Congratulations SAS Student Scholarship and Faculty Scholarship Winners!

In today’s data-driven world, companies are looking for more analytical talent coming out of college. SAS helps by providing universities and colleges the tools to teach students these skills so they can be successful. One way for students to get a jump-start on their future career is to attend SAS Global Forum. Each year, the SAS Global Academic Program provides 20 students with scholarships to attend the annual conference. This includes waived conference registration, a pre-conference workshop, and conference meals. Congratulations to this year’s students!

Piboon Banpotsakun
National Institute of Development Administration (TH)
Degree Pursuing: MS Business Administration

Katherine Cai
Arizona State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Statistics

Sharat Dwibhasi
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Lauren Hall
University of North Texas Health Science Center (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Epidemiology

Kathryn Hillebrandt
Florida State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Mathematics

Jessica Jackson
University of North Texas (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Economic Research

Karush Jaggi
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Opeyemi Jegede
University of North Texas Health Science Center (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Keegan Johnson
University of North Texas (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Economic Research

Verlin Joseph
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Danny Leonard
Texas A&M University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Analytics

Chelsea Lofland
University of California, Santa Cruz (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Patrick McGowan
Vanderbilt University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Business Administration

Zabiulla Mohammed
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Denys Osipenko
University of Edinburgh (UK)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Management Science

Katie Pattison
Wake Technical Community College (US)
Degree Pursuing: Certificate, Business Analyst

William Pe
University of California Berkeley (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Public Policy

Ryan Scolnik
Florida State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Biostatistics

Vijay Singh
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Christopher Yim
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (US)
Degree Pursuing: BS Statistics


In order to provide new talent for the corporate world, university and college professors need to stay ahead of the curve and be able to teach their students the latest and greatest technologies. Each year, SAS offers 10 Faculty Scholarships for professors, instructors and adjunct faculty to attend SAS Global Forum. The scholarship includes waived conference registration, pre-conference workshop and conference meals. Congratulations to this year’s SAS Faculty Scholarship Winners!

Thomas Brandenburger
Assistant Professor
South Dakota State University
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Kelcey Ellis
Instructor
University of Central Florida
Department of Statistics

Mohammad Faysel
Assistant Professor
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Department of Medical Informatics

Sharon  Jones
High School Teacher
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
Career and Technical Education

Laura Kapitula
Assistant Professor
Grand Valley State University
Department of Statistics

Subhro Mitra
Assistant Professor
University of North Texas at Dallas
School of Business

Tony Ng
Associate Professor
Southern Methodist University
Department of Statistical Science

Alan Silva
Professor
University of Brasilia
Department of Statistics

Jim Wan
Professor
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Department of Preventive Medicine

Taras Zlupko
Associate Director, Academic Research and Analytics
University of Chicago
CRSP, Booth School of Business

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Congratulations 2015 SAS Student Ambassadors!

SAS Global Forum brings thousands of SAS users together to share ideas with their peers and learn new things that SAS has to offer. Students have the opportunity to attend the conference and present their work as part of the SAS Student Ambassador Program. Each year, the SAS Global Academic Program chooses the top students who are using SAS to creatively solve problems. SAS is proud to announce the 2015 SAS Student Ambassador Winners. If you are attending SAS Global Forum, come and meet these students as they present at the annual conference.

Unable to attend SAS Global Forum? Check out the student brochure for information on the students and how they are using SAS.

Congratulations 2015 SAS Student Ambassadors!

Ashley Collinsworth
Tulane University (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Health Systems Research & Policy

Lauren Cook
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology (US)
Degree Pursuing: High School Student

Mihaela Ene
University of South Carolina (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Educational Research and Measurement

Betty Johanna Garzon Rozo
University of Edinburgh (UK)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Management Science

Ila Gokarn
Singapore Management University (SG)
Degree Pursuing: BS Information Systems

Lisa Henley
University of Canterbury (NZ)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Statistics

Gibson Ikoro
Queen Mary University of London (UK)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Computer Science

Ramcharan Kakarla
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Catherine LaChapelle
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (US)
Degree Pursuing: BS Political Science & Women's and Gender Studies

Isabel Litton
California Polytechnic State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: BS Statistics

Juan Ma
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Industrial Engineering and Management

Balamurugan Mohan
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Jun Neoh
University of Southampton (UK)
Degree Pursuing: PhD Management Science

Narmada Panneerselvam
Oklahoma State University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Management Information Systems

Deanna Schreiber-Gregory
National University (US)
Degree Pursuing: MS Health and Life Science Analytics

For more information about the SAS Global Academic Program and how we can help you develop or find SAS skills, visit the website or contact academic@sas.com.

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Preparing for Big Data Careers: Interview with Business Professor

Numerous studies and statistics point to the fact that in just a few short years the need for people with analytics skills could significantly outpace supply.

With so much talk around the analytics skills gap and the growing market for analytic talent, we wanted to highlight a variety of avenues students and learners of all ages can explore to prepare for big data jobs. This blog series features interviews with professors, department leads and other educators who are seeding the market with analytical talent and directly impacting the talent management pipeline in this area.


Dr. Dursun Delen teaches in the Department of Management Science and Information Systems in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. Prior to his academic career, Delen worked for a private company as a research scientist to develop analytics solutions for government agencies including Department of Defense, NASA, Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has published seven books and more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles on analytics-related topics. Additionally, Delen serves in editorial roles for a dozen reputable academic journals.

Why do you choose to teach with SAS?
SAS is the creator of the most powerful and most widely used analytics software tool. I want my students to develop skills in a software tool that has the best reputation in the business world so they can find well paying, exciting jobs.

What does the analytics skills gap mean to you?
We live in a business world defined by globalization and increasingly more challenging competition. Success—or mere survival—requires solving problems and taking advantage of opportunities rapidly and accurately. The key enabler of such effective and efficient decision-making capability is the analytics, which can simply be defined as using data and models to derive actionable insight. Companies are now well aware of the fact that they need analytically savvy people to add value to their organizations. The need is great and the supply is having hard time to keep up.

Realizing this gap, many universities around the U.S. and abroad have started degree programs specific to analytics both at the graduate and undergraduate level. Having a degree in analytics or a closely related field has become a significant differentiator in the job market. Coupled with hands-on experience and technical skills in SAS, my analytics students often receive multiple attractive job offers even before they graduate.

You’ve been a strong advocate for using SAS® Visual Analytics in the classroom. What advantage does this tool offer your students?
SAS Visual Analytics makes analytics approachable to less technical students across a wide variety of degree programs. It provides a visually appealing user interface to easily and rapidly query the data; create charts and graphs; and ultimately discover the insight that we all need to make faster and better decisions. The exciting part is that SAS makes this software available to professors and students for free via the Teradata University Network. I’ve been an advocate for teaching students to use SAS Visual Analytics for several years because I believe it provides them a distinct advantage in their job search.

What’s the most impactful thing you’ve done using analytics?
Analytics has been very good to me. I teach it and I practice it. The coolest thing that I did in analytics is undoubtedly the box-office success prediction project for Hollywood movies before their production. With a colleague of mine, we have worked on this project since 2001. We have published several papers, and have delivered numerous presentation at conferences and symposiums. For a short while we got famous with interviews on television and radio. In fact, I had a 15 minutes of fame on Discovery Channel talking about this very project in 2006. Students love this analytics project, because they can readily relate to it, and enjoy learning about it and developing their own analytic models.

What advice would you give students or adult learners interested in pursuing an analytics career?
They should have no doubt that with analytics knowledge and skills, they will have no problem finding a great job and having a rewarding and enjoyable career. Once called ‘geeks’, these analytically savvy individuals are now the coolest in the business world. As the authors of the popular article on Harvard Business Review called it, data scientist is the sexiest job of the 20th Century.


SAS provides a wealth of resources for teaching and learning SAS. Check out the links below to learn more:

We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences with SAS in the classroom. And check back soon for more upcoming interviews and videos on this topic.

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Preparing for Big Data Careers: Interview with Dean of Culverhouse College of Commerce

Numerous studies and statistics point to the fact that in just a few short years the need for people with analytics skills could significantly outpace supply.

With so much talk around the analytics skills gap and the growing market for analytic talent, we wanted to highlight a variety of avenues students and learners of all ages can explore to prepare for big data jobs. This blog series features interviews with professors, department leads and other educators who are seeding the market with analytical talent and directly impacting the talent management pipeline in this area.


Dr. J. Michael Hardin is Dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Professor of Statistics at The University of Alabama. First introduced to SAS as an undergraduate student, Hardin has used and taught with a wide range of SAS applications. For the past decade, he has focused on helping SAS develop corporate and academic training materials for SAS® Enterprise Miner™.

Why do you choose to teach with SAS?
My job is to equip students with skills to optimize their career options. According to Gartner Consulting Group’s annual survey, SAS Enterprise Miner has become the business analytics standard for corporate America. Although more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use SAS software, governmental agencies (including the FDA and U.S. Census Bureau) also employ Enterprise Miner. So to prepare students to add value as they work for the best employers in the world, we need to be equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need. In order to do that, we teach with SAS.

What does the analytics skills gap mean to you?
Analytics drives business today. Several years ago, Tom Davenport’s now-classic book, Competing on Analytics, outlined the competitive advantage business analytics skills could bring to every market, from health care to retail. About a year ago McKinsey and Company reported the current analytics talent gap, counting three jobs available for every person with data-driven skill sets. That gap is expected to expand, as ever-higher demand outpaces supply.

We anticipated those trends more than a decade ago. That’s why the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama established its business analytics program in 2002. That program has been a point of differentiation for our College for more than a decade. Our analytics emphasis has allowed us to recruit some of the best and brightest students in the nation. When they leave us, they are equipped to help fill those talent gaps, sometimes starting with Alabama companies, but often extending to the entire world.

What’s the most impactful thing your students have done using analytics?
One of my earliest examples is from a class I taught in 2002 or 2003. My students developed models to help the University identify which students were most likely to drop out after their freshman year. Since student retention affects college rankings and resources—and can have a devastating impact on individuals and families—that study proved so valuable that our provost implemented many of my students’ suggestions.

The next year, another group of students produced predictive models for Wise Alloys, a steel coil manufacturer in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Those students used SAS Enterprise Miner to predict which coils required post-production reworking to prevent what had become a costly pattern of customer returns. After independent testing of the students’ models proved their accuracy, Wise Alloys successfully implemented the students’ suggestions, resulting in significant savings for the firm.

What are you most excited about in the next year? In the next 5 years?
I believe the biggest impact of analytics at Culverhouse is yet to come, through our upcoming Business Analytics Lab. The creation of this lab is the next evolution in our analytics emphasis.

Lockheed Martin and Healthcare Business Solutions are among the firms so impressed with the results of our programs—our MBA Analytics concentration introduced in 2004, our popular annual Business Analytics Symposium, our STEM Path to the MBA, and the analytics integration across our entire instructional spectrum—they became sponsors of our lab.

Those companies are making significant investments so they can bring their big data problems to our student-hosted research center for “proof of concept” work. The work in this lab will fulfill our mission of not only engaging students in experiential learning and furthering faculty research, but providing new solutions to industry and the world it serves.

What advice would you give students or adult learners interested in pursuing an analytics career?
I would encourage them to explore the diversity of this field. I tell students that part of the fun of an analytics career is the opportunity to meet so many different people and learn about so many different things. I’ve watched as students brief distinguished executives, benefitting even as undergraduates from remarkable executive-level access.

Adult learners should understand that, thanks to SAS tools, they no longer need a strong math background to complete these studies. The true skills required for analytics careers center on critical thinking and the ability to ask data-driven questions. Our Executive MBA program with an analytics concentration provides excellent opportunities for managers at mid-career and beyond. That degree allows adult learners to use their acquired knowledge in new ways. They may choose to contribute next-generation expertise to their current field or use their new skills to gain access to entirely new areas of interest.


SAS provides a wealth of resources for teaching and learning SAS. Check out the links below to learn more:

We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences with SAS in the classroom. And check back soon for more upcoming interviews and videos on this topic.

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Youngest-known SAS® University Edition user sets sights on sports analytics career

ChaseRyanScienceFairBlog2015Feb_50B8317

Ryan Chase

A soccer enthusiast for most of his 11 years, Ryan Chase loves everything about the game – watching it, playing it, poring over players’ stats, applying his soccer prowess in fantasy leagues. It all started when he was much younger, watching TV games with his dad. Before long, he understood what was happening and was hooked.

“I just love looking out at the field,” said the Holly Springs Elementary fifth grader, a goalkeeper for his Wake Futbol Club team. “I can visualize the game so well.”

Using SAS University Edition to create a science fair project allowed Ryan to see his favorite sport in a whole new way – as a budding data scientist.

With encouragement from his mom, SAS Senior Marketing Director Jennifer Chase, Ryan began by gathering data online. He found World Cup and European Football League data on players, teams and game attendance.

Next, he merged, cleaned and prepped the data for analysis, finally loading it into SAS University Edition (with a little help from mom).

Video tutorials, like this one on creating bar charts in SAS Studio and this one on how to create bar-line charts, helped him display the results of his analyses. He found that the highest World Cup attendance was in 1994, when the US hosted.

But when he looked at which continent had the most attendance over time, Europe “crushed all other continents,” he said. North America was a distant second.

He also analyzed data on players’ home countries, including countries with the most high-scorers and countries with the most goals scored. The biggest surprise? “Colombia,” he said. “They have a lot of big scorers.”

Ryan_1

Making math more interesting

Ryan’s mom enjoyed seeing how the project sparked his imagination and caused him to dig deeper into the data. “When he started looking at countries that win the most, he wondered what would happen if he viewed the data by continent,” she said. “He was able to append the data to add the continents."

Ryan_2

“That’s what I loved about it. He kept asking, ‘What else can I ask of the data? What else can I learn? What if I looked at it this way?’ What was rewarding for me was to see his curiosity grow as he went along.”

She’s thrilled that the project reinforced his interest in math, his favorite school subject. “If we’re going to inspire kids to be more interested in math, we have got to make it interesting,” she said.

Ryan’s interest in math and computers is ingrained. He participated in his school’s Hour of Code event and still talks about it. Now he’s as excited about sports analytics as he was about soccer when the game first captured his attention.

Crunching data for SportsCenter sounds like his ideal job, he said. “I think I’d like to have a career in data analysis – making graphs, looking at standings, predicting what team might win the World Cup.”

Ryan_3

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Be like Ryan

Download SAS University Edition for free and lay a foundation for a recession-proof skill set! Free online tutorials make it easy to get up to speed, and helpful fellow users in the SAS Analytics U Community provide great installation and usage tips.

Ryan_soccer

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Preparing for Big Data Careers: Interview with Statistics Professor Alan Elliott, Southern Methodist University

Numerous studies and statistics point to the fact that in just a few short years the need for people with analytics skills could significantly outpace supply.

With so much talk around the analytics skills gap and the growing market for analytic talent, we wanted to highlight a variety of avenues students and learners of all ages can explore to prepare for big data careers. This blog series features interviews with professors, department leads and other educators who are seeding the market with analytical talent and directly impacting the talent management pipeline in this area.


Alan Elliott is director of the Statistical Consulting Center in the Department of Statistical Science at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He was first introduced to SAS as a graduate student, and has taught courses using SAS for more than 20 years. Alan’s second edition book SAS Essentials: Mastering SAS for Data Analytics, Second Edition is scheduled for release later this year from John Wiley & Sons.

Why do you choose to teach with SAS?
In preparing practicing statisticians for the workplace, we find that knowledge of SAS and experience using it in real-world consulting projects is a real advantage in their job hunt, as well as in their career.

You’ve been teaching SAS in the classroom for more than 20 years. What changes have you seen during that time?
When I first started, I was at a medical school. Mostly I was teaching short-term, informal courses to researchers who wanted to use SAS. They were applied courses on how to do PROCS related to medical research. That went on for the first 10 years I taught. Then we began a master’s program in clinical science preparing MDs and PhDs in the medical field to do research and the courses started including more detailed programming topics centering mostly on the DATA step.

Now I’m at SMU teaching in the Applied Master’s in Statistics and Data Analytics program. I teach two three-hour courses in the master’s program. The first course covers SAS basics, preparing students for the Base SAS exam, which we encourage them to take after course. And I also teach an advanced course that prepares the students for the SAS® Certified Advanced Programmer test. Most of my current students are getting a master’s or PhD in our Statistical Science department, but we also have a number of students in economics, education, psychology and a lot of disciplines at the university beyond our department.

How do you think students benefit from learning about analytics and SAS?
The prospect of good jobs in this area is a major influencer in terms of pursuing a data analytics degree. Our grad students go into banking, pharmaceutical, medical research, and a wide variety of careers. We also try to locate summer internships for our students. We’ve had students work for Fortune 500 companies in food technology research and development, insurance, business forecasting, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, banking and health, and medical research.

What advice would you give students or adult learners interested in pursuing an analytics career?
First, they need to understand the statistical reasoning behind data analytics, and then learn SAS to implement this knowledge. In the data analytics master’s program at SMU, students need to know not just how you run PROC LOGISTIC, but why you run it. We try to pay attention to assumptions underlying why you use certain procedures, and go behind the scenes to help students understand the background and theory about why these data analytics tools work.


SAS provides a wealth of resources for teaching and learning SAS. Check out the links below to learn more:

We'd love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences with SAS in the classroom. And check back soon for more upcoming interviews and videos on this topic.

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Analytics careers are HOT, HOT, HOT

Now that that song is stuck in your head, let’s understand why analytics careers are so HOT. First, a few years ago you may recall the Harvard Business Review article by Thomas Davenport, Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. Then there was a recent McKinsey study that predicts by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions. So, it no wonder that in LinkedIn’s recent article The 25 Hottest Skills That Got People Hired in 2014, statistical analysis and data mining was #1 on the list.

The Benefits of a Career in Analytics

The Benefits of an Analytics Career (click to enlarge)

So, it is a great time for statisticians and data scientists who have that deep analytical knowledge to analyze big data. As these skills are HOT, organizations that need analytical talent are paying to get that talent pool. Looking at Glassdoor, average salaries for statisticians are $75K and data scientists are $118K. Now the bigger question, how to find this analytical talent and in particular data scientists? A fellow SAS blogger, Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, shares 10 tips on doing just that in her blogs, Missing unicorns - 10 tips on finding data scientists.

Universities have started to fill the need by creating masters programs to fill the skills gap and SAS has helped. Let me tell you about a few. In 2002, University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce became one of the first business schools to offer an analytics specialization. Recently, they have set up a new Business Analytics Lab. In the Lab, they are tackling real-world business challenges and students are gaining highly marketable analytical skills using the latest SAS® data visualization technologies. In the fall of 2013, LSU graduated its first class in its new Master of Science in Analytics degree with nearly all of the 16 students receiving job offers before graduation and averaging two job offers per student. Another such program is North Carolina State University with their Master of Science in Analytics program. According to their infographic on the program, students have had 90 percent job placement by graduation for seven consecutive years since 2007.

As the leader in the advanced analytics market, at SAS we are also doing our part. Last year we announced SAS Analytics U, a comprehensive global program that offers professors, students, academic researchers and independent learners access to free SAS software; helpful resources to install, learn and use SAS; free online classes; and an interactive, online SAS Analytics U Community.

SAS hopes to equip students and learners of all ages with the analytic skills highly sought by today’s employers. By making SAS software and resources available for free globally, we hope to seed the market with analytical talent. We want to make SAS readily available to professors, instructors, students and researchers in an academic setting so students can attain the skills needed to graduate and have a career in an analytical field. We also want to help independent learners who are not in an academic setting but who want to learn SAS to attain skills for their current job or to find new employment. Lastly, we want to assist our own customers in defining their organization’s talent management strategy for finding and hiring analytical talent.

So, whether you are a student, professor, independent leaner, or organization there are lots of options and opportunities for getting involved in analytics. What pathway will you take?

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You + a SAS Internship = Summer of Fun, Meaningful Work

GeekGirlIt’s February and you’re up to your eyeballs in papers, projects and all the other detritus associated with earning a degree. But spring’s closer than you think, followed by summer. How will you spend it?

How about an internship that offers interesting, challenging work and insight into a great company? Sound appealing? The SAS Summer Intern Program might be for you.

Our internships are typically a 10- to 12-week, full-time, paid experience in which you work on real-world projects that help you get higher mileage from your classroom education. Along with work projects, you get to network with fellow students and experts in your field. You also get immersed in SAS’ award-winning culture.

Who should apply?

Most interns are in technical roles throughout research and development, information technology, or our JMP and SAS Solutions OnDemand business units. They’re students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, analytics, statistics or mathematics.

We’re particularly interested in candidates who are familiar with statistics and analytics and can program in C, C++, Java and HTML.

Nontechnical internships will be available in marketing, sales and legal. Requirements and desired degrees vary from business to scenic arts. For all internships, we look for community involvement, leadership, extracurricular activity and academic excellence.

How do you apply?

Because we want top talent and the best fit for the job, it’s a competitive process. To ensure you get an equal opportunity to be considered, complete the mandatory application process.

Technical interns can apply at SAS Technical Summer Intern – Undergrad or SAS Technical Summer Intern – Master’s Degree.

Nontechnical internship positions are posted on the SAS Careers Page as they become available, which will be over the next several weeks.

When do you apply?

Now! We’ll interview and make offers until all openings are filled.

When do SAS internships start?

Interns will start on May 19 or June 2 and will work for 10-12 weeks based on their summer break duration.

Are there other opportunities to learn SAS®?

Yes! Check out SAS Analytics U, and get started with free access to basic analytics and statistics. Free video tutorials teach the basics of SAS programming and statistical analysis. And there’s even an interactive online community to find forums and software support.

Learn SAS for free and gain a recession-proof skill that makes you marketable no matter what!

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SAS Certification is ‘cool’ at Cary High

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From left – Christian Henshaw, Lucas Molander, Tia Holmes, Erika Christiana, Kim Hoff

If the words from the 1986 hit song, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades” are true, then these students should be rocking some super dark lenses.

This year, a group of students at Cary High School (a public school near SAS headquarters in North Carolina) are preparing to take the SAS Base Programming Certification exam after one of their classmates passed the exam last year.

That certification trailblazer is senior Lucas Molander, who was wearing a bright green shirt that read “Geek” when I met him at the school for the interview.

He discovered his passion for big data during a Programming 1 class during his junior year. When his teacher, Patrick Stone, mentioned going for a SAS Certification, Molander was the only student up for the challenge.

“I wanted to make Mr. Stone proud,” said Molander. “But it was also a goal I wanted for myself.”

He said the key to his success was reading the SAS Certification Prep Guide from start to finish. Now that he’s certified, he’s hoping it will land him an internship at SAS and, in the future, a high-paying job at a big company – after college, of course.

Getting SAS Certified has now become a challenge for students enrolled in SAS Programming 1 at Cary High. This year, four other SAS Programming 1 students, Erika Christiana, Kim Hoff, Tia Holmes and Christian Henshaw, all seniors, are studying for the certification exam.

Hoff and Henshaw both have parents that work at SAS, so you could say the programming bug is in their genes.

“I enjoy everything about computers,” said Henshaw. “I know learning these skills will open up a lot of opportunities for me after high school.”

The students didn’t seem to be intimidated by the idea of the comprehensive, two-hour exam -- or the fact that they also have SATs, ACTs, homework and prom on their plates. “I feel like nothing is hard if you put your mind to it,” said Hoff.

Stone isn’t surprised that his students are taking his class to the next level.

“The best students are always drawn to this Programming 1 class,” he said. “But I don’t sugar coat it for them. It’s a professional-level certification, and I make sure the kids know that.”

Stone said SAS makes it easy for him to teach the course, by providing the software, learning materials and even some SAS swag for the students at no cost to the school.

SAS Global Certification Manager Terry Barham said it’s somewhat rare to have high school students taking the exams, but he’s seen a few other students pass it. He attributes the new trend to schools like Cary High and the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte, NC, for providing in-depth training to younger students.

“A few years ago, it was unheard of for a high school student to even attempt the SAS Base Programming exam,” said Barham. “What is so impressive is that they take the same exam as everyone else – there is no simplified version for high school students.”

The students at Cary High are planning to take the certification exam sometime in the spring. Whether or not they pass, it’s clear to see they all have a bright future ahead.

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Learn how to incorporate the Analytics Shootout into your classroom

analyticssshootoutLooking to learn more about the Analytics Shootout Competition? Join SAS and the Institute for Health and Business Insight on Dec. 10 for an information session on next year’s competition.

The Analytics Shootout is an annual competition where teams of students have an opportunity to solve a real-world advanced analytics problem. Teams are given a hypothetical, but common problem to solve and a collection of real datasets that can be used to solve the tasks presented.

Now in its eighth year, the Analytics Shootout is a great classroom tool that can be used to help students put their modeling skills to the test, gain valuable experience, and earn recognition for their work.

Next year’s problem will be released in early January. Make time to attend this short information session to learn more.

Topics included in the WebEx session include:

  • Overview of the competition
  • Components of the problem including the data and types of analysis required
  • How to incorporate the Analytics Shootout into the classroom
  • Competition rules and timeline

WebEx Details
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 10
Time: 2 p.m. EST

To Join the WebEx:
Click on this link
1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Meeting number: 734 445 646
Meeting password: info

Watch this short video to hear from a group of finalists from Oklahoma State University that competed in last year's Analytics Shootout.

 

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