SAS Academic Reception Preview

Okay, well, I lied (sort of). I have no idea what will happen at the SAS Academic Reception tomorrow except that it will be from 2-4 pm and I will be there. Also, there is a panel where people (including me) will be answering questions from the audience about how they use SAS in teaching.

Also, there is usually free food, so if you are at SAS Global Forum, you should come, especially if you are a graduate student because
a> You may learn something useful to your future academic career,
b> If you are a graduate student, you are probably broke and hey, free food.

My notes on things I want to mention ¬†….

SAS web editor
Can run on any device (almost) – windows, pc , ipad
tip: can use your phone as a personal hotspot if you only have the wifi enabled ipad.
can upload SAS files into the project directory with just the upload
can also upload excel files (I think you need to code the PROC IMPORT )

Much faster than the enterprise guide version & doesn’t require Windows

Can run enterprise guide on the mac but need to use bootcamp, not a virtual machine (unless it has changed since the last time I tried it)

Advantage of Enterprise Guide – process flow gives visual representation of logic of project.

MAJOR (dis)advantage is no need to learn programming
Tasks with specified roles for dependent variable, independent, nesting etc. is helpful in teaching statistics

for both the web editor and enterprise guide i extend class time by making movies of how to install (in the case of EG) and how to use the products for specific assignments. This gets around problems of slow wireless in the building or even uncertainty of wireless availability

Originally began making videos available on-line before and after class at the request of two students for whom English was a second language but since then many other students have downloaded the videos and now I just do it as a matter of course.

SAS has a lot of instructor material available. Unlike much documentation which is only read as a last resort, I HIGHLY recommend that you read theirs.

With all of these positives being said, I have two points to add, one plus and one minus

Using SAS whether it is in a wired desktop computer lab or on an iPad with a personal hotspot from your iPhone takes prep time and quite a bit of it. If I was teaching statistics along with three other completely different courses, I don’t think I would have time for it.

I strongly recommend if you are planning on using SAS with your class (& I recommend it) that you start in the summer. Decide what problems you want to do to and run the solutions (I had a teaching assistant for this). If using open data, which I also recommend, select the data sets you want, then clean up the data and create a code book (I had a teaching assistant for some of this as well)

It’s fabulous when your students have their own interests and want to do a project that is original research – but that usually means you are going to help them find, download, clean and upload the data.

The plus you may not considered is using SAS in teaching even when you are not teaching statistics, or when your students are not quite to the point of doing programming themselves. I get asked from time to time to speak at elementary and middle schools on what statisticians do, on statistics in general, and SAS is great for producing graphs and tables matched with the interests of the students in the classes. Sometimes, I have them send me questions ahead of time and show up with the answers

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