~ Contributed by Warren F. Kuhfeld, Sr Manager, R&D, SAS ~
I love the classic Beatles song, A Day in the Life, and the line: “Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.” I am a member of the SAS/STAT development team, and this is a day in my life. After I wake up and fall out of bed, my typical day begins in the state park a few hundred yards from SAS where I go for a run or bike ride before heading to the SAS onsite gym and fitness center to shower, drag a comb across my head, and get ready for work. I will spend time today working on one of the over a dozen SAS procedures that I support in whole or in part. My areas include linear and multivariate models, principal components, marketing research, and many others. I produce software that automatically fits curves to data (see Figure 1) and produces heat maps (see Figure 2). I make it easy to customize the Kaplan-Meier plot used in survival analysis (see Figure 3). I develop new output styles that control the appearance of tables and graphs in SAS output (see Figure 4). I sometimes travel to meet with customers and present a tutorial on ODS Graphics and other topics. Look for me this year at SAS Global Forum, PharmaSUG, and the Joint Statistical Meetings.
Figure 1: Penalized B-Splines with PROC SGPLOT
Figure 2: Heat Map with PROC REG
Figure 3: Kaplan-Meier Plot with PROC LIFETEST
Figure 4: Finite Mixture Model with HtmlBlue Style
I develop SAS macros for the design of experiments and marketing research and the world’s largest orthogonal array catalog. These tools enable researchers in areas like marketing, medicine, agriculture, transportation, and the environment to answer questions like how consumers choose products and services and how patients choose medical treatment options.
As a senior developer and manager with over a quarter century of experience, I evaluate and ensure accuracy and consistency in our tabular output, graphs, and documentation and assist our younger team members. We recently made part of our documentation system available to enable our users to create PDF documents with reproducible results. This process is detailed in a SAS Global Forum paper. My team members have produced two new procedures for the SAS 12.1 release including PROC ADAPTIVEREG, which fits models with multivariate adaptive regression splines and PROC QUANTSELECT, which fits quantile regression models with variable selection.
When you are a statistician at SAS, each day brings new challenges. I have been able to work in many distinct areas over the years, and that has been rewarding. I am one of dozens of statisticians and thousands of developers who contribute to the hundreds of products that SAS provides. Each of us provides a unique set of talents to our work on SAS software. It is great to work with such a talented and diverse group of people. Since SAS is always providing you with new tools and solutions, no two days in the life are the same for any of us.