What’s new for SAS Global Forum 2016


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Hello, I’m Jennifer Waller, your SAS Global Forum 2016 conference chair. This is the first of several blogs I’ll be writing to help keep you informed about the conference and ways you can get involved.

Because of my background in education, I’m especially excited about a new initiative at this year’s conference that showcases the next generation of analytics professionals.

The SAS® Student Symposium is a program designed to add to the great content that will be presented by users and SAS at the conference April 19-21, 2016 held at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV.

About the SAS® Student Symposium

The SAS® Student Symposium, an initiative of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board (SGUGEB) and SAS, is a competition where teams of 2-4 students and a faculty mentor work together to submit a paper to SAS Global Forum 2016 that answers a question of their choice on one of the provided publicly available “big data” sets using SAS analytics.

The goal of the symposium is to provide an outreach program for university students to enhance their SAS skills, increase their understanding of SAS products and solutions to solve real world problems, and develop a peer network of SAS users from other universities that use SAS for mutual benefit. The symposium will enhance the Student Ambassador and Student Scholarship programs that provide other avenues for students to attend SAS Global Forum and learn from other users and SAS experts.

Working together with SAS, the SGUGEB has been able to create a cloud-based solution where no less than 12 “big” publicly available data sets will be housed and each student team will have access to the data and a comprehensive set of SAS software products for the competition. Teams will define a problem, execute the appropriate analyses using SAS software and submit a paper that defines the problem, describes the analysis performed and presents the results in such a manner as to be of use in industry, government, or education.

How to register for the SAS® Student Symposium

Registration for the SAS® Student Symposium will be open from August 24 – October. Software and data will be provided to the teams from August 24 – October 31. So students, get your teams ready.

The team submissions will be evaluated by a panel of independent analytical professionals from the SAS User community and 8 semi-finalist teams will be selected to attend SAS Global Forum 2016 and present their project in an oral 20-minute session for the final competition.  First, second and third place winning teams will be announced during the last General Session on Thursday at the conference.  Learn more about the SAS® Student Symposium at www.sasglobalforum.com.

How the SAS® Student Symposium benefits the analytics community

While attending the conference, the SAS® Student Symposium will provide a great opportunity for industry leaders, government employees, and educators to see the imagination, innovation and creativity of students who will be soon joining the workforce.  Each day we, as SAS users in our chosen fields, are asked to open the envelope just a little bit more for the projects we work on and provide a faster, better, and cleaner solution.  SAS Global Forum provides the opportunity to see some truly innovative uses of SAS by users and SAS employees alike.  Time and again, students provide these elegant SAS solutions and I am awed by their abilities.

Join me at SAS Global Forum 2016 (conference registration is open now) to learn just how imaginative, innovative and creative these students are.

Here’s my interview with Inside Analytics host, Anna Brown, where I explain what else I’m looking forward to at next year's conference.



About Author

Jennifer Waller

2016 SAS Global Forum Conference Chair

Jennifer Waller obtained a PhD in Biostatistics from the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in 1994. She is a Professor and Director of the Research Support Center in the Division of Biostatistics & Data Science, Department of Population Health Sciences at Augusta University where she has worked since 1997 teaching, consulting and doing collaborative research. Jennifer has presented at SESUG and SAS Global Forum for a number of years and served on the Executive Council for SESUG from 2007-2013 and the Executive Board for SAS Global Users Group since 2013. She was the Conference Co-Chair for SESUG in 2008 and the Conference Chair for SAS Global Forum 2016. She has used SAS since 1989.


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