For those of you who are classic rock fans, you may remember Alice Cooper’s title track “School’s Out for Summer” on the album “School’s Out.” That song captures students’ excitement of a taking a hiatus from the classroom. But for professors, summer is a time to continue their own education and gear up for the next semester.
As I mentioned in my last blog, SAS is doing its part to address this need through a multi-pronged educational approach - including our latest Analytics U initiative, to bring SAS analytics into the hands of students, professors, and researchers. As part of that program, we are committed to not only provide free software, but also offer free summer workshops to help professors integrate the latest analytical techniques into their curricula.
Higher education connections
SAS has a long history with the academic community, starting as a project at North Carolina State University in the 1960s. So because of our roots, we understand the important role universities have in establishing the vital foundation of knowledge and experiences valued in today’s information economy. That’s why we are doing everything we can to facilitate the transfer of analytics knowledge in formats that make it as easy and headache-free as possible to professors.
Free data mining training for professors
Just a couple of weeks ago, we hosted a data mining workshop for a 110 professors from across the US. It was the biggest turnout in the 12-year history of this event. Our goal was to provide focused training on technology that they could quickly incorporate into their classes. We were extremely delighted with the turnout from more than 110 professors across the US at our Cary headquarters.
As is depicted in the video below, I am encouraged from the feedback we received from some of the attendees. I want to share a couple of them.
Frank Alt, Professor at University of Maryland at College Park, said, “For me to teach my students, I have to be on the cutting edge. SAS is putting me right on that frontier. I feel privileged to be here and take advantage of what SAS is offering.”
And recent feedback from Philip Ramsey, a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Hampshire expressed the following, “I am writing to you to thank all of you and the SAS Institute for holding this event and to let you know that I found the workshop outstanding … My only complaint is that I wish the class had been 5 days instead of 3. For me personally the class was great fun and very educational.”
This feedback tells me that we are moving in the right direction to give professors the tools they need to integrate analytics training into their curricula. Their enthusiasm for analytics is exactly what we want to see transferred to their students.
Our long-term commitment to education
I’m also very proud of our collaborative efforts to build a strong contingent of analytics-savvy college graduates. We are serious about continuing to improve our outreach and stand by our pledge to work closely with academics to produce a robust pipeline of graduates who understand the value of analytics and are unafraid to apply it. I’m constantly encouraging our SAS employees to spread the word about our educational efforts.
I also want to ask those of you in the academic community to keep us informed of your needs and how we can support your efforts further. Together, our collaboration has limitless potential to produce a SAS army ready to conquer the data challenges ahead.