Web Site Registers 2,000th Member
The 2,000th CAS member registered for access to the Members Only section of the CAS Web Site recently, demonstrating that membership interest in online services remains strong. With two-thirds of CAS members now registered for Web site access, and three-fourths receiving e-mail through the membership's e-mail distribution list, the CAS leadership has positioned the CAS as an electronic society through two new policy initiatives.
At their September meeting, the CAS Board of Directors approved a recommendation to offer CAS members the option of receiving the CAS Forum and Discussion Paper Program books electronically in lieu of traditionally printed documents.
The Board of Directors also approved in September a policy for distributing announcements via e-mail. This policy authorizes the CAS Office to e-mail announcements that were previously sent only through the postal mail. Examples of documents that will be sent via e-mail include call paper program announcements, limited attendance seminar announcements, and various flyers to promote activities. The policy includes a provision that all persons not included on the CAS e-mail mailing list will continue to receive paper copies.
One reason for implementing the new initiatives is the large number of CAS members already using online services. The Committee on Online Services (COOS) has kept constant watch on the number registered for the Members Only section of the Web site (Figure 1), and marked the 2,000 member milestone with a prediction contest.
Figure 1 - Number Registered for Members' Section of CAS Web Site
COOS posted a chart illustrating the growth in member registrations at three-month intervals from 682 in December 1996 to 1,648 in December 1998. The Committee then invited predictions, using whatever actuarial techniques deemed suitable, of the date when the 2000th CAS member would register for the member's section of the Web site.
The 2,000th CAS member to register for access was Jacqueline Gronski. Her access was registered on July 22, 1999. The prediction closest to the actual date was submitted by Brian Viscusi, who predicted July 25. While the winning prediction was purely guesswork (he used the date of his wife's birthday), the contest runner-up, Joshua Merck, spent some time forming his prediction of July 26. Explained Merck, "I came up with [July 26] by deriving development factors for each 3-month interval of data. Then I selected the factors I thought would be in the next 12 months after the data. Using this I predicted that the 2,000th member would come sometime between July and September. Then I interpolated to find development for each month. Given this, I assumed the 2,000th member would show up between July and August. Finally I interpolated to find development in each week in July and in the end came up with July 26 as the day."
The Members Only section contains a searchable membership directory, a change of address form, the CAS Strategic Plan, and Executive Council Cycle Reports. Recent additions to the section include an index of e-mail sent to CAS members, the Report of the 1998 CAS Membership Survey Task Force, and the 1999 Report on the Review of CAS Research.
If you are a CAS member and do not currently have access to the Members Only section of the CAS Web Site, send your requested user name and password to the Webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be notified when your access has been activated.