What drives a student to write posters and papers for SAS conferences?


Meeting students and learning about all the interesting research and ways they are using SAS in their education is one of my favorite things about attending conferences.  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending time with more than 40 student poster presenters at Analytics 2012.  It's always fun to hear about how they came up with their poster topics and what they plan to do next.  This week we have Mantosh Kumar Sarkar as our student guest blogger.  Mantosh was one of the poster presenters at the conference and in his blog he shares what led him to conduct his research, his experience at the conference, and why he and other students are motivated to present at SAS conferences.

Mantosh Sarkar

Mantosh Kumar Sarkar, Analytics 2012 Poster Presenter

I feel very fortunate to have been part of SAS’ Analytics 2012 Conference in Las Vegas. The conference was very informative and offered some great opportunities. Two things that immediately come to mind are the keynote addresses and the super-demos.  As a graduate student, I found these to be thought-provoking and relevant to my interests. I am a graduate research assistant at Oklahoma State University and am working towards a Master of Science in Management Information Systems. My research interests involve predictive modeling and text mining.

One of my reasons for attending Analytics 2012 was to present my research.  I presented two posters at the conference. One of them was SAS® Sentiment Analysis Studio and SAS® Enterprise Text Miner Help Uncover Customer Sentiments and Preferences. This paper identified the major complaints and concerns of professional drivers. While I was working as a Loyalty Intern (Marketing) at Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, OKC  I developed a genuine appreciation and admiration for the individuals and job role of being a professional driver. The fact that these people drive continuously for weeks and visit their loved one’s once a week sounds very tough.

Travel stops in many ways are like their second home where they come to relax, take showers and refill their stocks. For this reason, it becomes very important for travel stops to understand and make sure they meet the needs and expectations of these professional drivers.  This was what led me to conduct research regarding driver sentiment for conditions at travel stops.

After mining through 5000+ comments from these professional drivers (Data from a Retail and energy company) , I found that some of the major complaints these drivers have are dirty shower rooms, trash all over the parking lot, and parking lots being too small. These may sound like common issues, but to professional drivers, these things matter given the role travel stops play in their lives.

I talked with many people during the conference.  I told them about my research and how I became interested in this topic. I also  talked about my future career aspirations.  One very interesting question posed to me was “what drives a student to write posters and papers for SAS conferences?”

Generally speaking, presenting posters and papers are part of the learning process. Many students tend to present at purely academic focused conferences, but for me, someone who wants to work in industry, conferences like Analytics 2012 do a great job of helping students who want to pursue those types of careers. It provides a platform where students can showcase their talents and meet intellectuals from major technology firms.

I feel like Analytics 2012 is a place where students like me can tell their story, share their work and make a contribution to society. If you would like to see my complete poster presentation, it is available online in the conference poster proceedings.

Thanks for sharing Mantosh!  If you are a student researcher looking for an opportunity to present your research at a conference, check out the SAS Student Ambassdor Program. Submit your paper to SAS Global Forum (deadline is November 19, 2012) and complete a SAS Student Ambassador application for your chance to receive a conference scholarship to attend and present your research at SAS Global Forum 2013.  For more information or if you have questions, contact studentprograms@sas.com.


About Author

Julie Petlick

SAS Student Programs Manager

Julie Petlick works in the SAS Education Division as part of the Global Academic Program team. Julie is responsible for the SAS Student Program and is dedicated to supporting teaching and learning.

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  1. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for sharing the posters from Analytics 2012.

    Is there way to get the papers presented at Analytics 2012. Also data from the data mining shootout compotetion.



    • Julie Petlick

      Hi Amit,
      The papers are located on the USB drives that were included in the conference bags. For those who were unable to attend the conference, the presentations will be made available on the conference website in the coming weeks.

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