Advancements in technology, the rise of big data, and demand for more accurate, timely, official statistics under tightened budgets will be among the topics explored at the 24th Annual Morris Hansen Lecture. The Morris Hansen Lecture series is one of many public education and outreach activities in which the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service participates each year.

This year’s keynote speaker, Danny Pfeffermann, Ph.D., will discuss the potential use of big data; increasing data accessibility while maintaining privacy and confidentiality; possible uses of data obtained from web-panels; addressing the problems of response burden and nonresponse; mode effects and proxy surveys; integration of statistical and geospatial information. Dr. Pfeffermann is Professor of Statistics at the University of Southampton in England, the National Statistician and Head of the Central Bureau of Statistics for Israel, and current President of the International Association of Survey Statisticians.

The lecture series was established by the Washington Statistical Society to honor Morris Hansen and his pioneering contributions to survey sampling and related statistical methods during his long and distinguished career at the U.S. Census Bureau. The event is hosted in Washington at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jefferson Auditorium, Jan. 20, 2015 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; however, advanced registration is required and can be made online here: www.nass.usda.gov/Education_and_Outreach/Morris_Hansen/index.php

Additional speakers include Lawrence Brown, Professor of Statistics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and John Eltinge, Associate Commissioner for Survey Methods Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The event is sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society, the National Agricultural Statistics Service and Westat Inc.