr. José Pinto Martins (and his team) deserves to take a special bow for his Herculean efforts to organise and manage the numerous details pertaining to the Session. We have all taken home with us special memories of our time in Portugal, and on page 4 of this issue of the ISI Newsletter includes some selected photographs of various Session events, which I hope will evoke some nostalgic reminder of your time spent in that beautiful country. Please note that a list of all Lisboa Session participants can be found at:

An announcement regarding the availability of the Lisboa Session proceedings (on disk) will be made in the next edition of the ISI Newsletter. These proceedings will eventually be placed on the ISI website for all to access.

As you may have already noticed, the ISI has conducted an e-mail survey of all Session participants and non-participants in order to obtain a better impression of members’ (and non-members’) views regarding the entire ISI Session experience. We are grateful to the help provided by Prof. Gilbert Saporta and his assistant Emmanuel Jakobowicz, for their work in designing the survey, and to ISI Permanent Office staff member Mr. Hans Lucas for executing the survey, and we look forward to seeing the survey’s eventual results. As I write this, more than 27% of the Session participants have participated in the survey and more than 23% of the ISI/Section members who did not attend the Lisboa Session have also participated. We thank you for your valuable input!

During the Session, many ISI and Section administrative bodies met to chart the course for the coming two years (and beyond). The ISI Executive Committee and Council meetings quite naturally focussed chiefly on restructuring, and the Incoming Council will focus its efforts on the next steps in the restructuring process, with an aim to submit a definitive proposal to the ISI General Assembly within the coming biennium. The new ISI Executive Committee, Chaired by ISI President Prof. Denise Lievesley, met for the first time in Lisboa and has begun the planning process. Details regarding the composition of the new ISI Council can be found at

Better attended than in previous years, during the Lisboa Session’s ISI General Assembly, the Report of the ISI EC 2005-2007 to the General Assembly was formally approved, including the financial report. This report can be found at The ISI Service Certificate Awards, ISI Mahalanobis Award, IASS Cochran-Hansen Awards and ISI Jan Tinbergen Awards were officially conferred during the General Assembly meeting (for details regarding the prize winners, see ISI Newsletter, volume 31, number 2). Much of the open discussion taking place during the ISI General Assembly meeting focussed upon the ongoing restructuring efforts and on ISI Session matters. Several General Assembly participants expressed their concern that all prospective Session participants should be granted access to the Session host country, and that steps should be taken by the host country to ensure the provision of the necessary entry visas. In addition, ISI President Prof. Niels Keiding reminded participants that formal approval for the 2011 ISI Session in Dublin (August 21-27, 2011) had been previously approved, and that the ISI Council had recently approved the formal proposal to situate the 2013 ISI Session in Hong Kong. The meeting was rounded off with an inspiring presentation by the South African 2009 delegation, welcoming one and all to attend the next ISI Session in Durban. I would urge you to mark August 16-22, 2009, on your calendar, as the 57th Session in Durban, South Africa, will be an event not to be missed. (see

ISI Programme Co-ordinating Committee Chair for the Durban Session, Mr. John Kovar, has provided a tentative list of invited paper meetings for the Durban Session, which can be found here. We thank the various Section Programme Committees, the ISI General Topics Committee (Chaired by Mr. Dennis Trewin), and the aforementioned Programme Co-ordinating Committee for their work in preparing the Durban Session’s scientific programme.

The first round of the 2007 ISI membership elections is now complete, and I can report that 68 new members have been elected, as well as one new Honorary member (Prof. George E.P. Box). A complete listing of all newly elected members can be found here. We thank the members of the Elections Committee [Abdel El-Shaarawi (Chair, Canada), Michael Brick (USA), Clyde Charre de Trabuchi (Argentina), Philip Hougaard (Denmark), Chul Eung Kim (South Korea), Ben Kiregyera (Ethiopia), Annie Morin (France), Rolando Rebolledo (Chile), Takashi Yanagawa (Japan)] for their work in reviewing the nominations, and to all those persons who have sponsored the membership candidates.

The ISI Nominations Committee [Lutz Elder (Chair, Germany), Stanley Azen (USA), María del Carmen Fabrizio (Argentina), Byung Soo Kim (Korea), Ben Kiregyera (Uganda), Eric Schulte Nordholt (The Netherlands) and Michael Sørensen (Denmark)], worked hard during and after the Lisboa Session to develop the slate of candidates for the forthcoming election of ISI Officers. This list is included here.

The ISI Permanent Office is now busy preparing the invoices for the 2008 membership dues. You may choose to utilise the electronic payment service provided by the ISI Permanent Office to process your dues payment. A short explanation as to how to use this payment tool can be found here.


Mrs. Ann Daniels

There are two recent changes to the composition of the ISI Permanent Office that I would like to announce. After 22 years of dedicated service, Mrs. Ann Daniels will be leaving the ISI Permanent Office in order to enjoy her well deserved early retirement. Ann’s professionalism as Executive Editor of the International Statistical Review, as well as the effectiveness that she has demonstrated in her various other ISI office tasks in the course of her long career at the ISI will be greatly missed. We wish her all the best for the future.

Ms. Liliana Pinkasovych, M.A.

We greet Ms. Liliana Pinkasovych to the ISI Permanent Office staff. Liliana, a native of the Ukraine, will be assuming many of Ann’s former responsibilities, and brings with her an impressive array of linguistic and administrative experience, and we warmly welcome her to the ISI Permanent Office team.



Daniel Berze 
Director ISI 


Spotlight on the 56th ISI Session in Lisboa, Portugal

Portuguese President Aníbal Antonio Cavaco Silva Mariza entertains at the Opening Ceremony
Portuguese Dancers entertain in advance
of the Conference Dinner
South African Reception
Networking in the Halls Welcome to Lisbon!
Nominations Committee Discussions ISI President-Elect (now President) D. Lievesley and
President (now past President) N. Keiding
ISI Service Award winners: from left to right: B. Abraham,
J.C. Lee, B. Meganck, W. Smith
ISI Finance Committee Chair O. Ljones addresses the ISI General Assembly

Indian Ambassador N. Mitra presents Mahalanobis Committee Prize to Isidoro David. ISI President N. Keiding and Mahalanobis Committee Chair L. Billard also congratulate Dr. David. ISI Jan Tinbergen Prize Winners: from left to right:
Archana V.,
Lishamol Tomy, Muthirakalayil,
Caio Lucidius Naberezny Azevedo


57th ISI Session in Durban, South Africa

Report of the Programme Coordinating Committee for the 57th ISI Session
16-22 August 2009

Committee and Subcommittee Chairs:

2009 PCC - John Kovar
ISI General Topics Committee - Dennis Trewin
Local Programme Committee - Timothy Dunn
Bernoulli Society - Ursula Gather
IAOS - Nancy McBeth
IASE - Helen MacGillivray
IASS - Leyla Mohadjer
IASC - Yutaka Tanaka and Stanley Azen
ISBIS - Vijay Nair

The ISI Programme Coordinating Committee (PCC) for the 57th Session of the ISI to be held in Durban, South Africa, is preparing the Programme of the Invited Paper Meetings (IPMs) for the Session. Below is a list of the proposed meetings with their titles and sponsors, and, where available, the proposed organisers with their coordinates. Organisers of the IPMs are responsible for developing the programme for each meeting, inviting authors and discussants, and providing them with the necessary background information. They are also expected to attend the ISI Session in Durban and chair the meeting that they organised.

At this time, we already have some one hundred proposals including an invited meeting by invitation of the ISI President, Denise Lievesley. The ISI Executive is also in the process of inviting a number of sister societies to organise two or three invited meetings in Durban.

More information on the Scientific Programme will be provided as it becomes available.

John Kovar
Chair, ISI Programme Coordinating Committee


Invited Paper Meetings for the 57th ISI Session, Durban, South Africa




Name, country, e-mail


President's Invited Papers Meeting


Denise Lievesley, UK,


Frontiers of Machine Learning

Bernoulli Society

Su-Yun Huang, Taiwan,


Inference under Qualitative Restrictions

Bernoulli Society

Holger Dette, Germany,


Semi- and Nonparametric Statistics

Bernoulli Society

Graciela Boente, Argentina


Model Building and Regularization

Bernoulli Society

Axel Munk, Germany,


Stochastic Geometry with Applications

Bernoulli Society

Viktor Benes, Czech Republic,


Concentration Inequalities

Bernoulli Society

Gabor Lugosi, Spain


Random Dynamical Systems

Bernoulli Society

Peter Imkeller, Germany


Statistical Modeling and Data Analysis for Neural Coding

Bernoulli Society

To be determined, c/o Ursula Gather,


The Role of Chance in Evolution

Bernoulli Society

Peter Jagers, Sweden,


Stochastics in Neurophysiology

Bernoulli Society

To be determined, c/o Ursula Gather,


Statistics in Biodiversity

Bernoulli Society

To be determined, c/o Ursula Gather,


Stochastics of Genome

Bernoulli Society

Jun Liu, USA,


Complex Data Analysis, Dimension Reduction and Sparsity

Bernoulli Society

Ursula Gather, Germany,


The challenge of building a supply of statisticians for the future


To be determined, c/o Nancy McBeth,


Comparing Poverty and Prices across National Boundaries - the ICP Programme and Poverty PPPs

Local Hosts

Mirriam Babita, South Africa


Implementing the 1993 System of National Accounts


Carl Obst, Australia


Sustainable Development Indicators - New Challenges


Tammy Eastbrooke, New Zealand


Globalisation and official statistics - how to ensure international comparability, while retaining national relevance

Local Hosts

To be determined, c/o Nancy McBeth,


Bringing Stats Home: Role of Official Statistical Offices in supporting comparable statistics at regional, urban and local level


Dominic Leung, China (Hong Kong),


Improving comparability of urban and regional data: Standards, harmonization, and sharing metadata resources for survey development


Wendy Thomas, USA,


Methodological and measurement challenges in Economic Statistics


Peter Harper, Australia,


Contemporary methodological challenges in Social Statistics


To be determined, c/o Nancy McBeth,


Quality Control and Assurance of Administration Data used in Statistics Production


Hilkka Vihavainen, Finland,


Measuring Prices statistics: A National Conspiracy of Numbers?


Michael Ward, UK,


Functional Data Analysis: Theory and Applications


Jason Fine, USA,


Uncertainty in Statistical Matching


Mauro Scanu, Italy, ISTAT,  and
Tomas Aluja-Banet, Spain,


Statistics and the Internet for Development in e-Education e-Health  and Other Fields  with particular reference to Africa


Fionn Murtagh, UK,


Statistical Methods for Non Linear Latent Variable Models


Salvatore Ingrassia, Italy,


Statistical Online Monitoring


Roland Fried, Germany,


Statistical and computational challenges from new environmental sensing systems


Bronwyn Harch, Australia,


Sensometrics and chemometrics in food industry


El Mostafa Qannari, France,


Statistical Modeling of Multimedia Content


Adalbert Wilhelm, Germany,


Measures of Effectiveness for Distributed Systems


William F. Szewczyk, USA,


Spatial Statistics: Recent Advances in Epidemiological Applications


Elvan Ceyhan,Turkey,


Random projection for multimedia retrieval


Jean Hugues Chauchat, France,


The roles of statistical agencies in developing statistical literacy


Reija Helenius, Finland,


Educating the public on how to use official statistics.

Local Hosts

Peter Wingfield-Digby,


Challenges faced in Statistics Education in African countries

Local Hosts

Delia North, South Africa,


Balancing the training of future statisticians for workplace and research


Charles Rohde, USA,


Exploiting the Progress in Statistical Graphics and Statistical Computing for the benefit of Statistical Literacy


Juana Sanchez, USA,


Survey Research in Statistics Education


Dr. Irena Ograjensek, Slovenia,


Research on Informal Inferential Reasoning


Katie Makar, Australia,


Teaching, Learning and Assessing Statistics Problem Solving in Higher Education


Neville Davies, UK,


Technologies for learning and teaching in developing countries


Gabriella Belli, USA,


Virtual Learning Environments for Statistics Education


Adriana Backx Noronha Viana, Brazil,
and Pieternel Verhoeven, Netherlands,


Designing and Conducting Surveys in Adverse Conditions (tentative title).


To be determined, c/o Leyla Mohadjer,


Sampling and Estimation Issues in Health Statistics

Local Hosts

Wilton Bussab, Brazil,


Measuring and Assessing Respondent Load

Local Hosts

Richard Penny, New Zealand,


New Developments in Monitoring and Controlling Field Data Collection Activities


Dina Neiger, Australia


Recent Developments in Survey Methodology Research - Design and Estimation


Paul Smith, UK,


Outliers in Complex Sample Surveys


Julie Gershunskaya, USA,
and Partha Lahiri, USA,


Nonresponse Bias in Surveys


Jelke Bethlehem, Netherlands,


New Developments in Modeling and Analysis of Survey Data


Jay Breidt,  USA,


New Methodologies in Sampling Rare and Elusive Populations


Sanghamitra Pal, India


Modeling Business Data to Produce Small Area Estimation


Mike Hidiroglou, Canada,


Integrated Household Surveys - Design,  Implementation, and Estimation


Denise Silva, UK and Brazil,


Issues In Price Index Methodology and Measurement


Sylvie Gauthier, Canada,


Dissemination of Survey Results to Public


Tommy Wright, USA,


What Role, If Any, Should Weights Play in the Analysis of Survey Data


Phil Kott, USA,


Capturing Unobserved Heterogeneity in Latent Variable Modeling


Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi, France,


Statistical Issues in Complex Computational Models


Pritam Ranjan, Canada


Statistics in Finance


Rong Chen, USA


Statistics in the Pharmaceutical Industry


Chihiro Hirotsu, Japan,


Analysis of Measurement Systems


Jeroen de Mast, Netherlands


Energy Statistics


Carol Joyce Blumberg, USA,


Models of modern data and metadata systems


To be determined, c/o Paul van den Bergh,


Risks in Finance - The state of the art in statistical methods.


To be determined, c/o Dennis Trewin,


Quantification of qualitative data from surveys


To be determined, c/o Paul van den Bergh,


The size and impact of statistical revisions


To be determined, c/o Paul van den Bergh,


Measuring access to monetary and financial services


To be determined, c/o Paul van den Bergh,


Relative survival


Victor Kipnis, USA,


Group sequential analysis design


M.J. van der Laan, USA,


Inference and prediction in competing risks and multi-state models


Hein Putter, Netherlands,


Challenges and new advances of large dimensional failure time data analysis with applications in population sciences


Yi Li, USA,


Statistical methodology for the analysis of sleep studies


Cipria Craininicecnu, USA,


New methodology for analysing functional data in biomedical research


Jeffrey Morris, USA,


Prognostic modeling for proteonic data


Bart Mertens, Netherlands,


Measuring fertility


Niels Keiding, Denmark,


Combining stochastic and deterministic models to determine global warming


To be determined, c/o David Brillinger,


Statistical Issues associated with climate change


David Marker,


New studies of the association between human health and pollution and their impact in air quality regulation


To be determined, c/o David Brillinger,


Stochastic parameterisation of numerical modes


To be determined, c/o David Brillinger,


Meoscale studies of temperature trend


To be determined, c/o David Brillinger,


Landscape based risk assessment


To be determined, c/o David Brillinger,


New methods for improving access to statistics by the general public


To be determined, c/o Dennis Trewin,


Statistics for Development

Local Hosts

Misha Belkindas, Lithuania,


Institutional Strengthening - Building and maintaining the infrastructure in an environment of scarce resources

Local Hosts

Michel Mouyelo-Katoula, Congo,


Institutional Strengthening - Statistics Legislation and Institutional arrangements and how to make them work in practice?

Local Hosts

Paul Cheung, Singapore,


Institutional Strengthening - Developing the capability of the people producing and analysing official statistics.

Local Hosts

Ben Kiregyera, Uganda, BKiregyera@uneca.or


Biostatistics and Health in Africa: The Impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on national development

Local Hosts

To be determined, c/o Dennis Trewin,


Statistics in South Africa - past, present and future (tentative title)

Local Hosts

To be determined, c/o Dennis Trewin,
and Pali Lehohla, South Africa,


Principles for ethics in statistics (tentative title)

Ethics Committee

David Morganstein, USA,


Adverserial Risk Analysis

Risk Analyses Committee

David Banks, USA,  


Systems of Progress Indicators


Jon Hall, France,


Estimating demographic statistics with flawed vital registration systems


Carla AbouZahr,


Issues in the analysis of multivariate data in the spatial domain


Eric Grunsky, Canada,


Reserved for a sister society session - to be proposed by the ISI Executive Committee


To be determined, c/o Daniel Berze, Netherlands,


Reserved for a sister society session - to be proposed by the ISI Executive Committee


To be determined, c/o Daniel Berze, Netherlands,


Jan Tinbergen and Cochran-Hansen Awards for best papers by young statisticians


Daniel Berze, Netherlands,



News of Members

Professor Calyampudi R. Rao, US National Medal of Science Laureate, Emeritus holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics and Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis at the Pennsylvania State University, has received an honorary D.Sc. degree from the University of Rhode Island, the thirty-first honorary doctoral degree he has received from universities in eighteen countries on six continents. The award recognizes Rao, an ISI elected member, for his pioneering work in statistics and its applications, and for having influenced not only statisticians but also scientists worldwide in a number of diverse fields. The award also recognizes his ongoing efforts to promote the use of statistics in national security, industry, business and economic policy.

ISI elected member Professor Brajendra Sutradhar has been awarded the 2007 Statistical Society of Canada’s Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to a member of the SSC who has made substantial contributions to the running or welfare of the Society over a period of several years. The award citation reads:
To Brajendra Chandra Sutradhar, for many years of contributions to the Society, and especially for distinguished service to our Annual Meetings.

Professor Brajendra Sutradhar

The formal announcement of this award was made by SSC President Charmaine Dean at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s on the opening day of the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada.

Professor Ben Kiregyera

Professor Ben Kiregyera has been appointed the first Director of the new African Centre for Statistics at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, since July. Professor Kiregyera received the second ISI Mahalanobis Award during the ISI Sydney Session in 2005; he is also an ISI elected member, as well as a member of the IAOS, IASE and IASS.

ISI elected member and Bernoulli Society member Dr. Agnes M. Herzberg has been granted honorary membership in the Statistical Society of Canada. Dr. Herzberg was the Editor for twenty-five years of the ISI publication Short Book Reviews.

Professor Mir Masoom Ali

Professor Mir Masoom Ali, George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Professor of Mathematical Sciences, has retired from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA, on June 16, 2007, at the end of a fifty-year career as a statistician, including thirty-eight years at Ball State University. He has recently been appointed by the Ball State University Board of Trustees as George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Statistics and Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences. A Two-Day Statistics Conference, organized by Professor Dale Umbach, was held at Ball State University on May 18-19, 2007, on the occasion of his retirement. Eighty-seven authors and coauthors either presented invited papers at the conference or contributed to a Festschrift in his honour.

With Sir R. A. Fisher, November 18, 1954, Dhaka University, Statistics Department.
Dr. Ali seated on chair first from the right, Sir R. A. Fisher seated on chair sixth from right.

Bradley Efron, Professor of Statistics, has been selected to receive the 2005 National Medal of Science. This medal is the highest scientific honour in the United States; it was established by Congress in 1959 and winners are announced by the White House. Professor Efron is the Max H. Stein Professor and Professor of Statistics and of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University, where he earned his doctorate in statistics in 1964 and joined the faculty in 1965. He is recognised “for his contributions to theoretical and applied statistics, especially the bootstrap sampling technique; for his extraordinary geometric insight into nonlinear statistical problems; and for applications in medicine, physics and astronomy”.



The ISI regrets to announce the death of our colleagues:

  Born Elected Deceased
Professor Charles W. Dunnett 1921 1972 May 2007
Professor M. Safiul Haq 1935 1989 12 April 2007
Christian Partrat 1944 1990 16 October 2006
Dr. Saburo Kawai 1922 1970 27 October 2006
Professor Em. Radu Theodorescu 1933 1969 14 August 2007


In Memoriam

Christian Partrat (1944-2006)

Christian Partrat passed away on October 16th, 2006.
After earning a PhD in Mathematics, Christian Partrat started his carreer in 1967 at ISUP (the Institute of Statistics of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris), which is the oldest school in statistics in France. He headed the ISUP from 1983 until 1993, and afterwards moved to the ISFA Lyon, another major institution in actuarial and financial sciences. He was a leading personality in actuarial science; he published several reference books and many papers. In 1995, Partrat received the Hachemaster Prize of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
Christian Partrat was a very respected teacher and a link between the academic world and insurance companies. He popularized for insurance professionals advances in statistics, such as bootstrap and copulas.
He was always available for students and colleagues, and had the modesty of great scientists. His death is a great loss for both the statistical and actuarial communities.

Gilbert Saporta

Félix Rosenfeld (1915-2007)

This obituary in memory of Félix Rosenfeld is largely based upon an obituary written by Laura Takennit and Gérard Théodore in the Bulletin of the association of alumni of the Statistical Institute of Paris Universities (ISUP).
Jean-Louis Bodin

ISI members have mournfully learnt that one of their most senior colleagues, Félix Rosenfeld, passed away in Paris on January 12th, 2007. He was 91 years of age and was elected as an ISI member in 1967. Through his contributions to the development of statistics both as a theoretician and a practician, not only in France but in many countries, and his very diversified career, he was a ‘global statistician’, well in advance for his time.
He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1915, during the First World War; his parents were of Austrian and Italian origins. Alexandria was at that time a cosmopolitan city where Arab, Greek, Italian, Lebanese, French, English, Swiss and German people were living and working together. In this very special atmosphere, Félix Rosenfeld learnt to speak French and Italian, but also Greek and Arabic. In 1937, he obtained the certificate of ISUP (Statistical Institute of Paris Universities) with a thesis on infant mortality in Alexandria. In the meantime, he worked in the Statistical Laboratory of the ‘Institut Henri Poincaré’ with Georges Darmois1 and Emile Borel2, and obtained a certificate of actuary. In 1939, he decided to go back to Egypt to work in the department of studies of the National Bank.

In 1942, after the taking over of Lebanon and Syria by the Free French Forces (under the authority of General de Gaulle in London), he accepted to create in Beirut a Statistical Service for Syria and Lebanon and worked mainly on CPI and statistics on food. Thanks to this mission, after D-Day in June 1944, he gained the French nationality and enlisted in the Allied Military Forces during the campaign in France and Germany. After the Armistice, he worked for some months in the Bank of Syria and Lebanon in Paris, where he facilitated the adhesion of these two new independent countries to the Bretton-Woods organisations.

In 1947, he accepted the proposal of the French INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) to join the General Statistical Office of Indochina in Hanoi and contributed to set it up after the Japanese occupation. He prepared the creation of the statistical offices of the new countries: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In this position, he was responsible for the publication of a statistical newsletter and a statistical yearbook and facilitated the relations of these offices with the UN Economic Commission for Asia and Far East in Bangkok (now the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific). The valuable documentation he constituted was recently used by the Vietnamese General Statistical Office in preparing the celebration of its 60th anniversary in 2006. He also taught statistics at the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).
In 1950, after he came back to France, he was recruited as an expert by the FAO. His mission was to help to rebuild the services of agricultural statistics in different countries in view of the World Round of Agricultural censuses in the 1950’s. For instance, he improved the collection of data in Portugal through better use of punched cards machines; in Turkey, he contributed to create a training centre for agricultural statisticians; in Tunisia, he worked with the World Bank on a project that was the ancestor of the World Food Programme; and he was an efficient advocate of agricultural statistics in developing countries, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa where he created a training centre in Ibadan, Nigeria.

In 1955, he was recruited by the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, a bank specialised in investments, and started a new chapter in his career as a financial analyst and portfolio manager. As the director of a society created jointly by this bank and Lehman Brothers, then as an associate of the SEMA (Société d’Economie et de Mathématiques Appliquées), he promoted in France new methods of asset management developed in the USA and based on statistical methods and econometrics for a more efficient selection of shares and bonds in portfolios.

In the 1960’s, he caught up the bank Lombard, Odier et Cie where he worked for 20 years. He built an automatic system to organise the surveillance and measure the results of participative funds in several firms, based on statistical and mathematical methods. Yet, he never did consider the methods of asset management as a game and worked mainly on practical and directly useful aspects of these methods. After 1985, he managed portfolios and coIlective investment funds for the Rothschild Bank until 1989 when he reached age 74.

In the meantime, he did not forget the developing countries and participated in the 1960’s in the preparation of an economic development plan in Cameroon and worked for improving the public debt management in Côte-d’Ivoire, where he also helped the Abidjan Stock Exchange.

However, Félix Rosenfeld’s career was also characterised by his passion for teaching and publishing. He was a perfect pedagogue and he really loved to share his knowledge with students.

In the 1950’s, within the framework of his assignment at the FAO, he trained many agricultural statisticians in Europe, Asia and Africa. In 1961, he proposed to the director of ISUP (Statistical Institute of Paris Universities), Daniel Dugué3, to create a lectureship in financial analysis and was in charge of this lecture until 1983, while he also taught National Accounts. He created a chair at the IEDES (Institute for Economic and
Social Development Studies) devoted to methods of analysis and assessment of projects, which a number of students
coming from developing countries attended. He also taught statistics to financial analysts in the Training Centre for financial analysis and portfolio management in Geneva and was for a while director of this centre. He was a founding member of the training centre of the SFAF (French Society of Financial Analysts) in 1963 and published the first text book on financial analysis and asset management. He wrote several papers in the Journal de la Société de Statistique de Paris and the International Statistical Review.
Finally, Félix Rosenfeld was very active in statistical societies, both at national and international levels.

In France, he was one of the main contributors in the creation of the French Statistical Society (SFdS) in 1997, which was the consequence of the merging of two previous societies (Société de Statistique de Paris with the Association for Statistics and its Utilizations), and gave consequently a greater visibility to French statistics. During the 51st ISI Session held in Istanbul in August 1997, he presented a paper on the ‘History of the French statistical societies’. Félix Rosenfeld then received the distinction of Honorary President of the new Society. In the 1980’s, he also participated in the rejuvenation of the Foundation ‘La Science Statistique’ (The Statistical Science) that was created in 1923 to fund statistical development and help young statisticians; he was the treasurer of this Foundation from 1985 to 1995 and made a generous donation to create scholarships.
He was an active member of the ISI after his election in 1967 and participated in almost all Sessions until the 52nd one held in Helsinki in 1999. He was appointed as a member of the ISI Ad Hoc Committee4 on the integration of statistics (1976-1979) to study the gap between various categories of statisticians. Undoubtedly, the variety of duties and positions he assumed during his career put him in a very good position to participate in this study.

Félix Rosenfeld remained open-minded and enthusiastic during his entire life and career, but also clear, realistic and efficient. In the domain of applied statistics, he was some kind of ‘statistical entrepreneur’. He liked to share his knowledge and experiences with his colleagues, in particular the younger ones. He was always interested in meeting colleagues and friends, and ready to help them. He was certainly a ‘global statistician’; we miss him.

Jean-Louis Bodin

1- Georges Darmois (1888-1960): Elected ISI member in 1936 and ISI President from 1953 until his death.
2- Emile Borel (1871-1956): Elected ISI member in 1923.
3- Daniel Dugué (1912-1988): Elected ISI member in 1952.
4- This Committee, chaired by Joe Duncan and James Durbin, was established by the General Assembly during its 40th Session (Warsaw 1975).


Report of the ISI Nominations Committee

During the ISI Session in Lisboa, the Nominations Committee was designated with the charge of identifying a slate of candidates for Officers and Council Members. The Nominations Committee is composed of the following members: Lutz Edler (Germany - Chair), Stanley Azen (USA), Maria del Carmen Fabrizio (Argentina), Byung Soo Kim (South Korea), Ben Kiregyera (Uganda), Eric Schulte Nordholt (The Netherlands) and Michael Sørensen (Denmark).
The Committee took into consideration the geographical distribution of the Council, as well as the different areas of statistics represented in the ISI, and examined in detail the proposals of ISI members given both before and during the Lisboa Session.
The final slate that resulted is given below in alphabetical order:

Proposals for President-Elect (2009-2011):
• Isidoro P. David (Philippines)
• Jae C. Lee (South Korea)

Proposals for Vice-Presidents (2009-2011):
• Clyde E. Charre de Trabuchi (Argentina)
• Louis H.Y. Chen (Singapore)
• Pali J. Lehola (South Africa)
• Vijayan N. Nair (Malaysia / USA)
• Hallgrímur Snorrason (Iceland)

Proposals for Council Members (2009-2013):
• Bovas Abraham (Canada)
• Martha Aliaga (Argentina)
• A. John Bailer (USA)
• Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi (Italy)
• Maria Husková (Czech Republic)
• Jens Ledet Jensen (Denmark)
• Geoffrey F. Lee (Australia)
• Awa Thiongane (Senegal)

Elected members of the ISI may nominate candidates by petition provided that:
• Petitions are signed by at least five ISI elected members;
• Petitions are to be submitted to the ISI Permanent Office no later than twelve months before the next ISI Session, in this case no later than August 22nd, 2008.


ISI Membership Elections 2007

We would like to congratulate the one Honorary member and the sixty-eight newly elected ISI members, who were elected in the first round of elections in 2007. 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.

Honorary Membership

Box, George E.P. (UK)

Elected Membership

Al-Omari, Amer I.F. (Jordan)
Ben-Gal, Irad (Israel)
Bisogno, Enrico (Italy)
D’Ambra, Luigi (Italy)
Del Moral, Pierre (France)
Eilers, Paul H.C. (The Netherlands)
El Melhaoui, Said (Morocco)
Elkum, Naser (Canada)
Farrell, Patrick J. (Canada)
Fischer, Matthias (Germany)
Fried, Roland H. (Germany)
Gamrot, Wojciech (Poland)
Grover, Lovleen K. (India)
Hamasaki, Toshimitsu (Japan)
Haughton, Dominique (France)
Hu, Xiaoquiong J. (China)
Karlis, Dimitris (Greece)
Kelmansky, Diana M. (Argentina)
Kenett, Ron S. (Israel)
Konno, Yoshihiko (Japan)
Kursa, Liliana B. (Poland)
Lebreton, Jean-Dominique (France)
Lee, Seung-Chun (Korea)
Linde, Peter (Denmark)
Liu, Junfeng (China)
Ma, Shuangge (China)
Malgarini, Marco (Italy)
Martinez, Elena J. (Argentina)
Müller, Marlene (Germany)
Nyongesa, Kennedy L. (Kenya)
Okrasa, Włodzimierz (Poland)
Sankaran, Paduthol G. (India)
Sun, (Tony) Jianguo (Canada)
Symanzik, Jürgen (Germany)
Wang, Yan (Australia)
Xue, Lan (China)
Yan, Ting (China)
Yeh, Arthur B. (China)
Żądło, Tomasz (Poland)
Ziegler, Andreas (Germany)


Historical Anniversaries: Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788)

Born in Montbard, a city in Burgundy, France, on 7 September 1707, Georges-Louis Leclerc played an important part in the history of statistics that deserves our interest.

His father, a councillor in the Burgundian Parliament, took the title of Seigneur de Buffon in 1717. Georges-Louis studied for a degree in law but, in fact, preferred mathematics. His father allowed him to study medicine, which enabled Georges-Louis to develop his interest for nature at the same time.

Through his contacts with Gabriel Cramer, a professor of analysis and geometry at the University of Geneva, he devoted a part of his work to the St. Petersburg problem, first expressed by Nicolas Bernoulli, to which he suggested a solution. His interest for probability encouraged him to submit a paper at the Académie Royale des Sciences of Paris, entitled Solutions de problèmes sur le jeu de franc-carreau, in 1733. Applying infinitesimal analysis to solve a problem of probability, he contributed to the development of geometrical probability. This paper introduced a classical reference known as Buffon’s needle problem: if a plane is lined with parallel straight lines and a thin needle is thrown ‘at random’ on the plane, what is the probability that the needle intersects (at least) one of these lines? This problem has been used to calculate the value of p = 3.1416… experimentally.

Elected in 1734 as a Member of the Royal Academy in the Mechanics section, he became a Member of the Botanic section in 1739. During this period, his main interests ranged from forestry and plant physiology (as shown in his translation into French of Stephen Hales’ Vegetable Staticks) to problems of physics and mathematics (as shown in his translation of Newton’s Méthode des fluxions et des suites infinies).

A significant event for his career occurred in 1740. The Minister Maurepas appointed him Superintendent of the King’s Garden. He was in charge of the project of publishing an inventory of the King’s Natural History Collection. With the help of Daubenton, he began to write a monumental Histoire naturelle générale et particulière avec la description du Cabinet du Roy, the first fifteen volumes of which were published between 1749 and 1767. This work was regularly completed by Buffon and was followed by Histoire naturelle des oiseaux and Histoire naturelle des minéraux.

In his thought process, Buffon clearly distinguished reasoning by deduction (using mathematical developments) from reasoning by induction (mainly based on facts). He also considered truths known by testimony. In his Essai d’arithmétique morale published in 1777, he distinguished physical concepts applicable to natural phenomenoms from moral viewpoints concerned by human aspects. In this book, Buffon also studied the measurement of probabilities considered as degrees of certainty.

We should also mention his studies on human mortality, among others in his papers De la vieillesse et de la mort and Des probabilités de la durée de la vie.

In his Histoire naturelle, and indeed a hundred years before Darwin, Buffon tried to prove that nature was changing but failed to provide a coherent mechanism for such changes. His statistical and demographic works influenced the scientists in these fields during the 19th century. As Karl Pearson put it: ‘His gigantic reputation brought the whole relation of vital statistics to biology into prominence’.

Buffon died in Paris on 16 April 1788.

Jean-Jacques Droesbeke
Christiaan Huygens Committee on the History of Statistics



The OECD Second World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy

Measuring and Fostering the Progress of Societies

In late June, more than 1,200 people from over 130 countries attended the OECD’s Second World Forum in Istanbul, which was supported by several institutions, including the ISI. They came from the public and private sectors, and comprised statisticians, policy-makers, scientists and leaders from the worlds of business and civil society. They were united in a common interest to develop better measures of how all of our societies are progressing and to ensure that statistics play a stronger role in all types of decision-making (for papers and videos, see

During the Conference, the OECD, the European Commission, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations, the UN Development Programme and the World Bank affirmed in a declaration their commitment to measuring and fostering the progress of societies in all dimensions, with the ultimate goal of improving policy-making, democracy and citizens’ well-being. Other organisations, including the ISI, and individuals are adding their signatures to this declaration (see urge all ISI members to read the declaration and send an e-mail of support to

The OECD is now working with other international and national organisations to capitalise on the momentum the Forum generated and launch a Global Project on “Measuring the Progress of Societies”. From a purely statistical point of view, the Project aims to develop new approaches to measuring how societies are changing by using high quality, reliable statistics to assess progress beyond GDP in a range of areas affecting citizens’ quality of life. International organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme along with countries from every continent expressed their commitment to join in this endeavour.

As the OECD’s Secretary-General Angel Gurría said, “In the end, what we are trying to do is not just to measure progress and well-being but to achieve it”. Key indicators to assess progress would look at such factors as health, education and the environment, as well as economic factors such as employment, productivity and purchasing power. He went on to say that the development of such indicators, understood and known by society as a whole, can provide “a unique opportunity to improve the ways in which our policies are made and breathe new life into the democratic processes”.
Among various ideas under study, the OECD is thinking of creating an Internet site based on Web 2.0 “wiki” technologies for the presentation and discussion of international, national and local indicators of societal progress. By making indicators accessible to citizens all over the world through dynamic graphics and other analytical tools, this initiative would aim to stimulate discussion based on solid and comparable statistical information about what progress actually means.

If you want to know more or to become involved in the Global Project, then please e-mail Jon Hall at the OECD Statistics Directorate (

Jon Hall


Memories of the ISI's Past


Participants at the 1947 ISI Washington, D.C. Session on the South Lawn of the White House.




Electronic Payments Made Easy

Last year, the ISI Permanent Office introduced a method whereby members may pay their registration fees and publication(s) subscriptions using a secure and user friendly electronic payment website, which is located at:
While this payment tool worked perfectly for most members, it came to our attention that some members using lesser known browsers, or outdated versions of browsers, were unable to process their payment via the site. We have had extensive contacts with the software developers of the site, and have introduced some technical modifications that will hopefully allow accessibility to a greater number of browsers used in the world.
One of the results of the aforementioned technical modifications requires the introduction of a ‘shopping cart’ concept, in which users indicate not only their wish to order a product, but also indicate how many items of that particular product they want.
To use this payment site, it is essential that you ensure that your ‘cookies’ are activated. For Apple/Macintosh systems, ‘cookies’ are ‘off’ by default, while with Explorer, Safari (Macintosh), Firefox, Netscape, they are typically ‘on’ by default.

Running through the payment site, on the first page, please complete the following fields:
• Membership number (if you are not certain what your membership number is, please check your invoice, or contact Mrs. Margaret de Ruiter-Molloy at;
• Your name and address details;
• Please indicate if you are an ISI member or not;
• Please indicate if you are retired or not (for information about ISI’s retired dues option, please contact Mrs. de Ruiter-Molloy);
• Please indicate the membership possibilities that apply to you: ISI, Bernoulli Society, IAOS, IASE, IASC, ISBIS and IASS (This only concerns IASS members who are also a member of the ISI or another ISI Section. The persons who are only IASS members will receive an invoice from the IASS administration office in Libourne).
When all of the above are complete, please press the ‘next’ button, which will bring you to the next page:
• If you are using the website to pay your membership dues, please indicate your invoice number and the amount due. This information is provided on the hard copy invoice that was posted to you in mid-November. After entering the amount due, you must press the ‘shopping cart’, which will add this amount to the total amount due as indicated at the top of the page. Clicking the ‘delete’ button will delete an ordered item, and clicking ‘order overview’ will provide you with a summary of your complete order.
• You can then click on the publications that you wish to order. Please indicate the quantity of each publication that you order, and then press the ‘shopping cart’ button to activate the addition of that product to your total order.
• On the following page you will see the ‘donation’ option. You may contribute funds to the ISI Outreach Programme, the ISI General Accounts, or the International Statistical Literacy Programme. After indicating the amount you wish to donate, you must press the shopping cart to add this amount to your total order.

When you are finished selecting your products/services, scroll to the top of the page and press ‘order overview’ to review your order. If you wish to delete or modify a part of your order, please click on the ‘delete’ button and the deleted part of your order will be removed. You can also print out your order for your records.

When the amount and order are correct, press ‘payment’ and you will be brought to a page where you can indicate your payment option [credit card (default option) or bank transfer]. Please note the ‘order number’ that is indicated on this page (your ‘order number’ is different to your membership number). You can then complete your
payment details and confirm your order. If you have provided an e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. If you have any questions about the payment process, please contact Mr. Michael Leeuwe ( or Mr. Sieriel Hoesenie (

Thank you,
ISI Permanent Office

News from ISI Sections:
Bernoulli Society

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News from ISI sections Volume 31, No. 3 (93) 2007

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