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Talking About Statistics

April 28, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Using the latest federal census as a case study, U.S. Census Director Robert M. Groves will discuss the different uses of statistical information in government and the social sciences when he delivers the 2011 Distinguished Public Policy Lecture at Northwestern University.

His talk, “Government Statistics and Social Science Statistics: What Is Quality?” will take place at 4 p.m. Monday, May 2, in Room 108 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road. It is presented by Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research.

One of the nation’s leading experts on survey design and methodology, Groves previously directed the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. He served as the Census Bureau’s associate director for statistical design, methodology, and standards from 1990 to 1992.

Nominated by President Barack Obama, Groves became director of the U.S. Census Bureau in July 2009. In 2010, he oversaw the nation’s 23rd Census, which counted more than 308 million people living in the country.

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution and dating back to 1790, the nation’s decennial census is the world’s oldest, continuously conducted national census. It is used to reapportion the 435 seats of the House of Representatives, disburse approximately $400 billion in federal funds to communities, and redraw legislative districts, among other applications.

An elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Groves is the author or co-author of eight books and scores of scientific articles. His “Survey Errors and Survey Costs” was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). “Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys,” which Groves co-authored, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award.

For more information about the May 2 event, e-mail p-reese@northwestern.edu, call (847) 491-8712 or visit, http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/events/lectures/groves.html.
Topics: Campus Life