When spontaneous applause broke out during Dr. Jim Goodnight's presentation at the opening session of SAS Global Forum 2014, I was one of the people cheering the loudest.
The SAS CEO had just announced free software for students and professors at universities around the world. The SAS University Edition will provide access to several core SAS products, including Base SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/ACCESS for PC File Formats, and SAS/IML software.
This academic program is called SAS Analytics U. Not only does it include free access to software and a programming environment that runs in Web browsers, but SAS has also set up a virtual community for the academic users, called the SAS Analytics U Online Community.
Why did I cheer so loudly?
- I am passionate about education, and the free SAS University Edition will enable students and adult learners to develop mathematical and computational skills for analyzing data.
- I am passionate about online communities that bring SAS users together. The SAS Analytics U Online Community provides a site where faculty and students can interact, share best practices, and ask and answer programming questions.
- I am passionate about SAS/IML software. Students can use matrix computations to implement formulas and algorithms that are found in textbooks. Professors and advanced students will be able to compute statistics that extend the capabilities of SAS software. Adult learners can study an advanced programming language that might not be available at their workplace.
There is an old proverb:
Tell me, I’ll forget.
Show me, I’ll remember.
Involve me, I’ll understand.
At SAS Global Forum 2014, Dr. Goodnight told people about SAS Analytics U and the availability of SAS/IML software. In my blog, I show people how to program in the SAS/IML language. The SAS University Edition will involve students in learning data analysis and programming.
As the proverb says, involve them and they will understand. Well done, SAS! Here comes the next generation of SAS/IML programmers.