ISI - INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL INSTITUTE

Newsletter Volume 23, No. 1 (67) 1999

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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.

In this online Issue
Message from the President
Message from the Director
Newly Elected ISI Members
The 52nd Session of the International Statistical Institute
News of Members
ISI Officer Election Results
Obituaries
Awards, Prizes and Competitions
ISI Cutting Edge Conference: Spatial Statistics for Production Ecology
Satellite Conference on Statistical Publications and Statistical Publishing
IASS Satellite Conference on Small Area Estimation
State of the Art in Probability and Statistics
Publications Pocket
ISI Committee Matters
Calendar of Events
 
News from ISI sections Volume 23, No. 1 (67) 1999

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Message from the President

On November 12–13 the ISI Council and the ISI Executive Committee met at the ISI Permanent Office in Voorburg. Let me report on a number of important matters on the agenda of both meetings.

First of all there was the matter of the journal Bernoulli published by Chapman and Hall as an official journal of the Bernoulli Society. When plans for this journal were made in the early nineties, the problem arose of financing the initial losses that any new journal will inevitably incur. At that time the Bernoulli Society lacked the necessary financial reserves and ISI was then in the process of putting itself on a firmer financial basis and did not view this as a promising investment. Although many felt at the time that scientific journals should be published by scientific societies to keep library prices in check, it was decided in the end to go with a commercial publisher. The contract with Chapman and Hall was carefully drawn up and relations with the publisher were excellent throughout the life of the journal, in the period from 1995 through 1998. In early 1998, however, it became clear that all journals published by Chapman and Hall were going to be sold to another publisher and in view of the contract this gave ISI the right to claim ownership of Bernoulli. It was decided to exercise this right and as of January 1999, the journal Bernoulli is fully owned and published as a 50–50 joint venture of ISI and the Bernoulli Society. As we believe that Bernoulli is now well past its infancy, it was also decided to increase the annual number of pages significantly. Of course, it will take some time to see how things will work out, but this may well mark a new departure for ISI as a publishing house for scientific journals. Unfortunately, discussions with other parties about the future of Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts, which were mentioned in my previous message have not made much progress.

In my previous message I also pointed out that the dues structure needs revision, especially in view of dual ISI and Section membership and that a so-called cafeteria system seems most appropriate in the long run. This will take substantial fact-finding and discussion and as a first step in this process a questionnaire was mailed to members asking for the relative importance that they assign to the various services that ISI is offering. In the meantime we decided to remove one striking anomaly, which is that members of IASC and the Bernoulli Society who are elected to ISI membership, pay substantially higher dues but do no longer receive the journal published by the Section. As an interim solution, ISI will absorb the cost of these journals for ISI members who belong to these Sections. Many more complicated schemes were considered, but in the end simplicity won out.

A new dues structure is only one—admittedly important—aspect of relations between ISI and its Sections. Another important issue is how many Sections ISI can afford to have. On the one hand the creation of new Sections is an indication of the health of the parent organization, but with too many Sections, the resulting centrifugal forces may pull the central organization apart. So far we have consciously tried to keep the number of Sections limited and one of the rules of the game is that any group can become a Section only after functioning for five years as a committee in a satisfactory manner. But this shouldn’t keep us from thinking about the problem which we’ll eventually have to face anyway. It seems that relevant questions to ask potential new Sections is whether there already exists international societies in the area the Section wishes to claim as its own and how many new members it will bring in. You can be certain that this problem will be with us for quite some time.

Marcel Van den Broecke, Daniel Berze and I went to Helsinki to view preparations for the 52nd Session in August. We came away convinced that this will be an excellent Session in every respect and in most attractive surroundings. The same company and President-elect Jean-Louis Bodin recently visited Seoul where the 53rd Session will be held in 2001. I’m pleased to report that Prime Minister Kim has personally assured me of his commitment to make this Session a success.

Let’s meet again in Helsinki in August!

 
 

Willem Van Zwet
President ISI


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Message from the Director 

Thank you for responding in great numbers to the questionnaire on our publications and their price/value which was enclosed with your dues notice. It helps us to improve our services to ISI-members and members of ISI’s sections. At the time I write this, 532 questionnaires have been returned, and more are coming in every day. Therefore, a discussion of the results and their implications will have to wait until the June 1999 issue of our Newsletter, but I do not like to leave this subject without making a few observations based on your initial responses.

The decision made by the ISI/Bernoulli Society to take over the publishing of the journal Bernoulli at the beginning of this year was welcomed by many members. Prices will remain constant for 1999, while the journal doubles in size, and the number of issues is increased from four to six annually. If all those members responding to the survey who indicated that they would recommend this journal to their libraries actually do so, the expansion of the journal’s institutional subscriber base will place it on firm ground.

With respect to electronic information services, we have achieved some progress in our ongoing objective to put more information on the web than we do now. We also aim to make Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts available soon on CD-ROM, including those back issues that have been saved in an electronic format. In our aim to embrace modern technologies, we have of course not lost sight of “the other side of the coin”. The ISI is a truly international organisation and we are grateful that it has a considerable membership from developing and transition countries. Quite a few of these members do not have regular access to the Internet, nor do they all have the necessary facilities to read CD-ROMs. We do not want to exclude such members from receiving our information by disseminating it in electronic form only. We count on your understanding for our position in this matter.

Preparations for the coming three ISI-sessions are in various stages of development. Representatives from the ISI Permanent Office and the ISI Executive Committee have visited Helsinki, Seoul and Berlin recently to assist with the necessary preparations.

The Finnish organising committee is advancing rapidly in its preparations under the able guidance of Timo Relander and Ilkka Mellin. Reflecting the high level of technological development typical of Finland (which has the highest per-capita percentage in the world of people with mobile phones and access to the Internet), Proceedings will for the first time ever be available on CD-ROM and on-line. Further, there will be electronic paper submission, electronic mailboxes and ample access to computer facilities. Climate, safety, a well-functioning infrastructure, breath-taking natural scenery and an impressive social program paired with an equally impressive scientific program promise to make this Session a very memorable one indeed. Those who have indicated their intention to participate by returning the registration form in Bulletin 1 will soon be receiving Bulletin 2, one of the most comprehensive pre-Session documents that has ever been prepared.

South Korea, which will act as host of the 2001 Session, has received the full support and commitment of its government to guarantee the meeting’s success. Although the National Statistical Office has moved to Taejon, some 120 kilometers South of Seoul, the meeting will be held in Seoul, and will be hosted by Young-Dae Yoon, Commissioner of the National Statistical Office, with the assistance of Bong-Ho Choi, Director of the NSO’s International Co-operation Division, and ISI member Jay-C. Lee, an instrumental figure in the pre-Session preparations, who will serve as Chairman of the Local Programme Committee. All the necessary conditions to ensure this meeting’s success are present, and you will be delighted by the friendly and hospitable attitude of the Koreans. More information on this Session will be presented this summer in Finland.

The ISI session in Berlin of 2003 still seems to be very distant, but numerous preparations already have been undertaken in the thorough and reliable manner for which the Germans have a deserved reputation. Efforts have been made to involve all of the numerous German statistical organisations. By 2003, Berlin will have finished most of its immense restructuring to build a new city centre around Potsdamer Platz, and will truly be the new showplace capital of Germany.

To conclude, I would like to draw your attention to several ISI-Cutting Edge and Satellite Conferences that will take place this year. The first one is in Wageningen, The Netherlands (April 19–21, 1999) and will focus on “Spatial Statistics for Production Ecology”. The second one takes place in Singapore on December 6–9, 1999 and deals with “Measurement of E Commerce”. For those of you interested in issues concerning the dissemination of statistical information, I would also bring your attention to the conference being organised by the Polish Central Statistical Office and the ISI on “Statistical Publications and Statistical Publishers” (August 23–24, 1999). This will take place in Warsaw as one of the several satellite conferences held in conjunction with the Helsinki Session. For more information about these and other conferences, please see elsewhere in this issue.

 

Marcel van den Broecke
Director ISI 


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Newly Elected ISI Members

We congratulate the following 28 members who were elected in the 2nd round of the 1998 ISI membership elections:
Alho, Juha M. (Finland)
Katona, Tamás (Hungary)
Nair, Narayana U. (India)
Barnabé, Richard (Canada)
Kelly, John J. (Canada)
Oja, Hannu F.V. (Finland)
Christianson, Anders E. (Sweden)
King, John R.B. (UK)
Park, Dongkwon (South Korea)
Dwivedi, Sada N. (India)
Krizman, Irena (Slovenia)
Preston, Dale L. (USA)
El-Saidi, Mohammed A. (USA)
Kunte, Sudhakar (India)
Rautenberg, Robert F. (USA)
Gauchi, Jean-Pierre (France)
Lapins, Janis (Latvia)
Ryten, Jacob (Canada)
Goulet, Yvon (Canada)
Milito, Anna M. (Italy)
Simonoff, Jeffrey S. (USA)
Haedo, Ana S. (Argentina)
Mřller, Jesper (Denmark)
Wago, Hajime (Japan)
Hahlen, Johann (Germany)
Motoryn, Ruslan (Ukraine)
Zhou, Xiao-Hua (China)
Iyengar, Satish (USA)
A list containing the names, addresses and Tel/Fax/E-mail addresses of these new members may be obtained from the ISI Permanent Office upon request.


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The 52nd Session of the International Statistical Institute

August 10–18, 1999, Helsinki, Finland

The organisation of the 52nd ISI Session is in full progress. The National Organisation Committee is working hard to make the Session run as smoothly as possible for the participants.

Information Bulletin No. 2

The second Information Bulletin will be mailed in March 1999 to all those who have made a preliminary registration by returning Form A attached to first Information Bulletin. Please note that Bulletin No. 2 will be published on the homepage of the Session at http://www.stat.fi/isi99 . However, if you want to have a copy of Bulletin No. 2 by mail, please contact the Executive Secretariat of the 52nd Session (e-mail: isi99@stat.fi ).

Registration

A form for registration and for reserving accommodation, social events and tours is attached to Bulletin No. 2. The form is to be returned to CONGREX/Blue & White Conferences, the official congress office. Please note that early registration and reservations are desirable. For further information, see Bulletin No. 2.

Scientific Programme of the 52nd ISI Session

The scientific programme of the 52nd ISI Session consists of Invited Paper Meetings and Contributed Paper Meetings.

Invited Paper Meetings

The programme of the Invited Paper Meetings will be published in Bulletin No. 2. Each Invited Paper Meeting has an organiser who will bear full responsibility for the organisation of the meeting. The deadline for submitting the manuscripts of the Invited Papers is April 10, 1999.

Call for Contributed Papers

Any participant actually participating in the ISI Session may present one contributed paper in the Session. Contributed Paper Meetings will be organised by the Local Organisers. To assist this, authors are requested to classify their papers according to the tentative list of topics published in Bulletin No. 2. The deadline for submitting the manuscripts of the Contributed Papers is April 10, 1999.

Instructions for Preparing Manuscripts

Instructions for preparing manuscripts of the Invited and Contributed Papers have been mailed to the Invited Authors as well as to all who returned Form B attached to Bulletin No. 1. Please note that you can submit a Contributed Paper even if you have not returned Form B. The Instructions have also been published on the homepage of the Session at http://www.stat.fi/isi99 . If you want to have a copy of the Instructions by mail, please contact the Executive Secretariat of the 52nd Session.

Major Deadlines

April 10, 1999
Authors of Invited and Contributed Papers are to submit the final manuscripts of their papers to CONGREX.
June 1, 1999
The increased registration fee takes effect. The authors of the Contributed Papers are to submit their registration fees to ensure that their papers will be included in the programme and in the Conference Volume of the Contributed Papers.

Statistics on Preliminary Registrations

On January 21, 1999 the number of preliminary registrations was over 1,200. It appears that a considerable number of prominent statisticians from all over the world are planning to participate the 52nd ISI Session in Helsinki. The programme of the Invited Paper Meetings will be very interesting, the number of Invited Papers being over 200. Additionally, almost 700 statisticians have applied for the submission of a Contributed Paper. We can forecast that the 52nd ISI Session will be an excellent opportunity to find out what is really going on in the field of Statistics at the moment.
Contact Information
The 52nd Session of the ISI
Executive Secretariat
Statistics Finland
FIN–00022 Statistics Finland
Finland
Telephone: + 358 9 17341
Telefax: + 358 9 1734 2970
E-mail: isi99@stat.fi
Internet: http://www.stat.fi/isi99
Ilkka Mellin
Secretary General The 52nd ISI Session 


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News of Members 

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Université de Montréal recently created the “Prix Constance van Eeden” to be awarded on an annual basis to the best graduating BSc student in statistics or actuarial science. Professor van Eeden joined the department in 1965 and has greatly influenced the development of statistics at the Université de Montréal and in Canada. She is, since 1989, Emeritus Professor at the Université de Montréal and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of British Columbia. Constance is also General Editor of the ISI-publication Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts. The 1998 prize was awarded to Christian Coté, a student in actuarial science.

Former ISI Vice President (1993-1995) Yves Escoufier was awarded the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite” in a decree dated November 10, 1998, issued by the President of the Republic of France.

Irving John (“Jack”) Good, University Distinguished Professor of Statistics Emeritus of Statistics at Virginia Tech, and Adjunct Professor of Statistics, has been awarded a Computer Pioneer Award for 1998 by the IEEE Computer Society. These awards are for work done at least fifteen years ago. Good was a cryptanalyst and worked at Bletchley Park on “Colossus”, which was the first large-scale electronic computer for a special purpose. Later he contributed to the development of the world’s first stored program computer.

Ivan P. Fellegi, Chief Statistician of Canada, Honorary Member of the ISI and its former President, has been appointed Officer of the Order of Canada. This is a promotion within the Order for Dr. Fellegi, and follows his initial appointment in 1992 as Member of the Order.

Esther Seiden has announced her retirement as Regional Editor of the ISI publication Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts. The STMA staff is grateful for her many contributions.

Yuki Miura has been appointed the President of the Japan Statistical Society for the 1/1/1999 to 31/12/2000 term.

New member of staff

The ISI Permanent Office is pleased to announce an addition to its ranks. Jaap Hartman has joined the Permanent Office staff as of January 15, 1999. Mr. Hartman, a native of the Netherlands, will be responsible for the typesetting of several ISI publications (such as the ISI Newsletter which you are reading now) and will also help carry out various administrative tasks. We welcome Jaap to the ISI team!


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ISI Officer Election Results

A tabulation of the 854 ballots regarding ISI officers resulted in the election of the following persons:

President-Elect (1999-2001)

Dennis J. Trewin (Australia)
Vice Presidents
Ramanathan Gnanadesikan (India)
D. (Tim) Holt (UK)
Nancy Reid (Canada)

Council (1999-2003)

Luigi Fabbris (Italy)
Jeanne E. Griffith (USA)
Catherine Huber-Carol (France)
Youri Ivanov (Russia)
Farhad Mehran (Iran)
Stephan Morgenthaler (Switzerland)
Ryoichi Shimizu (Japan)
Stephen M. Stigler (USA)

Present Council members who will be continuing their service for a further two years are:

Alvaro Gonzalez-Villalobos (Argentina)
L.H. Erhard Hruschka (Germany)
Photis Nanopoulos (Greece)
James P. Ntozi (Uganda)
Sung Hyung Park (Rep. South Korea)
Elizabeth Thompson (UK)
Laszlo Vita (Hungary)

The formal approval of the election results is due during the Helsinki Session by the ISI General Assembly that is scheduled for August 13, 1999. We are grateful to all candidates for their enthusiasm and willingness to support the ISI. The newly elected team, under the leadership of incoming President Mr. Jean-Louis Bodin will start its work at the completion of the Helsinki Session in August.


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Obituaries

The ISI regrets to announce the deaths of our colleagues:

Name Elected Born Deceased
R.P. Chakrabarty 1990 1935 6 May 1998
F.-L. Closon 1962 1910 December 1998
H. Linhart 1974 1923 2 July 1998
S. Ikeda 1981 1927 9 November 1998
A. Stuart 1962 1922 25 June 1998
T.K.T. Larson 1959 1905 15 July 1998


Francis-Louis Closon (1910-1998)

Present ISI members might like to know more about F.-L. Closon, who died in December 1998 and was very influential in official statistics, particularly in French-speaking circles. It is my pleasant duty to write these few lines about the first Director General of INSEE, under whom I long served when I joined the organisation.

Aged 35 when he became an ex officio member of the ISI, Closon had served as a Resistance fighter during the war, operating between London and France under German occupation. By launching the newly created INSEE and developing French statistics, which except for demographic data were very spotty, he succeeded in taking advantage of the human resources at his disposal: a small group of competent senior statisticians and new generations of well trained and enthusiastic youngsters. Carrying the banner of professional ethics, objectivity and independence, he also had a clear vision of a statistical system installed in public administration and able to draw relevant statistics from administrative data within a common framework. Moreover he understood all the benefits that would result, for both producers and users of statistics, from analytical studies which were conducted in the central statistical office.

Probably less well known but no less important were his contributions to the development of international statistics, and still more to the establishment of a network of statistical offices in those overseas territories where France had some direct influence, particularly in Indochina, Lebanon and the Middle East and in all parts of French speaking Africa. During the start-up period, which in some cases lasted for more than two decades, senior staff was provided by INSEE. In all cases, nationals of the recipient countries were trained in Paris. For obvious reasons, given the course of history, this investment did not blossom in all cases. Still, a large number of my colleagues in the benefiting countries involved are aware of their moral debt to Francis-Louis Closon.

E. Malinvaud

Tage K.L. Larsson (1905-1998)

Tage K.L. Larsson, the oldest Swedish member of the ISI, died on the 15th of July, 1998. He was born in 1905, matriculated in 1923 at the University of Lund and graduated in 1927. In 1933 he became Licentiate of Philosophy in Statistics.

With his unusual intellectual capacity Tage Larsson might have made a university career but he also had the ideal background for a life insurance actuary. When the well-known life insurance company “Skandia” offered him a position as actuary, he accepted and started his work in 1935. He soon also mastered the non-actuarial areas of life insurance, became manager and later vice president of “Skandia Life”. He was involved in many committees and organisations and in the middle of the century he was one of the leading life insurance men in Sweden.

In spite of his heavy work load, Tage Larsson still had the capacity to cultivate his scientific interests. In Lund he established contact with a psychiatrist, the late Professor Torsten Sjögren. They enjoyed a fruitful collaboration, where Sjögren’s medical knowledge and Larsson’s statistical analyses led to important new discoveries. From 1949 to 1967 they published eight joint papers on cligopherenic diseases, based on clinical and genetic population studies and they were the first to describe what is now known as the “Larson-Sjögren syndrome”. In 1951 Tage Larsson was promoted to M.D. honoris causa.

In the sixties, Tage Larsson published two monographs: Mortality in Sweden, in which he treated a.o. the problems of secular changes in the definitions of causes of deaths, and together with M.D. Albert Grönberg Diabetes in Sweden, a comprehensive study of clinical diabetes and its late complications.

Although Tage Larsson received many marks of honour during his long life, he was proud of being a member of the ISI.

Jan Jung

Alan Stuart (1922-1998)

Alan Stuart was a distinguished academic statistician who significantly developed his own chosen subject through his written work. Joint author with Sir Maurice Kendall of the three-volume Advanced Theory of Statistics, he effectively took the work over, becoming responsible for many subsequent editions and updates. He was a born teacher, taking great care with students and showing a special facility in guiding postgraduate students. He was dedicated to the London School of Economics, spending his entire career there, from the moment of his enrolment as a student in 1946 until his retirement as one of the School’s two professors of statistics in 1982. He is survived by his wife Julia and their son and daughter, as well as two daughters from his first marriage.
Extract of Press Obituary submitted by C. Jarque

In Memoriam

Zoltán E. Kenessey (1929–1998)

A personal tribute by György Szilágyi
“The period 1992–1997 will presumably be labelled in the history of ISI as the Kenessey era”.

his was the initial wording of a writing of mine in the ISI Newsletter on the occasion of Zoltán Kenessey’s retirement as Director of the ISI Permanent Office. Now, when to my greatest sorrow he has left us forever, I feel this is still the first thing the ISI family can say. What he accomplished was a substantial transformation of the Institute, a modernisation, without losing all positive components from the tradition.

His ISI activities, however, were outlined in the article mentioned above, so I allow myself to put forward my personal observations, in addition to a brief appreciation of his scientific activities.

My friendship with Zoltán goes back to 1948 when we entered the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, as the first students of a newly established institution. Interestingly, his main orientation was economic theory, this in contrast to my immediate interest in statistics, mathematics and accounting. Nevertheless, both of us got our first job in the field of statistics. Zoltán joined the National Statistical Office, and due to his extraordinary abilities soon became a leading official. It was a few years later that I joined the same Office, and from that moment our personal connection developed to a close friendship. Statistical science and international relationships in our profession were the main fields of our mutual interest.

He became a staff member of the UN Statistical Office in 1967, and later an Assistant Director. As he was one of the initiators of the International Comparison Project, we met again in New York, when I joined UN to help in launching this undertaking. We worked next door and I met him and his charming family frequently on a private basis. Finally, in his ISI period we had almost a day-to-day contact. I admired his knowledge, not only in statistics, but in many fields of sciences and culture. I admired his ability to organise and enjoyed his style of establishing contacts with many different types of people.

Following this obituary you may read tributes by several outstanding personalities, such as the ISI Presidents Zoltán was working with as well as by his closest colleague at the ISI Permanent Office, the ISI Assistant Director. They all express their fond personal reminiscences and appreciation of Zoltán’s contributions.

Turning to the manifold and extended scientific activities of Zoltán Kenessey, three broad areas can be identified:
1. Measurement of output. In this field the benchmark work has been the International Comparison of Purchasing Power Parities and Real Value. Zoltán was a pioneer of this world- wide exercise. Among other things, he was co-author of the first, and – twenty years later – the last report of the world level ICP. In addition to this international project, he made great contributions to measuring service output, and regional production measurement, as well as to potential output and capacity utilisation.
2. Economic information and policy planning. Principles of statistical organisations were among the basic concerns of Zoltán Kenessey. He organised seminars and acted as a keynote speaker. He carried out studies dealing with the need for and use of quantitative economic information for purposes of policy planning. Many of us remember his brilliant contribution to the topic “Accuracy, Timeliness and Relevance".
3. History of economic and statistics. This activity was perhaps his hobby, which started when he was still in Hungary, where he compiled and edited a volume of time series of the world economy. He studied the historical development of national accounts which culminated in the volume The Account of Nations. He published studies on outstanding statisticians and other scholars involved in statistics.

May the ISI family follow the path opened by our friend Dr. Zoltán Kenessey.

György Szilágyi

Memories of Zoltán E. Kenessey
b
y Jayanta Ghosh

I met Zoltán for the first time in 1991 during the Cairo Session of the ISI. The incoming President, Fred Mosteller was introducing the Director-to-be to his incoming Executive Committee. Zoltán would be taking an early retirement from a good job and live in the Hague away from his family to take up his new position. I asked him why would he make this difficult choice. I still remember Zoltán's moving answer. He wanted to do something for the ISI. For the next six years the ISI did seem to be his raison d’ętre.

He not only worked very hard and very well on the usual tasks of an ISI Director but also went out of his way to start new activities, attract new funds, make wise investments in stocks and currencies—for which he seemed to have both expertise and an uncanny flair—and integrate the ISI and its Sections. Every year he would warn us this was the last year of budget surplus and then, the following year, he would pull out another surplus, bigger than the previous one.

Zoltán had an unbelievable mix of excitement, optimism and cheerfulness. No problem was so mind-boggling that he couldn't propose a solution. He loved the battles, savored his victories but wasn't put off by failures. Failures showed either you hadn't tried hard enough or you were mistaken. Mistakes, like achievements, were part of life.

Zoltán's two abiding passions during those six years—as a professional statistician rather than as Director of ISI—were the history of statistics and the use of statistics to provide better estimates of error in the economic indicators like the GDP or GNP growth rate which are used for short term policy decisions. The history of statistics is a well established subject but error estimates in the economic indicators still seems a virgin area.
I saw Zoltán for the last time in 1996 in Washington DC—as enthusiastic and happy as ever but looking forward to his retirement from Directorship and service to the ISI as a Council member. That was not to be.

by David Cox

Zoltán Kenessey had been an active member of ISI since his election and I had heard him speak at General Assemblies, but I believe my personal first conversation with him was in Florence in 1993 shortly after my becoming President-Elect. His commitment to and knowledge of all activities of the ISI family was immediately transparent, his concern covering both substantive and financial aspects. That he was familiar with the corridors of power in, for some, mysterious organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, the UN Statistical Commission and Eurostat was also certainly to the advantage of ISI.

When he decided that he would retire in December 1997, namely at the end of his period of appointment, the then Executive Committee made it clear that they would be happy to see him continue, but he was adamant about his wishes, although he did have some plans to continue an interest in ISI activities in North America. Although of course he had no explicit say in the appointment of his successor, he made clear his strong support for the Appointment Committee's choice of Dr. Marcel van den Broecke.

Zoltán's health had been a problem for some years, but in the early summer of 1997 it deteriorated. Those attending the ISI's session in Istanbul in August 1997 will not forget his bravery in travelling to Istanbul in extremely difficult circumstances and his active involvement. No doubt over many years, but especially in this final period, he received very great support from his wife Stephanie; they were exceptionally welcoming hosts in their apartments both in Voorburg and Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA.

By virtue of Zoltán's activities the ISI at the end of his period of appointment found itself in an extremely healthy state financially and intellectually and his impact will be a long continuing one. He will not be forgotten by those who had the opportunity of working with him.

by Willem van Zwet

Being Director of the ISI is a really difficult job as anyone will attest who has actually tried to do it. On the one hand it is a small scale management job, running a scientific society with a small but experienced and competent staff. On the other hand, this rather small scientific society has huge ambitions. It doesn’t just want to simply model itself after any other society, but rather aims to play a major role in shaping the development of statistics on the broadest possible front and in keeping its practitioners united. This is as it should be, but of course these two roles are almost contradictory. Small societies generally have limited possibilities, but big players need a large playing field. Most people who have to deal with this contradiction will either feel restricted in their ambitions or worried that the ambitions could be outstripping the means.

Zoltán Kenessey was comfortable with every single aspect of the job and loved every minute of it. Difficulties were a way of life to him. He firmly believed that ISI should continually widen its horizons and had an uncanny knack of finding the necessary funds for his many plans. Once he had an idea, he could charm almost everybody into sharing his belief that it would work. He could open doors that others didn’t know existed. He came to ISI at a difficult time when we had suffered a number of financial set-backs. As a true intellectual, Zoltán liked great ideas, but he also liked watching the nickels and dimes. He strongly felt ISI should not turn inward, but go out into the world at every opportunity. At the same time one of his main goals was to recoup ISI’s losses completely by the time he left and he succeeded famously in doing so. He loved a good fight, but always fought honorably and without offense as a courteous Hungarian gentleman. We have lost a good friend and above all, a great friend of ISI.

by Daniel Berze

When thinking back about the years I spent working with Zoltán Kenessey, I can’t help but draw comparisons with the old sea captains of yesteryear, a comparison that would undoubtedly have appealed to Zoltán’s adventurous nature.

Zoltán Kenessey was a very able and experienced captain, who had gone to sea many times, but who never lost the thrill of anticipating the next voyage. He was an incurable optimist, and was never daunted by bad weather, poor maps or by the occasional grumblings of his fellow sailors. He set his course quite independently, but was always willing to listen to the views of others and weigh them against his own. As a lover of history, he had read all of the old sea stories, knew all the captains that went before him and was familiar with all the old maps.

He was sometimes unconventional in that his voyage from point A to point B followed a route which was not always “as the crow flies”, but Zoltán always reached his intended destination, and always delivered the goods, and was always on time. A master of trade, he was able to obtain a very good price for his wares, and usually returned home with the bulkheads full, to the delight of the company.

Given the nature of his job, Zoltán was away from shore for extended periods of time, and often missed the comforts of home and family. But he could not deny his adventurous spirit, and after a time on shore was always keen to set sail again.

Zoltán had been to many countries, and was familiar with a great many cultures. He had an ability to appreciate and respect humanity in its many variations, and to bring people together for a common cause.

Sometimes in the course of this journey, he found himself in uncharted waters, and being the opportunist that he was, he was often able to take advantage of his new discoveries for our benefit. As such, Zoltán was not merely a carrier of goods, but was a true explorer, and like previous explorers, he helped to expand the boundaries that were previously believed to contain us.

We are grateful to Zoltán for extending the ISI’s horizons and will think of him whenever we set out to sea.


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Awards, Prizes and Competitions

Cochran-Hansen Prize

Competition for Young Statisticians from Developing and Transition Countries 1999

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) has established the Cochran-Hansen Prize to be awarded to the best paper on Survey Research Method submitted by a young statistician from a developing or transition country.

The paper will be presented at the 52nd Session of the International Statistical Institute, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, from August 10–18, 1999.

Participation in the competition for the Cochran-Hansen Prize is open to nationals of developing or transition countries who are living in such countries and who were born in 1967 or later. Winners of an ISI Jan Tinbergen Award are not eligible for the competition.

Papers submitted must be unpublished original works. They may include materials from the participants' university thesis. They should be in either English or French. The papers should be submitted to Graham Kalton at the address below, to arrive by February 28, 1999. Each submission should be accompanied by a cover letter that gives the participant's year of birth, nationality, and country of residence.

The papers submitted will be examined by the Cochran-Hansen Prize Committee. The decision of the Committee is final.

The author of the winning paper will receive the Cochran-Hansen Prize in the form of books and journal subscriptions to the value of about 500 EUROS and will be invited to present the paper at the Helsinki Session of the ISI with all expenses paid (i.e., round trip airfare between place of residence and Helsinki and a lump sum to cover living expenses).

For further information, please write to:
Graham Kalton
Westat
1650 Research Boulevard
Rockville, Maryland 20850-3129
USA
Fax: (1) 301 294 2034
E-mail: Kaltong1@Westat.com


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Conferences, Meetings and Calls for Papers

The Measurement of Electronic Commerce—ISI Cutting Edge Conference, 6–8 December 1999, Singapore

• Joint CMIT-DOS International Conference
The phenomenal expansion of computer networks, notably open networks such as the Internet, has resulted in the rapid proliferation of e-commerce with far-reaching economic and social implications. As these networks are largely unregulated and freely accessible, it is difficult to obtain reliable statistics on the extent of e-commerce and to assess its impact on the economy. The importance of accurate measurement of e-commerce and, more broadly, the digital economy is widely recognised. But the absence of international guidelines and measurement standards has resulted in widely varying estimates of the size and impact of e-commerce. These estimates lack international comparability. The problem is compounded by the lack of consensus on what constitutes e-commerce. The Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) and the Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship at the National University of Singapore, under the auspices of the ISI, propose to jointly hold an ISI Cutting Edge Conference on The Measurement of E-Commerce. The Conference, to be held in Singapore during 6-8 December 1999, will provide an important forum for statistical experts, eonomists, public policy/market research analysts and other specialists working in the area of e-commerce to present papers to address wide-ranging issues pertaining to the measurement of e-commerce activities and their economic impact, including definition, scope, measurement methodology, data sources and international comparability. Submissions are invited for full papers, research-in-progress papers, and proposals for panels and other activities pertaining to the conference theme as well as other aspects of electronic commerce. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
Definition and classification of e-commerce
Information requirements for public policy analysis of e-commerce
E-commerce measurement methodologies
Data sources for collecting statistics on e-commerce
International comparability of measurement methodology.
Methodologies for assessing the economic impacts of e-commerce
Emerging technologies for monitoring e-commerce activities
Future directions for e-commerce and their implications for measurement

Several leading experts on e-commerce measurement and prominent e-commerce business leaders and public policy makers will be invited as keynote speakers.
We believe the Conference will help to lay the foundation for the development of international guidelines and standards for the measurement of e-commerce. The best papers from the conference will be selected for publication in an international journal on electronic commerce.
• Important Dates
Submission: 15 June 1999
Notification of Acceptance: 15 August 1999
Camera-Ready Copy: 1 October 1999
Conference: 6–8 December 1999
• Submission Guidelines
Papers should be original, unpublished, and not more than 20 double-spaced pages. Better papers identified from the review process may be considered for publication in one of several top journals. Panels and other proposals should include the name and affiliations of the individuals who have agreed to participate and a 1-2 page summary of the topic, including a description of how the session will be structured. These may be submitted early for feedback and assistance from the organizing committee. Research in progress submission should be no longer than 2000 words in length and include a one page executive summary. Five copies of all submission should be sent to the program chair, and should include a separate title page with each author's name, title, affiliation, complete mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers. All papers received will be double-bound refereed. Registration fees will be waived for all paper presenters.
• Conference Chair
Assoc. Prof. Wong Poh Kam
Director
Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship
Faculty of Business Administration
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent
Singapore 119260
Phone: (65) 874-6323
Fax: (65) 775-3955
E-mail: fbawpk@nus.edu.sg

• Programme Co-Chairs
Dr. Thompson Teo
Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship
Faculty of Business Administration
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent
Singapore 119260
Phone: (65) 874-3036
Fax: (65) 775-3955
E-mail: fbateosh@nus.edu.sg
Mrs Alice Goh
Director, Business Statistics Division
Department of Statistics
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore
100 High Street, #05-01 The Treasury
Singapore 179434
Phone: (65) 332-7749
Fax: (65) 332-7171
E-mail: alice_goh@singstat.gov.sg

• International Programme Advisory Committee
1. Andrew Whinston, University of Texas, USA
2. Beat Schmid, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
3. Dennis Trewin, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia
4. Jae Kyu Lee, KAIST, Korea
5. Joze Gricar, University of Maribor, Slovenia
6. Margaret Tan, National University of Singapore, Singapore
7. Michael Borrus, University of California, Berkeley, USA
8. Robert H. McGuckin, Director of Economic Research, The Conference Board
9. Roger Clarke, Australian National University, Australia
10. Ronald M. Lee, EURIDIS, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
11. Stefen Klein, University of Muenster, Germany
12. Ting-Peng Liang, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
13. Vladimir Zwass, Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA
• Contact Information
Ms Finna Wong
Research Analyst
Centre for Management of Innovation & Technopreneurship
Faculty of Business Administration
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent
Singapore 119260
Tel: (65) 874-3046
Fax: (65) 775-3955
E-mail: cmtwongf@nus.edu.sg

Mr James Wong
Assistant Director, Business Statistics Division
Department of Statistics
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore
100 High Street, #05-01 The Treasury
Singapore 179434
Phone: (65) 332-7752
Fax: (65) 332-7171
E-mail: james_wong@singstat.gov.sg


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ISI Cutting Edge Conference: Spatial Statistics for Production Ecology

In modern agriculture farmers are increasingly aware of the consequences of farming for the environment. This has led to modern approaches, like precision agriculture and integrated pest and disease management. These are commonly known as production ecology. Production ecology therefore aims at competitive production in an environmentally friendly way. It leads to decisions that are better supported by the most recent agricultural knowledge, and hence to more sustainable use of land.

Production ecology needs statistical attention in various ways. First, it relies on the use of agricultural, crop and soil models. These models must be reliable, i.e. applicable at the proper scale, properly calibrated and validated and reliable data must be available. Second, basic input for these models is increasingly collected by remote sensing. Remote sensing data are of an increasing resolution (resolutions up to 0.75 m are now currently in use), and the numbers of bands is growing rapidly. Proper classification and segmentation procedures are still being developed. Finally, data stored in geographical information systems (GIS) are used. GIS is indispensable to combine sources of data and to visualize important spatial information, but the reliability of many of these data can be questioned.

In particular, spatial statistics is important in all these aspects of production ecology. Spatial statistics quantifies uncertainty and supports problem solving in issues of scale and spatial modeling. Examples include interpolation of agricultural models to field or regional scales, quantification of uncertainty in GIS, upscaling, and use of remote sensing images for decision support.

The International Statistical Institute has identified this theme as suitable for a Cutting Edge conference. The international conference of Spatial Statistics for production ecology is sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. The aim of the conference is to present up-to-date developments in spatial statistics for PE, to present on-going research and to discuss important problems to be addressed in the near future. The conference takes place in Wageningen, the Netherlands, from 19 to 21 April 1999. Distinguished invited speakers include P.A. Burrough, P. Kyriakidis, P. Lagacherie, A. Brix, A. Saltelli, P. Curran, J. Dungan, F.J. Gallego and G. Genovese. In addition contributed papers will be given and posters are on display.

For more information contact:
Prof. A. Stein, tel. +31-317-484410
Fax. +31-317-482419, email: alfred.stein@bodlan.beng.wau.nl .


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Satellite Conference on Statistical Publications and Statistical Publishing, August 23–24, 1999, Warsaw, Poland

The Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS), in collaboration with the ISI Permanent Office are organising a satellite conference on statistical publishing, to be held August 23–24, 1999 in Warsaw, Poland. With more than 200 academic statistics journals being published, and the increasing importance of official statistical publications, the conference will examine various issues of importance to the future of statistical publishing, including the effects of electronic dissemination. We hope that the conference will serve as a departure point for the development of a network of individuals and institutions involved in statistical publishing.
• Programme
Theme Speakers Discussants
Keynote addresses V.N. Nair (Univ. of Michigan)
D. Roy (Statistics Canada)
Initial decisions G. Salou (OECD)
M. Feith (Springer-Verlag) B. Olsson (Statistics Sweden)
Content management J. Kavaliunas (US Census Bureau)
B. Trumbo (California State University) P. Friss (Hungarian Central Stat. Office)
Output management M. Hazewinkel (CWI)
M. Podehl (Statistics Canada) G. Galmacci (Universita’ Degli Studi)
Marketing and user relations D. Byk (Eurostat)
E. Fredrikson (IOS Press) L. Dellaert (Statistics Netherlands)
Finance and other matters T. Walczak (Polish Central Statistical Office)
I. Feldbaek (Statistics Denmark) S. von Oppeln-Bronikowski (German Federal Statistical Office)
Time will also be made available for open discussion of each topic, and there will be a summary panel discussion. A reception will be held in a restaurant on August 23.

• Registration fees:
Payment before June 1: US$120
Payment after June 1 or on site: US$140
Registration fee includes lunches in the CSO, coffee breaks, reception, transport between Hotel and the CSO Main building and conference bags. Pre and post meeting excursions can be arranged on behalf of registrants.
• To obtain an information/registration brochure, please contact:
ISI Permanent Office
P.O. Box 950
2270 AZ Voorburg
The Netherlands
E-mail: @cbs.nl
Fax: +31 70 3860025
Tel: +31 70 3375737

IASS Satellite Conference on Small Area Estimation,
Riga, Latvia, 20-21 August 1999

• Second Announcement
The Satellite Conference on Small Area Estimation will follow the ISI session in Helsinki. It is intended to cover aspects of both theoretical background in small area estimation and practical application of different estimation methods for small area statistics. This includes sample design for small area statistics (national experiences), new developments in the field of estimation for small area statistics and successful applications of small area estimation techniques, including those that use data from administrative systems. Small area statistics is a subject of great interest in many countries. Several statistical agencies in Western countries have introduced vigorous programmes to meet this new demand, with a view toward producing efficient and high quality statistics. Several international conferences and seminars have been organised in the last years and others are yet to be organised. Furthermore, significant research on both the theoretical and practical aspects of small area estimation is conducted at various universities and some national statistical offices.

The Conference is organised on the initiative of the Baltic countries, and is aimed at improving knowledge transfer of new methods. The proceedings of the Conference should be of interest to all statisticians working in this field but it is of particular interest for the economies in transition in Central and Eastern European countries and the former Soviet Union countries, where complete reporting and complete statistical investigations are to be replaced or have been replaced with sample surveys, the production of reliable small area statistics has emerged as a pressing and frequently difficult and costly problem.

The conference proceedings will be opened by Professor Danny Pfeffermann, who will provide an overview of the New Developments in Small Area Estimation. There will be also a one day Short Course on Small Area Estimation immediately preceding the Conference by Professor Jon N.K. Rao. This introductory course is aimed at giving participants who need it some basic knowledge that would allow them to appreciate fully the proceedings of the conference.

The meeting is sponsored by the International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS), the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSBL), and the University of Latvia (UL). The members of the International Programme Committee are: Ödon Éltetö (Hungary), Wayne A. Fuller (USA), Jan Kordos (Poland, chair), John Kovar (Canada), Juris Krumins (Latvia), Janis Lapinš (Latvia), Danny Pfeffermann (Israel), Richard Platek (Canada), Jon N.K. Rao (Canada), Carl-Erik Särndal (Canada), Dennis Trewin (Australia) and Janusz Wywial (Poland).

The organisers of the Conference have invited 14 speakers (invited papers) from different countries to present both theoretical background and practical application of different estimation methods for small area statistics. A number of contributed papers have been submitted to the Conference, and more contributed papers are expected. Abstracts of proposed contributed papers should include full information on authors and their affiliations, and the contact address (including e-mail and fax) and a text of 200-300 words. The deadline for submission is April 30, 1999. Earlier submissions are encouraged and notifications of acceptance will be sent out as soon as possible. Acceptance is conditional on the attendance of the meeting by at least one of the authors. Abstracts should be submitted, preferably via e-mail or by fax or by mail to:
Jan Kordos, Al. Niepodleglosci 208, 00-925 Warsaw, Poland;
Fax: (0048-22) 825-03-95;
E-mail: j.kordos@stat.gov.pl
or to any other members of the Programme Committee.
Contact Information of the National Organising Committee:
• Postal address:
Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, 1, Lacplesa St., LV-1301 Riga, Latvia
Fax: +371 78 30137;
E-mail: iass.riga99@csb.lv ;
Website: http://www.csb.lv/iass.riga99
It is the intention of the Programme Committee to publish the papers presented at the Conference in a special Proceedings of the Conference issue.

State of the Art in Probability and Statistics—Symposium in Honour of Willem Van Zwet
Leiden, March 23-26, 1999

On the occasion of the 65th birthday of Willem van Zwet, a symposium will be held at the University of Leiden from March 23–26, 1999. On each of the first three days of the symposium, five leading researchers in probability and statistics will give one-hour talks on current developments in these fields. The symposium will end at noon on Friday, March 26. The talks on Friday morning will be addressed to a general mathematical public.

Following the symposium on the afternoon of Friday, March 26, Willem van Zwet will give an address on the occasion of his retirement as a full professor from the University of Leiden.
Talks at the symposium will be given by invited speakers only, but all people with an interest in the "State of the Art in Probability and Statistics" are invited to attend the lectures and are very welcome to participate in the symposium. There is no participation fee, but advance registration would be appreciated.

Unfortunately, our funds are not sufficient to cover the local costs or travel of noninvited speakers. However, we shall be pleased to make local reservations for participants. Please contact the local organizers.
• Tentative list of speakers:
A Baddeley (Perth) P Jagers (Goteborg)
O Barndorff-Nielsen (Aarhus) I Johnstone (Stanford)
R Beran (Berkeley) R Khas'minskii (Detroit)
PJ Bickel (Berkeley) J Pfanzagl (Koln)
L Birgé (Paris) R Pyke (Seattle)
DR Cox (Oxford) D Siegmund(Stanford)
P Diaconis (Stanford) SM Stigler (Chicago)
F Goetze (Bielefeld) G Wahba (Madison)
P Hall (Canberra) JA Wellner (Seattle)
I Ibragimov (St Petersburg)
• Further information: http://www.cs.vu.nl/vakgroepen/stat/vanzwet/index.html
• Organizers:
M.C.M. de Gunst ( degunst@cs.vu.nl )
C.A.J. Klaassen ( chrisk@wins.uva.nl )
A.W. van der Vaart ( aad@cs.vu.nl )
• Local Organizer:
F. Bakker
Mathematical Institute
University of Leiden
P.O. Box 9512
2300 RA Leiden
Netherlands
bakker@cs.leidenuniv.nl
Phone +31 71 527 7042
Fax +31 71 527 6985


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Publications Pocket

Agricultural Statistics 2000 Proceedings

The Proceedings of “Agricultural Statistics 2000, International Conference on Agricultural Statistics”, an ISI Cutting Edge Conference held in Washington D.C. on March 18–20, 1998 are now available in print. It is a hefty volume of 429 pages, containing all 34 invited papers that were presented at the meeting in a revised form, plus a summary of the subsequent discussions, as well as the revised texts of 16 contributed papers. Appendices give an index of authors and presenters, the Conference Program, a list of the participants (about 250, which reads like a who-is-who in agricultural statistics) by alphabet and country, and a map of the countries represented.

The ISI is very grateful to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and it particular to Program Chair Fred Vogel for producing these proceedings, which allow a much wider group than those who participated in the meeting to profit from the excellent papers that were presented. Personally, it was a pleasure for me to co-operate with Terry Holland in editing this book.

Copies may be obtained from the ISI Permanent Office of ISI for the very reasonable price of US$ 25. Please note that the entire proceedings can also be found on the web at:
http://www.nass.usda.gov/as2000/proceedings/
In view of the astounding success of the Washington meeting on agricultural statistics, plans for a second meeting on this topic are now being developed. In a joint effort of Eurostat, the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), FAO, ISTAT, the National Statistical Office of Italy (which has graciously offered to host the second meeting) and ISI, we intend to have this meeting in Rome in May or June 2001. More information will follow in due time.

Marcel van den Broecke

Allgemeines Statistisches Archiv (editor: Karl Mosler) — Call for Papers

The editorial board of the Allgemeines Statistisches Archiv, the Journal of the German Statistical Society, has been continuing its efforts to solicit high quality articles on statistical theory, methods and applications. The journal provides a scientific forum for researchers and users from all branches of statistics with a focus on statistical problems that arise in the analysis of economic and social phenomena and in official statistics.
We are especially interested in contributions which present a novel methodological approach or a result, obtained by a substantial use of statistical method, which has a significant scientific or societal impact. Occasional review papers are also welcome.
Authors of appropriate papers are encouraged to submit their work. Detailed instructions may be obtained from the net: http://www.uni-koeln.de/wiso-fak/wisostatsem/
Three copies of the manuscript should be sent to the editor:
Prof. Dr. Karl Mosler
Universität zu Köln, Albertus-Magnus-Platz,
D-50923 Köln, Germany
E-mail: mosler@wiso.uni-koeln.de

Bulletin for the 51st Session

The organizers of the ISI 51st Session have indicated that the printing of the final volume of the Istanbul Session Bulletin is now complete.
For those ISI members who did not attend the Istanbul Session and do not have the previous volumes of the Istanbul Session Bulletin (these were provided to all Session participants in Istanbul), a complimentary copy of the proceedings may be requested from the Session organizers.
Place your request for a complimentary copy indicating the following:
i. if you require only the final volume of the Bulletin (these will only be sent to registered ISI members);
ii. if you require the entire series of the Bulletin (complimentary copies of these will only be sent to registered ISI members who were not in attendance in Istanbul).
Requests should include an indication of your return mailing address, and should be directed to:
Dr. Omer Gebizlioglu
President
State Institute of Statistics
Prime Ministry
Necatibey Cad. No. 114
06100 Ankara, Turkey
(e-mail: omer.gebizlioglu@die.gov.tr )
If you do not qualify to receive a complimentary copy of the Proceedings, please contact the ISI Permanent Office (@cbs.nl) to obtain a copy.

First Meeting on Public Statistics of the Inter-American Statistical Institute
Household Surveys: Redesign of the Current Household Survey of Argentina

Copies of the final report of the first meeting on public statistics of the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI) are now available. Held June 3–5, 1998 in Buenos Aires, the meeting was organised jointly by INDEC, IASS and the ISI. Copies may be obtained by contacting:
INDEC Publications
Centro Estadistico de Servicios
Julio A. Roca 615 P.B. C.P. 1067,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
e-mail: CES@indec.mecon.ar
For further details about the publication, please contact Mr. Evelio O. Fabbroni, IASI Technical Secretary at ( efabb@indec.mecon.ar ).


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ISI Committee Matters

As we have received correspondence from a few ISI members regarding ISI Committees, we thought it appropriate to provide some general information about ISI Committees. What are the various ISI Committees? How are ISI Committees structured? How does one become a member of an ISI Committee? We hope that the following information will help members to better understand the ISI Committee operations, and maybe to consider becoming active in a Committee.

The ISI Statutes and Bylaws state:
“The General Assembly or the Council may establish committees, in the work of which non-members of the Institute may be invited to participate.”
Notwithstanding the provision of the statutes, in practice ISI Committees are seldom initiated by the General Assembly itself. Usually they come about as a result of deliberations by the Council, the Executive Committee, or at the initiative of the Sections, the Permanent Office or individual ISI members. Applications for the formation of new Committees are usually first considered by the Executive Committee, and then approved (or rejected) by Council.

The ISI Statutes and Bylaws specify a requirement for four Committees essential to the ISI’s ongoing administrative operations, and describe their functions and responsibilities. These Committees are the ISI Council, Executive Committee, Nominations Committee and Elections Committee. Membership in these Committees is either determined by election (in the case of the Council or Executive Committees) or by ISI Council/Executive Committee appointment (in the case of the Nominations Committee, Elections Committee, Publications Committee and Programme Committee). Membership in all other Committees is open to any individual who is interested in the goals and activities of the Committee. With the exception of the ISI Council and Executive Committee (whose Chairpersons are elected) all Chairpersons are appointed and approved by the ISI Council, usually at the recommendation of the ISI Executive Committee. Non-elected Chairpersons typically serve for four years (two biennial terms) before being replaced.

ISI Committees can be classified into two types; Committees and Working Groups. Committees can be further divided into Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees (see below). A further ”Interest Group” designation has been introduced to describe the specific nature of some Committees or Working Groups.

The distinction between “Standing” and “Ad Hoc” Committees implies a period of termination (commonly referred to as “sunset” period). Standing Committees are, in principle considered to be long term (or indefinitely ongoing) bodies, while Ad Hoc Committees are dissolved as soon as they realise their (typically short-term) objectives. In accordance with ISI “sunset provisions”, every second year, the ISI Council and Executive Committee reviews the work of all ISI Committees, with a view to continue or discontinue them. Each Committee submits a written report of its activities every second year to the ISI Executive Committee, which advises Council about the work undertaken, including its views about the needs to continue or discontinue a Committee.

Initiatives for the establishment of Working Groups on special subjects may be developed in the General Assembly, the ISI Council, the ISI Executive Committee, the Executive Boards of ISI Sections and in the ISI Permanent Office. The establishment of Working Groups is the responsibility of the Executive Committee who also appoints the Chairpersons and sets the terms of reference for each. All Working Groups must submit a written report of their activities every two years, which are compiled and submitted to the Council for review, including the Executive Committee’s recommendations about the continuation or discontinuation of the work of the Working Group for the next two year period.

It should be noted that there exists an upward (and downward) mobility of ISI Committees, Working Groups and Sections. In the past, some Committees have progressed from Working Group to Committee (and in the case of the IASE, to a Section), while transformations in the other direction are also not uncommon, sometimes resulting in the dissolution of the Committee.

Some Committees are designated as “Special Interest Groups”. Such Committees have a strong “Interest Group” aspect to their existence and are essentially sub-sections (or mini-sections) of the ISI. The application of such a designation is considered by the ISI Executive Committee and Council on a case by case basis. The Chairpersons of such Committees are entitled to membership in the ISI Council on a non-voting basis, in accordance with the ISI Statutes (Article 5b — “representatives of specified statistical interest groups may be entitled to membership in the Council without voting rights”).

Special Interest Groups may establish task forces (sub-groups). These Committees presently enjoy special “Interest Group” status:
• Statistics and the Environment;
• Statistics in Industry;
• Life Sciences Committee.
ISI Committees and Working Groups typically conduct their work by correspondence, during the ISI Sessions, or during specialised meetings.
The following Summary of Committees provides an indication of the wide range of ISI member interests:
Summary of Committees
Name Function Chairperson Type
      Standing Special interest Working group Ad hoc
1 Council The Council formulates the policies and programmes of the Institute in accordance with the Statutes, Bylaws and the decisions of the General Assembly. Willem Van Zwet Ö      
2 Executive Committee The Executive Committee directs the Institute in conformity with the Statutes and By-laws and decisions of the General Assembly and the Council (see ISI Statutes: section 203). Willem Van Zwet Ö      
3 Elections Committee This committee is charged with the duty of examining all nominations for ordinary and honorary ISI membership duly prepared in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 504 of the By-laws. To be appointed Ö      
4 Nominations Committee To select a slate of candidates for the Executive Committee (President Elect and three Vice-Presidents) and for eight members of Council. To be appointed Ö      
5 Membership Committee To continually review the entire process of nominating and electing new members; to make recommendations (as appropriate) to the Executive Committee on amendments to the nominations and elections process; to monitor the operations of the Elections Committee (the body which is directly responsible for examining and accepting/rejecting all individual nominations); to recommend, monitor and evaluate the work about expanding membership in the developing countries; to collect information on the membership level and distribution. Jae-Chang Lee Ö      
6 Publications Committee To review overall policy for the programme of ISI Publications, whether periodical or occasional, and advise the Council with regard to the development of this programme. The Committee, inter alia, pays attention to proper co-ordination between the publications programmes of ISI and its Sections; to monitor the implementation of the agreed editorial policies for ISI publications and advise the Council on any actions that may have to be taken in this respect; to monitor the arrangements for the production and publishing of the ISI publications, and advise the Council on ways and means for improvements to be made, taking into account basic requirements regarding economy, quality and dissemination; to convene search committees when new editors are required for any of the publications and make recommendations to the Executive Committee when potential and willing editors have been identified. Dennis Trewin Ö      
7 Programme Committee Programme Co-ordinating Committee To determine the scientific content of the ISI biennial Sessions. The Committee is particularly concerned with the general structure of the programme and general topics. It has special responsibility for ensuring that those areas of statistics, which are not represented by the Programme Co-ordinating Committee, are given fair representation. To determine the scientific content of the ISI biennial Sessions. The Committee is particularly concerned with securing topics within their specific Association's area of interest. Jon Rao (52nd Session) Richard Gill (53rd Session) Ö      
8 Committee on Strengthening Co-operation between ISI and Statistical Societies To explore means to develop co-operative arrangements between ISI and other statistical societies. Luigi Biggeri       Ö
9 Committee for Promotion of Statistics in the Life Sciences To promote the development of interest in statistics in the life sciences in and through the ISI. David Cox Ö Ö    
10 Statistics and the Environment Committee To report to the ISI Executive Committee on ways in which ISI might promote the diffusion and improved application of statistics in the understanding and management of problems related to the environment. Alfred Stein Ö Ö    
11 Christiaan Huygens Committee on the History of Statistics To focus on the historical evolution of probability, official statistics, and to profile the historical development of statistical concepts. Chris Heyde Ö      
12 Mahalanobis Committee for Statistics on Statistical Activities To focus on the development of quantitative information about statistical data collection, processing and dissemination by national statistical authorities. M.D. Asthana Ö      
13 Gregory King Committee on Statistical Infrastructure To focus on the national organisations of statistics, including their physical and human resources and development plans for them. Michael Ward Ö      
14 Marco Polo Committee on Tourism Statistics To stimulate the development of statistics in the travel and tourism industries, and to stimulate communications amongst those groups who are interested in or using travel and tourism statistics. Scott Meis Ö      
15 Sports Statistics Committee To promote the development of sports statistics in the countries of the world and at the international level, with particular regard to the methodological problems involved and the dissemination of internationally useful and comparable data on sports. A. Mussino Ö      
16 Gregor-Johan Mendel Committee on Agricultural Statistics To promote the development of, and interest in agricultural statistics on an international basis. Javier Gallego Ö      
17 Women in Statistics Committee To promote and strengthen the representation of women statisticians in the ISI and its Sections; to help in providing opportunities for women members to assume active and visible roles in the ISI and other statistical associations; to collect information on women in the statistical professions in different countries and to facilitate the flow of information among women statisticians; to stimulate interest in statistics among women and encourage women students in schools and colleges to study statistics; to support the compilation of statistics on women, with a view to generating relevant studies concerning women's roles in the various activities in their countries. Mary Regier Ö      
18 Identification of Special Areas of Statistical Interest To report to the Executive Committee and Council identifying areas of statistical work which appear currently to be neglected or under-represented in ISI activities and on areas which are likely to emerge in the future. Where appropriate, the likely relevance of an area to a Section or Sections of ISI is to be indicated. Orhan Güvenen     Ö  
19 World Numeracy Project Working Group To stimulate the spread of quantitative skills all over the world in areas and populations (especially in developing countries and among the young) which could benefit most from increased knowledge of numbers and their applications, with particular regard to statistics. Luigi Biggeri     Ö  
20 Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics To facilitate contacts between statisticians of the central banks and the rest of the broad statistical community. Emerico Zauzik Ö      
21 Mercator Committee on Geographic Information Systems To examine the statistical aspects of Geographic Information Systems; especially with regards to local area statistics. German Bensch Ö      
22 Statistics in Industry Committee To provide an umbrella and focus for research and applications of statistical concepts and methodologies in industry. The topics of interest include but are not limited to quality, productivity and reliability (risk management, business decision-making and forecasting, market research, and technology substitution). The Committee also strives to stimulate and foster technical interactions, relevant and related to the role of statistics in industry, amongst people involved in statistical theory and applications, computing technology and survey methodology, and to facilitate the transfer of useful information and tools to developing countries. Vijay Nair Ö Ö    
23 El-Khowarizimi Committee on Statistics To stimulate international statistical cooperation with countries in the Arabic world. To be appointed Ö      
24 Association of Balkan Statisticians To strengthen co-operation among the members of ISI and its Sections from the Balkan countries as well as among statisticians of the region in general and to promote and increase ISI membership in the Balkan countries. Photis Nanopoulos     Ö  
25 International Statistical Education Centres Ad Hoc Review Committee To examine problems relating to the International Statistical Education Centre in Calcutta and to consider the establishment of relations with other international training centres. Marcel Van den Broecke       Ö

Should you have any questions about ISI Committees, or if you would like to inquire about participation in a particular ISI Committee, please contact the ISI Permanent Office.


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News from ISI sections Volume 23, No. 1 (67) 1999