SAS honors educators and students for excellence in analytics and data science 

At SAS Global Forum 2021, educators and students were honored for excellence in analytics and data science

The demand for people with analytics and data science skills continues to outpace supply – and SAS skills are among the most prized. Through programs such as the new  SAS Academic Specialization, the company is building a sustainable pool of data science and analytics talent 

At the virtual SAS Global Forum 2021, the company recognized the educators and students who are teaching, learning and using SAS in innovative ways. SAS supports several academic award programs for students and educators participating in the virtual forum. 

SAS named three regional winners of the Distinguished SAS Educator Award. This award recognizes an educator who has made significant contributions to advancing analytics education and preparing students for careers in analytics and data science. The winners are:

  • Americas: Dr. Chong Ho (Alex) Yu, Professor, Azusa Pacific University 
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa: DrAnca Ioana Andreescu, Professor, Bucharest University of Economic Studies 
  • Asia-Pacific: Dr. Angela Lee, Associate Professor, Sunway University 

The Emerging SAS Educator Award honors an educator who has shown exemplary progress in advancing analytics education and preparing students for careers in analytics and data science. Their efforts and impact in the field and engagement with SAS have spanned five or fewer years. 

  • Americas: Dr. Na Sui, Professor, Humber College 
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa: Dr. Humphrey Brydon, Senior Lecturer, University of the Western Cape 
  • Asia-PacificDr. Sitalakshmi (Sita) Venkatraman, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Polytechnic 

For the second year, SAS presented the HBCU Educators award. Recipients were selected based on their contributions to and interest in expanding analytics education at their institution. This year’s winner was: 

  • Dr. Ephrem Eyob, Professor, Virginia State University 

The SAS Global Forum Student Symposiumcompetition is an opportunity for teams of postsecondary students and a faculty advisor to showcase their skills and compete with other teams in the application of SAS Analytics in big data.  

Check out the presentations for the 8 finalists in the Student Symposium competition here. 

It was a clean sweep of the top three spots by Oklahoma State University, home to a strong analytics program and a perennial presence at SAS Global Forum.  

  • First place went to Team SASquatch, who explored publicly available demographic and infection rate data to understand the variables that most impact job loss during the pandemic and to predict the likelihood of losing one's job. Their logistical regression model can be used as a resource for predicting geographic regions that are likely to experience increased levels in job loss based off the demographics of that region. Team members were Hannah Perz, Maryam Taherirani, Sean Everett and Trinh Phan. 
  • Second place went to Team Data Garage, who analyzed the results of a Pew Research report, Americans' Mistrust in Scientific Experts. Using predictive models, the team was able to predict an individual’s level of trust in a scientific expert of a certain category, based on their survey responses. Team members were Jaswinder Singh, Kalyan Kumar Alisetty, Taylor Rebollar and Vinil Rayala. 
  • In third place, Team Path Finders analyzed data from the US government’s College Scorecard, an online tool to help students evaluate higher education options and student loan options. The team used SAS to analyze Scorecard data to provide further insight into student outcomes and the variables that impact individuals' abilities to repay student loans. Team members were Sam Edison, Akhil Emani, Nithisha Katta and Rushya Puttam. 

Award winners for both faculty and student awards received a combination of access to the SAS Academy for Data Science, and vouchers for SAScertificationexams and training courses. 

Winners were announced this week at SAS Global Forum, the world's premier analytics conference. 


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Trent Smith

Trent handles government and education communications for SAS. Opinions shared are his own...or someone else's...he's not much for original thought. But they definitely don't represent SAS.

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