Rick Wicklin has SASonality


In the few months before SAS Global Forum 2011, I'd like to introduce you to as many special SAS personalities as possible. As you probably know, I've labeled their special character, SASonality. In today's post, I'm introducing you to Rick Wicklin. Rick and I have never met face-to-face, but I feel that I know him through the engaging voice of his e-mails and blog. I asked Rick to answer a few questions that will give us all a better look at who he is.

He was happy to answer.

  1. Who is Rick Wicklin? What is a research statistician developer, how long have you been doing it and why do you do it?

I am part of the Research and Development group in the Advanced Analytics division at SAS. My areas of expertise include computational statistics, statistical graphics, and modern methods in data analysis.

I started at SAS in 1997. Since March 2009, my primary focus has been to extend the statistical and data analytic capabilities of the IML procedure. Other responsibilities include:

    • Supporting the graphics and analysis in SAS/IML® Studio.


    • Writing and presenting papers about SAS/IML software.


    • Writing and updating three volumes of documentation about SAS/IML software.

Outside of business hours, I write a blog about SAS/IML software (The Do Loop), and I recently published a book titled Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software.

  1. That sounds like a lot of writing.

It is, and I enjoy writing words. However, what really excites me is writing programs. My blog and my book both describe how to use SAS/IML software to write efficient programs.

  1. Who are you when you are not at SAS?

Outside of SAS, you can often find me practicing or performing with either of two choirs. One of these, a show choir called Vocalmotion, is sponsored by SAS. It's like Glee for adults!

  1. Will you be attending SAS Global Forum 2011? If so, what will you be presenting? How many SUGI/SGFs have you attended?

Absolutely, I'll be there! I'll be giving a new short course titled "Data Simulation for Evaluating Statistical Methods in SAS Software," which is about generating data that have certain known statistical properties. This will be my seventh SAS Global Forum.

  1. What is the most interesting SAS project that you have ever worked on?

In 2009, my colleague Robert Allison and I used SAS software to analyze 123 million domestic flights over a 21-year period to determine factors that affect the on-time performance of airlines. I created a poster that summarized our results and presented it at JSM 2009. The poster was awarded first place. The analysis led to several published papers, including the paper I presented at SAS Global Forum 2010.

  1. What do you read to keep you on your toes?

Because I am the primary statistician for SAS/IML software, I have to keep up with many areas of applied mathematics, including programming techniques, statistical graphics, matrix computations and research-level statistics. During a recent cross-country flight to San Diego, I read several articles about simulating correlated multivariate random vectors. I plan to incorporate some of those ideas into my SAS Global Forum presentation. I am also reading SAS for Monte Carlo Studies and Statistics in the 21st Century.

  1. What do you read or watch for enjoyment?

I love to read fantasy and science fiction novels. I am currently reading my 97th Star Wars novel!

I'm looking forward to meeting Rick in person while I'm in Las Vegas. Those are all of the questions that I could think of to ask; do you have others that you'd like for him to answer?

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About Author

Waynette Tubbs

Editor, Marketing Editorial

Waynette Tubbs is a seasoned technology journalist specializing in interviewing and writing about how leaders leverage advanced and emerging analytical technologies to transform their B2B and B2C organizations. In her current role, she works closely with global marketing organizations to generate content about artificial intelligence (AI), generative AI, intelligent automation, cybersecurity, data management, and marketing automation. Waynette has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from UNC Chapel Hill.

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  1. Pingback: Who are the SAS® Rock Stars? - SAS Users Groups

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