A short course sponsored by the Joint Program in Survey Methodology 

FEBRUARY 21-22, 2017
Presented at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference and Training Center

Research Professor, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland
Senior Statistician at RTI International

A main goal of this short course and of the text that accompanies it is to give students tools for direct use in designing single-stage and multi-stage samples in the real world.  This includes deciding on a sample size given a specified budget, creating strata, allocating the sample to the strata given a set of constraints or requirements for detectable differences between group estimates, estimating variance components, and determining what sample sizes to use at different stages in a multi-stage sample. We will also cover software for calculating sample sizes, computing survey weights, and estimating variances.

An important component of the course will be the use specialized software for calculations.  We emphasize R but will also include some examples in SAS.  Sample size calculations can be done using the R PracTools package written by the instructors or with Microsoft Excel, which will be used for mathematical programming. Survey weights can be computed with the R survey package for many designs and estimators. The survey package will also compute variances using linearization and replication methods.

Professional statisticians, social scientists, and economists who have some familiarity with applied sampling and survey design and want more in-depth knowledge of sample size determination in complex samples, survey weighting, and variance estimation methods.


RICHARD VALLIANT is a Research Professor at the Universities of Michigan and Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University and has over 35 years of experience in sample design and estimation using data from complex surveys. Prior to joining the faculty at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, he was an Associate Director at Westat and a mathematical statistician with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He is a past Associate Editor of the Journal of Official Statistics, the Applications and Case Studies and Theory and Methods sections of the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and Survey Methodology.

JILL A. DEVER received her Ph.D. from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland in 2008 before returning to RTI International. She has worked as a survey researcher for more than 18 years in areas such as health care, education, and the U.S. military. Her experience includes creating software for optimizing complex sample designs; constructing linearization and replicate analysis weights using calibration techniques; and analyzing data from complex surveys. Dr. Dever’s research foci includes variance estimation for calibration estimators with estimated control totals under a complex sample design, and techniques to evaluate the utility of non-probability sampling.

Students will benefit most if they can bring a laptop or tablet to the course.  Prior to the course, students should install the latest version of R along with the PracTools and survey packages.  Both of these are available free at  Students with laptops who cannot download R and PracTools in advance should arrive early on the first day for assistance through the free Wi-Fi. Students who do not have a computer can still do in-class exercises using scientific calculators.

Registrants will be provided with a course lecture notebook and a copy of the book Practical Tools for Designing and Weighting Survey Samples by Richard Valliant, Jill A. Dever, and Frauke Kreuter. JPSM group continental breakfasts, lunches and refreshments are also included in the course fee.

Registrants must check-in with the JPSM onsite each day of the course.



Registrant Check-in and Continental Breakfast
9:00--10:30 Module 1: R and its Packages
Use of R; downloading, data structures, calculations
Module 2: Single-stage Designs
Sample sizes based on target coefficients of variation (CV); means and proportions; power for detecting differences; allocations in stratified sampling
10:30--10:45 Break


Module 3: Mathematical Programming
Multicriteria optimization; setting up a problem in Excel; allocations in stratified sampling; cost-constrained and CV constrained allocations




Module 4: Sample Size and Allocation for Two-stage Designs
Variances of estimates; variance components; with-replacement sampling of PSUs as approximation
3:00—3:15  Break


Module 4: Sample Size and Allocation for Two-stage Designs (cont'd)
 Cost functions; optimal numbers of 1st and 2nd stage units; measures of homogeneity (moh); effects of cluster sizes on moh’s; estimating variance components; anticipated variances
4:30—5:00  Discussion
5:00 Adjourn
8:00—9:00 Registrant Check-in and Continental Breakfast
9:00—10:30 Module 5: Basic Steps in Weighting
Base weights, adjustments for unknown eligibility, nonresponse; cell adjustments; response propensities
10:30—10:45 Break
10:45—12:30 Module 6: Weight Calibration
Poststratification, raking, general regression estimators (GREG); weight bounding
12:30—1:30  Lunch
1:30—3:00 Module 7: Variance Estimation
Linearization, jackknife, balanced repeated replication, bootstrap
3:00—3:15  Break
3:15—4:30  Module 8: Process Control and Quality Measures
Flowcharting; specification writing; documentation
4:30—5:00 Discussion
5:00  Adjourn

Fees and awards are not transferrable due to nonattendance. The course fee is $760 for JPSM sponsor affiliates, $760 for full-time university students, and $990 for other participants. Sponsor Affiliate List

Online registration is required.  The registration deadline is February 7, 2017 Confirmation of acceptance will be sent after the registration form has been processed. Registrants are responsible for keeping track of their registrations and course dates. Contact JPSM if you have any questions concerning the status of the registration. JPSM Short  Courses

Payment by credit card is required.  Payment is due February 7, 2017.  Payments are course and date specific. Payment may be done online during registration. Post registration payment may be done online using the registration number or by calling 800.937.9320. Credit card payments may also be faxed  to 734.764.8263.

Tax Identification Number (University of Michigan): 38-6006309  

DUNS (University of Michigan): 073133571 

Please notify JPSM as soon as possible if you need to cancel your registration. Fees and awards are not transferrable due to nonattendance. Cancellation requests should be done online. You will be fully reimbursed if you cancel by February 7, 2017. Cancellation February 8-13, 2017 will require a $100 administrative fee, the remainder will be reimbursed. Cancellation on or after February 14, 2017 is subject to the full fee amount.

Visitor Entrance: Postal Square, Building, 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20212-0001
Classroom: Conference Rooms 1-2-3, Conference Center: 202.691.6630

The course will be held at Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference and Training Center in Washington DC. Attendees are required to enter through the visitor entrance on First Street NE (between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street, NE) across from Union Station. Do not use the main entrance on 2 Massachusetts Avenue.  Please note that food is not allowed in the classroom. Only drinks with caps or lids are allowed into the classroom.

All visitors must present a valid photo ID at the visitor’s entrance and pick up a visitor’s badge. Visitors and packages will be processed through the x-ray and metal detector screening equipment. Please arrive 10 minutes early to allow enough time to go through security. Attendees  must also check-in with JPSM onsite assistant each day of the course.

Individuals are responsible for making their own overnight room reservations and for payment.

Union Station (Red Line):
701 First Street. NE, Washington, DC 20002
Entrance 1: East side of First Street., NW, (west side Union Station)
Entrance 2: Massachusetts Avenue (entrance to Amtrak Terminal)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is located across the street from Union Station. Exit the platform at the North end of the station (exit that says to Amtrak trains). There is a doorway exit to the left of the turnstiles and manager’s kiosk. Go out that door instead of taking the escalator up to Union Station and straight across the street is the visitor’s entrance to BLS.

Union Station: Amtrak, MARC and VRE

Registrants are responsible for parking fees. Parking is available in a number of commercial parking lots within a 1-4 block radius. Daily parking fees range from $14-20.

From the East: Follow New York Avenue (west) into the city. Turn left on First Street, N.E.. The building will be on your right . The building is on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street.
From the West or North: Take Capital Beltway. Exit on New Hampshire Avenue (south). New Hampshire Avenue turns into North Capitol Street when you enter the District of Columbia. Keep driving south on North Capitol to Massachusetts Avenue. The building will be on your left at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street.
From the South: Follow I-395 north. Take Massachusetts Avenue exit. Turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue (going east). The building will be on your left at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street.


DCA- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport  (5.4 mi) 
An elevated metro rail station is connected to the concourse level at Reagan National Airport.
Ground Transportation at DCA 

IAD – Dulles International Airport (28.7 mi)
Ground Transportation at IAD

BWI – Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (31.3 mi)
Ground Transportation at BWI 

Best Parking  
MARC Train    
Washington DC Parking  
Spot Hero 
Union Station Information 
VRE Train  
WMATA Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority  
WMATA Union Station  

The citation programs are built around the JPSM short courses. The JPSM Citation in Introductory Survey Methodology is designed to provide the working professional or interested student with state-of-the-art knowledge about current principles and practices for conducting complex surveys combined with practical skills of day-to-day utility. The JPSM Citation in Introductory Economic Measurement is designed for professional staff who need to know the principles and practices of economic measurement. Completion of either citation program involves taking a semester-length JPSM credit-bearing course and eight JPSM short courses, of which four are specified core courses. For information on the Certificate and Citation Programs visit the website at  or call 301.314.7911.

Questions for this course should be directed to the JPSM Short Course, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Room 4050, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2321, Phone: 800.937.9320, Fax: 734.764.8263, Email: To unsubscribe to the JPSM Short Course Listserv List, please send an email to with the words "Unsubscribe-Short Course list" in the subject line.

Short Courses:
Sponsor Affiliate List:

JPSM Home Page: 

Tax Identification Number (University of Michigan): 38-6006309  

DUNS (University of Michigan): 073133571 

Primary Funding for JPSM is from the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy