SAS Rock Stars

3月 232011
 

I believe I would have interviewed AnnMaria De Mars even if you hadn't sent me scads of e-mails and tweets suggesting her as a perfect candidate for the SAS Rock Stars series. I "met" AnnMaria when I started looking for SAS users on Twitter – nearly three years ago while preparing for my first SAS Global Forum conference. I was a newbie at SAS back then. My real introduction to AnnMaria was through her blog. After you've read it, you'll see why so many people who care nothing about statistics read AnnMaria's blog – it's because of her gift for storytelling and knack for cutting through life's pettiness.


For today’s interview, I’ve caught up with Dr. De Mars as she waits in her Las Vegas hotel room to watch her daughter fight. Among AnnMaria’s many accomplishments, she is a former gold medalist in the World Judo Championship. Now, she has the good fortune to see that passion in her third daughter, a professional fighter in mixed martial arts.



  1. I usually get to know SAS users as professionals first, by what they do. So, who is AnnMaria? Tell me about your formal role using SAS – teaching and consulting.
    Until a few months ago, I was the Senior Statistical Consultant at USC – teaching SAS workshops to faculty, staff and graduate students, writing SAS documentation and providing individual consulting. For the past 25 years, I have been the partner or sole proprietor of one consulting company or another. Currently, I am the President and owner of The Julia Group, a consulting company specializing in statistical consulting, program evaluation and SAS programming. Right now, I am finishing the report on the beneficiary satisfaction survey for Ticket to Work, a work incentive program of the Social Security Administration.


  2. How do you use SAS at The Julia Group?
    As a contractor group, we do a lot of survey analysis using the SURVEYSELECT PROC to select samples and analyze data. We also do a lot of statistical analysis, both for surveys and program evaluations. Analysis of covariance, repeated measures analysis of variance and MANOVA are probably the most frequent techniques for testing whether there are differences between treatment and control covarying for any pre-existing differences, comparing experimental and control group differences on pre-test and post-test or comparing groups for differences on multiple variables. We also do a lot of logistic regression – trying to predict which student will pass, which patient will survive or other categorical outcomes. Data visualization with SAS is also a common usage. We use SAS to present data in a meaningful way to people; we use both SAS/GRAPH® and JMP® for that. 


  3. How long have you been using SAS® Enterprise Guide®? Some SAS users say they like the feeling of Base SAS better. Why did you start using SAS Enterprise Guide?
    I started using SAS when I was pregnant with my first child, so it has been more than 28 years. I started using SAS Enterprise Guide – I believe at version 1 – many years ago. It was so slow, I decided it was a piece of junk and didn’t touch it again until three years ago, when I was at USC. I thought I should at least try everything that the university licensed and make recommendations as to what should be installed everywhere, what should be discontinued and what should continue at the current level of support. The speed had improved dramatically, as had the usability. I still use SAS Enterprise Guide almost as often as I use SAS, though not as much. That probably sounds contradictory. I might use SAS Enterprise Guide to create a graph, and see what it looks like or create a summary table. Or, I might use the characterize data task to get a quick look at the data quality.


  4. Now, can you tell us a little about your social side? I love your blog, and I know many of my colleagues and Twitter friends do, too. How long ago did you start blogging, and what was the impetus?  
    I started blogging because, when I was working for a large organization, I was told by the person in charge of the website that my pages on statistics and statistical software were too informal and too controversial. I was advised that our organization only had one voice and one personality and that was the Chief Information Officer. I was told, "If you want to have your own voice, why don't you start a blog or something! You either need to do that or learn to be like everyone else!"

    I thought it would be a lot easier for me to start a blog than to learn to be like everyone else. This is actually the third blog I have started. The first was for judo, when I was Director of Development for one of the national organizations. I still write that one, too, and I think when some of the people who read my judo blog find and follow me on Twitter as @annmariastat they are probably disappointed there is not much discussion of how to armbar an opponent into submission.


  5. Many readers will not have met you in person, but I have. You are a tiny woman, but I know better than to spar with you. Why did you take up martial arts and how has that impacted your life?
    I was a short, fat kid with thick glasses who sat inside, ate and read books all day. My mom managed to get a YMCA membership one year, drove me to the Y, opened the car door, pushed me out and said, "Go join something." In those pre-Title IX days, few sports accepted girls, but the judo instructor had a sister who had wanted to join. By the time I came along, she was a black belt. I have three brothers, so I was pretty used to fighting, and I was good at judo from day one. I ended up being the first American to win a gold medal in the World Championships. I think it was a positive impact on my life going into fields that have been male-dominated – many of my classes as an undergraduate were 90 percent male. I was an engineer in 1982 when women were even scarcer than they are now. I am so accustomed to being the only woman in the room that I am now happily surprised when there are other women on committees or projects.


  6. SAS sponsors science- and math-related events to encourage young people to aim for careers in math or science. What led you to your field?
    I was good at math through high school, but not as much in college (a combination of being a 16-year-old freshman, full-time work and parties interfered). When I was in graduate school for my PhD, I objected to articles we were assigned that argued Hispanics have a lower average IQ because they are genetically less intelligent. The professor said, "AnnMaria, you just don't understand statistics." So ... I decided that would be my specialization for my PhD. I was very fortunate to be at a university with a lot of really good people in applied areas of statistics. The thing that was most helpful to me was to have a number of mentors, particularly the late Dr. Richard Eyman, who not only taught me a lot but also encouraged me to go further, introduced me to other people in the field and was constantly loading me down with stacks of books I must read or courses that I must take even after I had completed every required statistics course. He really instilled in me the idea of learning not everything you need, but everything you can possibly ever learn. 


  7. I know you have an unusual, but very interesting, passion. Could you tell me a little about your research? 
    I have a lot of interesting passions. Have you been talking to my husband? Two projects I have worked on a lot are evaluation of blended learning (combination of online and classroom instruction) for direct care staff for people with disability and chronic illness on American Indian reservations and analysis of data on ethics.


  8. Which of your SAS projects was the most fun to work on?
    In 28 years? That's like picking your favorite child! MANY years ago, I did a meta-analysis of home environment effects on cognitive development, trying to answer the question "Why do some children from what seem to be very poor, almost toxic, environments turn out well?" It was for the Theory Construction and Research Methodology workshop of the National Council on Family Relations. They do publish proceedings, but since that was pre-Internet, it is not available online. Two of the more interesting things I worked on lately were an article on Internet usage by Native Americans on reservations and analysis of ethics data. One of the reasons the article on Internet usage was interesting is that I set myself the challenge to do all of the analyses for a scientific article using SAS Enterprise Guide. The article was published in Rural Special Education Quarterly in July. The other reason that was interesting is because people had assumed a lot of things about people with disabilities living on the reservations, but they didn't have any actual data, so we got to go out and collect that and analyze it. Plus, the people I worked with were just really interesting in and of themselves.

    A while back, I had someone contact me for a genetics project. They had mapped the genomes of a couple of a male and female. They wanted to run a simulation to randomly create 100,000 offspring by random combinations of the genes and then use those records as input to another program to compare the distribution of traits in the population to what would have been observed in a population that was truly random. They could then compare the data and see which genetic combinations did not appear, which led them to speculate that perhaps those were either lethal combinations or something that caused the offspring to be quickly weeded out by predators, like a slow rabbit. One reason it was fun was because I generalized from the parallel analysis criterion we used way back in graduate school to decide on the number of factors to come up with an analogy for what we could do to create a sort of population value to test against. Another reason it was fun, as you can tell by my explanation, is that genetics is far out of my field so I was working with people who knew a lot about their area but not a lot about SAS while I was at the other end.


  9. Is there something else really cool about you that I’m missing? Do you volunteer, raise money for the poor, are you a cancer survivor, do you raise animals, etc.?
    My children are as far apart as four people could be. The oldest is a journalist who writes for ESPN and Fox News Latino. The second teaches history at an inner city middle school. The third is a professional fighter in mixed martial arts. And the fourth is a seventh grader on the student council for her third year.

    My current company, The Julia Group, is a spinoff of Spirit Lake Consulting, a company I co-founded with two partners. When I decided to run my own company, I had to come up with a new name. I was in North Dakota, readying to sign the paperwork and talking to my husband on the phone. He asks jokingly of our youngest daughter, "What do you think Mom ought to name her new company?" and the little one in the car seat pipes up, "She should name it after me!"

    Hence, The Julia Group. Julia De Mars is named after Gaston Julia, the mathematician who the Julia set of fractals is named after.

    While trying to convince me he was cool enough to date me, my husband wrote a program to create fractals, made a pink fractal and e-mailed it to me as an attachment on Valentine's Day. This is back when very few people had e-mail, much less knew about attachments. Obviously, it worked. The shareware fees from the fractal program pretty much paid for all of the baby furniture, clothes and toys. Unfortunately, now she's bigger and wants more expensive toys.


  10. Why do you attend SAS Global Forums? I know you are a SAS Rock Star, so I’m wondering if you go to learn things, teach or network? What is the high you get from going?
    We're a small company and our senior partners tend to be specialized – in medicine, qualitative research curriculum design – so usually if I have a technical problem to figure out, I'm on my own. The papers from SAS Global Forum are a great help, as are SAS-L, saspedia, the SAS blogs and the people I follow on Twitter. The big advantage of SAS Global Forum is that it is all in one place. I can go to a session on Bayesian procedures, to another on multiple imputation and a third on macros, all in the same morning. Also, I can learn about new procedures or statistics BEFORE I need them, so when a possible use comes up, I remember what I heard three months ago. It's not just the new features coming out, sometimes it's new ways of using old features, like logistic regression to calculate propensity scores, or some cool macros to read in your PROC CONTENTS output and create a report on available data. And, I take a class before and after the conference.

    SAS Global Forum is a really high concentration of smart people all in one place, and there are people I have met there, like, and look forward to meeting again. The main reason I go, though, is for the sessions. I go to a presentation almost every hour of every day except for the first one in the morning (I don't do mornings). I attend as many of the SAS Presents exhibits as I can.

    Basically, I go to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I like to learn stuff.

    AnnMaria won’t be presenting at this year’s SAS Global Forum. She hasn’t had any free time for fun stuff like writing a SAS paper. She says that she is kept quite busy “writing grant proposals, bidding on contracts, writing reports for clients, [writing] journal articles and blogs (not to mention doing the actual programming and research design) and coaching.”


You can keep up with her tips and programming insights by following her blog. You can also check out these papers. How do you know AnnMaria De Mars?

3月 182011
 



This blog post is the ninth in our series and I can promise you that you will still be amazed by what you learn about this SAS user and friend. Today, I’ve had the privilege to interview Toby Dunn. I met him for the first time in Savannah, Georgia, in 2010 during the SESUG conference. He is a charming young man who knows a great deal about using SAS, and he is happy to share his knowledge with other users. Once again, my interview has turned up some surprising info. I hope you will take the time to meet Toby in person so that you will get the full benefit.




  1. Will you be attending SAS Global Forum this year?
    I do plan on attending SGF this year; however, since I work for the US Government I am somewhat worried about whether they will fund the trip or not, given the current budget talks in Congress.

    I’ll be presenting a paper in the Beyond the Basics section entitled "Grouping, Atomic Groups, and Conditions: Creating If-Then statements in Perl RegEx." My paper will take the reader through all of the uses of parentheses and what are called extended regex sequences (which use parens). I end with a few examples of If-Then-Else style RegEx patterns.

  2. What is the high of going to SAS Global Forum?
    My first SAS Global Forum was SUGI 30 in Philadelphia. Since then I have attended three others. The best part of the conference for me is getting to meet with and talk to not only the SAS folks but all of the great SAS users, many of whom have been long-time friends who I only get to see at the once-yearly conference.

  3. How long have you been using SAS? What tool or solution do you use?
    I have been using SAS since 2000. I used it to perform regression analysis for my Master’s Degree. Given that I had no training and only user manuals that were two versions prior to the version of SAS that I was using, I'd say it was more like hacking in the dark - blind. On any given day, I mainly use Base SAS, SAS/STAT, and SAS/IntrNet.


  4. How do you use SAS at your organization?
    My current title is Statistician/SAS Programmer/Data Governor. I recently was asked to maintain and clean all of the data coming in and out of our group. In addition to that, I am also doing side work that usually is in the realm of data manipulation, some minor stats work and reporting.


  5. Who was your first mentor in SAS?
    I have been fortunate to have many SAS mentors over the years. The very first were Ron Fehd and Dianne Rhodes. They made sure that while at my very first SUGI I was at the right place at the right times to meet some of the best SAS employees and users. I also would be negligent if I didn't mention that people such as Ian Whitlock, Paul Dorfman, Richard Devenezia, and all the great people on SAS-L have been more than gracious with their time and knowledge to help me over the years. I often tell people that most of what I know about SAS came from the great people on SAS-L.


  6. Do you think mentorship is important? Do you mentor upcoming SAS users?
    Obviously, I am a strong supporter of the Master/Apprentice relationship and method of learning. I try to help everyone I can with their SAS questions and learning. Paul St. Louis, who edits all of my SUG (SAS User Group) papers and is working with me on my Regular Expression book is an example of someone I have been mentoring for the last few years.


  7. How do you form those relationships?
    The best I know how to form these types of relationships is to seek out those whose work you really like. Talk to them. Most of us are more than willing to share the knowledge we have with anyone who’s willing to lend an ear. Then just be persistent, and put in the hard work to learn. Over time, more often than not you will gain a great deal of knowledge, and more importantly, you will gain some great friends in the process.


  8. How do you network? Conversely, what does networking mean to you?
    Networking, at least to me, means to go out and make new friends. A great book is Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People." It is a classic business book and one worth everyone’s time to read. I believe that more than anything else be open and friendly, and try to make as many friends as you can. Then, just keep nurturing those relationships whenever you can and networking will naturally take care of itself.


  9. What makes you so uniquely Toby?
    Well, hmmmm ... this is a tough one. Just ask my mother or girlfriend, Shanna, and I am sure they would more than agree: I am ornery, hard-headed, and never short for words. Other than that, I guess that most people would admit that I missed my calling and should have been a chef. Shanna and I are currently working through our own version of Julie and Julia, except we are using Thomas Kellers’, Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and French Laundry cookbooks.

    I love fishing when I get the chance to head either to my family’s lake cabin or to the coast. Last year I went on a Texas country music binge with Shanna, I believe we managed something like seven or nine different concerts in something like 5 months.

    Saving the best for last! I have one son, Andy, who lives with his mother in Indiana.  I see him as much as time and money allow. I am definitely hoping to be able to bring him to Texas soon so he and I can fish, swim, make homemade pizzas together and have as much fun as possible.  In short as my email tag line states 'I am 100% Texan, till I die' and there ain't no changing that.


  10. What is the most interesting SAS project that you have ever worked on?
    I am currently employed with the US Army, so as you can imagine most of the work that I do I am not at liberty to discuss. Not that they aren't interesting I'm just not allowed to without going through the Department of Defense's security gauntlet.

    However, I do remember my SUG paper editor, Paul St.Louis, asking me one day to help him with an interesting problem. He needed to get some information from several Web pages into SAS and create some reports. To make it more difficult this had to be code that would be in a recurring production job. I remember some of his colleagues saying it couldn't be done in SAS.

    Although I had heard about scraping Web pages before, I had never really had a need to do such a thing in all of the SAS jobs I have had. I’m not one to turn down a good challenge, and I don’t believe there’s anything SAS can’t do, so I decided to take it on. So, I searched the SUG papers, found a few that covered doing this, and that evening worked up some code to send to him. Over the next few days we worked on and off together - tweeking it until - voila we had the production code working.


  11. I understand you are working with SAS to write a book – is that something you can talk about here?
    Now how did you find out about my triple secret special black ops project? Just joking; it’s really not a secret. The book is titled "Learning to Express Yourself with Perl Style Regular Expressions." It’s my firm belief that as new features to any language come out it takes time to fully integrate into the main user’s tool kit. There is a tipping point when enough time has elapsed for enough people to start really using it in their everyday code. That is precisely the point where I think Perl Style Regular Expressions are with SAS. Although an entire book on one small family of SAS functions (PRX family of functions) may seem like overkill, one look at the RegEx syntax and you'll know why even seasoned programmers want a bottle of aspirin and a book about them.

    Now you see the reason that so many SAS users and SAS professionals asked me to interview Toby Dunn. I’ve spoken to Toby only a couple of times, and I would have guessed the country music binge and fishing. You? How many of you guessed he was ornery and never short of words? That one was a little harder for me to believe, too. But did anyone guess that he is working his way through a personal Julie and Julia experience? Truth is stranger than fiction.


Get to know the SAS side of Toby a little better by reading some of his SAS papers. I wrote a blog post about the presentation that Toby and Sarah Woodruff gave at SESUG in Savannah in 2010. My takeaways from the presentation are that he is a great presenter. His presentation was on time and organized. He and Sarah had great tips for the audience and left time for questions. So, if you want to learn a bit about Perl, plan to attend Toby’s presentation and keep a look out for his book.


If you’re interested in writing your own SAS Press book, or have topic suggestions for authors like Toby, contact Shelley Sessoms with your ideas. You can also leave your comments or suggestions in the comments section below.

 
3月 102011
 

I met Phil Holland nearly three years ago at my first SAS Global Forum. Actually, he and I met on Twitter before the conference. Phil, as @hollandnumerics, talked with me many times on Twitter about his plans for attending SAS Global Forum. He and I were excited about SAS’ plans to host our first-ever Tweetup. That’s where I met Phil, he was the first Twitter user to show up for the Tweetup, so we had a couple of minutes to share the usual family secrets and “How’s your trip?” anecdotes. Since that conference, I’ve had a few short conversations with Phil that helped me to learn much more about him. This post is my way of introducing a great SAS user to you. Take some time to meet Phil – online or at SAS Global Forum 2011.


When I was learning to become a journalist, I was given some basic fall- back questions to help me loosen up an interviewee or ensure that I don’t miss something valuable. One of those questions that I almost always ask is, “Is there anything that you’d like to tell me that I may have forgotten to ask?” In this series, I’ve used, “Is there something else really cool about you that I'm missing?” In every interview, I’ve learned something about these old friends that I didn’t know. For instance, did you know that Phil has been a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) since 2005, when he passed their test? The IAM is a UK charity that promotes driving safety using volunteer observers to improve driver skills to the basic level of police drivers. Since 2008, Phil has also been a member of the committee of the Cambridge Advanced Motorists (CAM) Group, an affiliate of IAM, for which he runs a Squidoo web page and provides more general IT support. Read more about Phil.



  1. Hi Phil. Tell me something I don't know about Phil Holland and Holland Numerics.

  2. I own Holland Numerics with my wife Angela. I was made redundant from my mainframe capacity planning job at a UK bank's software house in 1992 and decided to set up the company so that I could work on SAS contracts until I found a permanent job. I haven't found that permanent job and probably never will now. Holland Numerics specialises in SAS programming contracts, but I also set up and support client computers running office software on Windows, Linux and OSX. In addition to this I have a passion for problem solving and learning new software languages, so my company website includes several examples of applications written in one, or a combination, of Javascript, Perl, Java and VB.

  3. I know that you are active in social media - Twitter, sasCommunity.org, etc.- but the online universe is vast, and I don't want to miss anything. Can you tell us where you are online?

  4. I occasionally write blog entries, but most of my social media activities were started by a need to advertise my SAS books - my first was published in 2007. This started with sasCommunity.org, where I was one of the early contributors. I now have a collection of my own pages on sasCommunity.org and pages related to the VIEWS International SAS Programming Community (VIEWS). I've also built a collection of content on Squidoo, which I have now linked together. I added Twitter to my social media channels shortly afterward as publishing pages to Squidoo had an option to tweet the update. I found that Twitter was not very useful until Alison Bolen (then Editor-in-chief of sascom Magazine and @alisonbolen on Twitter) started following me. Now, I tweet daily about SAS, beer, English football, photography and many other subjects, but most of my tweets still contain the word "Squidoo"! Finally, I am very active on LinkedIn. I'm still reluctant to connect directly to everyone who asks, so have created a LinkedIn group where anyone who is interested can join. It is called "SAS Author: Philip R Holland." There, I am happy to discuss anything.

  5. How long have you been using SAS?

  6. I was first introduced to SAS at the University of London Computer Centre in 1981, where I was a mainframe systems programmer. I became the SAS representative at Prudential Assurance in London in 1984.

  7. Do you present, keynote, tutor or chair?
    I have presented at SAS conferences in Europe, the US and UK since 1995, including training seminars in the UK. I have also been the Editor of VIEWS News, the quarterly newsletter of the VIEWS, since 2002. I've published two SAS-related books and am currently working on a third book on PROC TEMPLATE that SAS' Kevin Smith and I hope to publish later this year.


  8. I know you have an unusual, but very interesting hobby that you share with your wife. Could you tell me about your hobby and give us a link to your diary?

  9. My first SAS contract was a nine-week stay in Belgium in 1992. The first hotel I stayed in had a menu with a food list that was shorter than the beer list. On the third night in that hotel, after I had chosen the first meal and first beer, then the second meal and second beer, my third beer was pink! I'd heard about a Belgian cherry beer called a Kriek, so this was to be my first cherry beer. I don't like cherries, so from then on I made a note of all the beers I had to make sure I only drank beers a second time that I liked. That list, #Beer List, has grown since then to more than 1,000 tastings and can be found at www.squidoo.com/beer_list and more recently in an app I've developed for the HP Palm App Catalog. Please note that my wife's only contribution to my beer tasting is to take photos of me drinking beers! However, our three daughters all search out new and interesting beers to give to me as birthday and Christmas presents.

    In 2010, after SAS Global Forum in Seattle, we were stranded for eight extra days due to lingering volcanic ash in Europe. Some of the Seattle bars have beer tasters (4 or 6 small glasses of different beers), so I was able to add a total of 47 new beers to my list during the total 15 days we were in Seattle (and without drinking too much!). These included a very nice Pike Monk's Uncle, an Abbey-style Triple Beer from the Pike Pub & Brewery in Seattle.

  10. Which of your SAS projects was the most fun to work on? Why?

  11. In 2000, I worked on a new SAS installation project for the risk management group of a credit bank in the UK. SAS was installed on an enormous UNIX server, with the users having SAS® Enterprise Guide® 1.1 to access the data. I built the data warehouse, developed the maintenance routines using SAS Enterprise Guide, and trained all the users how to create reports from the data. The "power trip" was amazing, but the fun really came from learning something new almost every day for more than a year. My love of SAS Enterprise Guide started there!

  12. You travel a great distance to attend SAS Global Forum. Why do you attend and what are three tips you can give to young SAS users for learning as much as possible while at SAS Global Forum 2011?

  13. For many years after turning freelance in 1992 I attended the SAS conferences around Europe, until they stopped being technical events. Since then I've been attending SAS Global Forum, and have presented at most of them. My reasons for going to any conferences are two-fold, to meet up with friends, most of whom I only see at conferences, and to learn about new SAS stuff by asking questions.
    Therefore, my three tips for new SAS users would be:

    • Always split your time between the presentations and the Demo Room, because staying in one place will mean you may miss out on something useful.

    • If you don't understand something, or see something new, ask someone in the Demo Room about it, as it will be less intimidating there.

    • Relax and enjoy the experience!


    Now you know a little more about Phil. Is there something more you'd like to know? Ask your question in the comments section and Phil will respond. You can also let me know who you'd like to see in an interview here. We still have some time before SAS Global Forum 2011. See you there!


3月 092011
 
In November, I introduced a series of interviews called SASonality. The term was meant to define a person – SAS user or SAS staff – who had made a lasting impression, both in the way that he or she uses SAS and cares for and treats others. The problem is that “SASonality” tripped over a very serious trademark issue.

In the corporate world, what you call your company is hugely important. Of even more importance is how carefully you guard that name. Steve Benfield, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at SAS, explained it well in his discussion about "SGF" versus SAS Global Forum. He said, “SAS® is a registered trademark. And, legally, trademarks should never be abbreviated. We run the risk of minimizing its value – and even losing its trademark status – if we use it in abbreviations too frequently.”

I've learned that the same risk is true when we join SAS with other words or parts of words even in situations like, non-SAS and SASonality. My intention was to find a word that would somehow describe SAS and these fabulous SAS characters. So, I decided to rename the series. I described the importance of the series to my colleagues and explained that an interviewee would be someone who had made such an impression that you’d just have share the story with other SAS users. After many new name suggestions, we realized that the only name that really fits is SAS Rock Stars.

So far, I’ve interviewed Don Henderson, Diane Hatcher, Ragna Préal and Véronique de Vooght from SAS Belux, Rick Wicklin, Rick Langston, Ron Fehd and Sy Truong. And there are more written and waiting to be posted: Phil Holland, SAS author and beer connoisseur; Toby Dunn, Perl Ninja and future SAS book author; and Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, gold medalist in the World Judo Championships and President of The Julia Group. I have others that aren’t even written. I can’t wait for you to read all of their stories!

You asked for these SAS Rock Stars; now who do you want to learn more about? What does SAS Rock Star mean to you? I’ve heard you use the words SAS Ninja and SAS Diva. What does it take to be a ninja or diva, and who are those people? Send me an e-mail or tweet with your suggestions and the reason he or she should be interviewed. You can also post a comment on this blog.
2月 022011
 



I’ve never met Sy Truong face-to-face. (That will be one of the top items on my SAS Global Forum 2011 to-dos.) I’ve talked with him on Twitter and enjoyed his blog so much that I listed it in an edition of the SAS Tech Report. I’ve even talked with him on the phone a couple of times, so I knew that he would make a good prospect for this SASonality post. I contacted him because more than 10 people, all people I respect, said that he would be a great addition. Wait until you read this! I had no idea that Truong’s SASonality is so over the top. 




  1. Who is the working-day Sy Truong?
    I am a co-founder of Meta-Xceed (MXI) - we design software for Biotech and Pharma companies. Most of my work is consultant work with organizations doing clinical trials analysis and electronic submissions – I began doing that in the early ‘90s. I work on anything from mainframes to iPads. Some things have changed over the years but the need for innovative software solutions for analytical problems remains.

    My main work at MXI is to work with clients to identify inefficient processes and then develop a more efficient optimal software solution. I get a kick out of this since I am constantly looking for efficiencies in all things - it has become second nature. The challenge for me is to narrow down the multitude of ideas to one or two elegant ones for implementation.


  2. I first met you via Twitter and social media, so I’m very interested in that facet of Sy the SAS user: how did you get involved in social media?
    Photography has been a hobby of mine since high school. I took pictures for the local paper and yearbook in college and enjoyed composing images that are captivating yet communicate emotion using black and white film, lighting and composition. Now, instead of carrying around my Canon SLR, I usually have an iPhone or other smaller device to capture pictures and videos. With the use of YouTube and Flickr, it has made it much easier to share. The same passion for esthetics is still in effect in these new mediums as they open up even more possibilities when videos and sound are accompanied with text in a blog. I find it true for software development - but perhaps it is useful for any line of work - that communication is essential and in today’s environment, that means utilizing the full range of social media.


  3. How did SAS become a part of Sy?In the late eighties when I was at the University of Santa Barbara, they were just breaking down the card reader machines and bringing in new computer terminals. I had a statistics class, and we had the choice of using BMDP or SAS. I decided to use SAS running data steps and PROC MEANS in order to complete assignments. This stuck with me as I started my first job at Syntex in 1990 on the foothills of Palo Alto in Silicon Valley. It must have been SAS version 5 something, but it was still very dynamic platform. I am eager to learn more about what is to come in SAS 9.3.


  4. Do you present, keynote, tutor, chair … ?
    I used to have stage fright and was terrified of getting in front of large audiences. I couldn’t imagine making mistakes or hear people laugh at all of my flaws. In my sophomore year in college, I had a summer job to take a group of about 100 foreign students to Disneyland. About half were Japanese and the rest were Europeans including Swiss, French and Italian. None of them spoke English proficiently. I had to coordinate or else we would all be lost. I thought that even if I did not articulate with knowledge and elegance, my English will suffice for this crowd. I stood on benches and presided over the group and to my great surprise; I can command the whole group. It was a thrill. This changed my whole sense of confidence and my view toward public speaking. I now often present at SAS Global Forum, SAS regionals and tech classes on SAS and CDISC. I find that each experience is different and a lot of fun.


  5. I’ve been told that you are very active in charities and such. Can you tell me more about that? I wasn’t given any specifics except that you are awesome!
    I find that blogging is a great way to reflect upon events that sometimes move too fast to be fully understood. The reflection allows me to process and see subtle yet meaningful things within experiences that would otherwise pass me by. I was born in Saigon but left in 1975 at the end of the war. My first trip back wasn’t until recently, and it was a life changing experience. I started to blog about the visits sharing with friends using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress. The highlights of my trips and what I started to blog the most were about my visits to the orphanages where I was able to buy loads of gifts using the US dollar against the relatively cheap Vietnamese Dong. I began to bring back stuffed animals and clothing from the US, and it brought such joy to these children. On each visit, I sat with them and saw in their eyes a sense of desperation yet innocence that was so different from my world experience. But with a slight of fate in 1975, I could easily be just like that orphan child.


  6. SAS has recently sponsored two science- and math-related events to help encourage young students to enter the technology field. We want them to see that statistics, analytics and math are fun. Can you tell me about one of your most recent projects that might really be exciting for kids?
    I recall my childhood friend Bao and I would see these programs on TV that describe how to create your own phones using tin cans held together with a thin thread. We would play with these devices for hours testing how far we can go before our voices would falter. It was fun but so primitive compared to all to sophisticated social media smart phones of today. I get engrossed into this medium today as it takes that social curiosity that I had as a child and yet brings it to the nth degree. 

    I am working on an iPhone App code named “Social Cloud,” which takes all the incoming Twitter or Facebook messages from friends. It would then take the most frequently used words and display them in a tag cloud, an arrangement of words in different sizes indicating the significance of each word. The reader will be able to drill down on the larger words and see what their friends are discussing. This is just an example where simple statistics combined with effective visual presentation can organize even the most veracious social media consumer.


  7. Which of your SAS projects was the most fun to work on? Why?
    The current projects that particularly interesting to me recently is delivering information that’s generated from SAS to mobile device such as the iPad. An example is the Patient Profile App where it delivers clinical patient reports to clinical research associates and medical monitors on their iPad. We used to develop these SAS SAS/Graph or PROC Report type reports on paper. I thought the update to PDF using ODS was cool as we delivered them via email and web browser. However, when it can be placed onto an iPad where a physician can pinch and zoom in on a data point that could avert a serious adverse event from affecting the health of a human being in real time. That was when I realized that technology has arrived.


  8. Will you be attending SAS Global Forum 2011? If so, what will you be presenting? How many SUGI/SGFs have you attended?
    I lose track how many SUGI and SGF I have attended since they seem to loop back to the same group of cities between east coast and west coast. I will plan to attend this year’s in Las Vegas which will be my first SAS conference there. I am presenting a couple of papers entitled SAS® Global Forum Conference iPhone App and SAS® Data and Stored Process on BlackBerry®. I find SAS conferences fascinating since the attending users are so passionate about SAS that it becomes a cult-like retreat with religious-like fervor and love fest ambience. If there was a graph measuring how much users dig SAS compared to other conferences such as Microsoft or Oracle, SAS would be an outlier.


  9. Is there something else really cool about you that I’m missing? Do you volunteer, raise money for the poor, are you a cancer survivor, do you raise animals, etc?
    I recently saw a YouTube video that showed a homeless man, Ted Williams who had this “Golden Voice” of a DJ.  He was down on his luck due to drug and alcohol but he was two years sober and trying to turn it around. It was quite inspirational how social media was able to take his video, made it viral leading him to employment and a brighter future. I found this story inspirational.

    I was also experimenting with social media on my visits to the orphanages where in a period of about three weeks through emails and sharing blogs and YouTube videos, I was able to raise more than $3,000 for the orphans. I think this is an empowering medium where a little effort can make a big difference.

    I hope you've enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it. For me, this post underscores the value of taking time to connect with other SAS users while at SAS conferences and events. I’m not talking about quick hellos in the hallways between presentations – I mean really connecting. Go to lunch or dinner with people you have only e-mailed or chatted with during the previous year. Learn about their hobbies, children and research projects. Make new friends. It’s important for you as a person, and it’s important for your career. You just never know if that new person from this year will be the perfect research buddy down the road OR a great job connection!


Do you have questions for any of our SASonality hosts? Do you have a suggestion for a SASonality interview? Write them in the comments section or send them to me via Twitter: @waynettetubbs.

Tell me about your SASonality. I can't wait to meet you at SAS Global Forum 2011.


1月 222011
 
There are over 400 hundred presentations to choose from at SAS Global Forum 2011. With all of these options, it pays to plan ahead. Why not start building your agenda now? The Personal Agenda Builder tool allows you to plan your conference schedule with point and click ease.
Continue reading "Start Building Your Personal Agenda Now"
1月 202011
 

The SASonality series is about connecting you with SAS users that you may not have taken time to really get to know. Today, I’m going to introduce you to someone that you’ve seen at the SAS regional users group conferences. As you’ll see after reading his interview, he’s created a brand for himself so that he can meet other programmers. Read about Ron Fehd to see what you have in common, then say hello at SAS Global Forum in April. Ask him about his book and chat about your macro wins and failures.




  1. Every SAS user who has ever attended a SAS User Group event can probably recognize you from your characteristic propeller-topped beanie, but who is Ron Fehd, the SAS user, when events aren’t in session? What do you do?
    For the first 17 years at my current employer I was a data manager and programmer for an HIV and multi-drug-resistant TB laboratory performance evaluation program. This is the period when I got my 10,000 hours of SAS programming experience. I was writing ad hoc programs that I eventually converted to macros. Today (January 2011), I attended a retirement luncheon and was congratulated on the fact that my macros, developed in SAS 9 version 6 and 8, are still working.

    For the past six years, I’ve been a “sadistical/statistical” software administrator. I’m the SAS site representative and manage the license keys and installation depot for enterprise licensed statistical software. I maintain a Level 3 for SAS installation and configuration.
    I am a software niche geek.


  2. On sasCommunity.org, your ID was intriguing. Could you tell the story behind the titles “Macro Maven and Module/Routine/Subroutine Maven?”
    I began reading the international SAS listserv SAS-L in the early 90s. I was already active as a frequent poster on other listservs and knew from that experience that I needed a good and memorable screen name. I began posting to SAS-L in 1997 when I announced my first three papers on macros at SUGI. Two of the papers were about routines and the third paper was a common subroutine. A famous New York City commercial from the late 70s was about the Herring Maven. Maven is a term for someone who knows a lot about some common-place item. That’s the old Yiddish definition. … I see that public usage and Wikipedia have added quite a bit more about this term since the 1990s when usage was an inside ethnic joke.


  3. You said you are a “software niche geek.” Are you all geek and no play? How do you separate the work-a-day Ron and still have fun being a geek?
    During the week, it’s 40 hours with my head down working. I also take time to laugh about bricolage - the tinkering, tricks, gotchas and mistakes - that make programming life … interesting. In my spare time, what better place to commiserate and brag but in a peer discussion?


  4. How long have you been using SAS?
    I learned to use SAS in 1986 - in my first job out of college as a research assistant at Atlanta’s Georgia State University.


  5. With titles that include “Maven”, you must be someone’s mentor, too. Do you present, keynote, tutor, chair … ?
    Mentor? Foster? Consult? Encourage is more like it. I have introduced one SAS-L Rookie of the Year, Toby Dunn, to the SAS community. He has a SAS user book under contract, now. Another person who I co-consult, Nate Derby, found me through the LaTeX (typesetting) community. The TeX typesetting system was developed by Donald Knuth. I use Leslie Lamport’s TeX macros (LaTeX) to write my papers. My CV includes more than 30 papers. I have presented 10-, 20- and 50-minute papers, hands-on workshops and half-day seminars. In all of those papers, I have just one co-author: Art Carpenter. See my review on the back of his book: Carpenter’s Complete Guide to the Macro Language, Second Edition. Frankly, I have been approached several times about being a section chair. Until I finish the first edition of my book, a work in progress since 2002, I prefer to write.


  6. Your LaTex paper sounds like the innovative use of SAS that I’ve been asking SAS users about. Can you tell me a little more about it?
    I used SAS to write a program that would prepare an index of macro keywords in a project folder. One program wrote the index entries to a *.tex file which could be processed into a PDF. Then, I rewrote several of Donald Knuth’s Sorting and Searching algorithms in SAS.


  7. Who are you when you are not at SAS? (Do you have a hobby, favorite sport, charity, children, pets or grandchildren? Are you a cross-word junkie or ski diver? etc)
    I am a dancer in the Contact Improv Community, and my main exercise and sport is walking. No pets, but I am a (lap) cat lover. I also attend kirtan concerts and attend the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. My co-parent and I have two daughters who are in their mid-30s. Our oldest had a daughter two years ago, so I am a grand-father now and have an excuse to travel to the California Bay Area to visit them.


  8. As I mentioned before, everyone can recognize you by your propeller-powered beanie. It seems to only come out at certain times during the conference. Can you tell me why you wear it? You also wear conference pins and such. Can you talk about their meaning?
    Sure. Check the books on creating your own buzz. Y’know I may be six feet tall, but I don’t stand out in a crowd, except for the hats! It’s all marketing. Some conferences it’s the guy with the green bow tie, others The Big Purple Hat, and yes, lately the propeller beanie, which my youngest daughter gave me 10 years ago.


    Do you know how hard it is to get geeks to laugh? Once I get ‘em smiling at the hat, then a laugh is not too far behind. Conference chatchkas?! They go in and come back out of the suitcase.


  9. Have you ever counted the number of SAS user conferences that you’ve attended? Do you think it’s important for SAS users to attend SAS conferences? If so, what do you gain from the experience?
    For SUGI/SAS Global Forum, that number is above 15. I began attending in 1989 and publishing in 1997. I’ve attended more regionals in the past decade than I have SAS Global Forums.

    The SAS community executive board is examining how to get people to attend more than one conference; newcomers account for only about 30 percent of attendees. Important? I wonder when people make the decision to have a career as a SAS programmer. I have a background in the blue collar world where union membership puts you through the craftsman’s learning curve of seven years each as an apprentice, then journeyman and finally master. I didn’t publish until I had been programming for ten years in SAS, i.e. when I became a journeyman. I had mastered a niche.

    For me, conference attendance has put me in touch with my peers - fellow journey-men and –women, and masters, who have made the decision to become and stay programmers. That peer recognition is invaluable in your heads-down work of solving daily problems. It makes finding a solution twice as rewarding, when your colleagues at work, and online, give you kudos.


  10. If you could only do one thing at the next conference, what would it be?
    Find out when v9.3 will come out!


  11. Which of your papers is the best you’ve ever written? Why?
    The SmryEachVar Suite. Anything I can do with macros, I can do without macros as well. That suite is also the reason I have added the other screen name - module/routine/subroutine maven.


  12. Will you be attending SAS Global Forum 2011? If so, what will you present?
    I have submitted my travel orders, but will not be presenting, this year.
    “Ask me about my book.” I expect to have a draft copy, at least on a flash drive.




Did you find some things in common with Fehd? Are there other questions you’d like to ask? Write them in the comments section, and I’ll get an answer. Suggest other SAS users with SASonality and questions you’d like for me to discuss with them.

12月 272010
 
This is the fifth post in the SASonality series. In this week’s post, I’ve interviewed Rick Langston, a man most SAS users have met or read about. He’s been with SAS for 30 years and attended nearly every SUGI/SAS Global Forum. In the photo at the right, Rick is the gentleman on the second step from the bottom on the left hand side. Those bleachers are in front of a building that is no long part of the SAS campus in Cary.

I met Rick at my first SAS Global Forum in Washington, DC, in 2009. He is warm, fun-loving and outgoing. You’ll see his fun-loving streak when you check out this list of Rick’s papers. But before you start reading all of that, read his interview and learn a tiny bit about him.


  1. Rick, I’ve heard that you’ve been at SAS for a while. What do you do at SAS?
    It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but I’ve been at SAS for 30 years. I first joined SAS back when we had only one building in Cary – the former Building A. I joined SAS 6 months after the company moved from Hillsborough Street. I had been using SAS for 3 years while working on a biostatistics project at UNC and was given the opportunity to join SAS Technical Support. Later, I had an opportunity to join the Applications Division and support PROC FORMAT and other procedures.

    Since then, I’ve been involved in the development of many core components of SAS, as well as managing our Core Systems Department. Programming and problem solving have always been my favorite activities, and I do much of both on a daily basis. I also enjoy public speaking and speak at many local and regional conferences where I have been keynote speaker many times.

  2. Do you have a hobby, favorite sport or something you do for fun? Are you a cross-word junkie or ski diver?
    My wife and I have two teenage daughters: One is 18 and the other is 15. With one in college, we spend a lot of time involved in the challenges facing most parents. We have enjoyed traveling as a family as the girls have grown up. We’ve visited Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, England, Denmark and Sweden, as well as many of the states in the continental US. As for being a puzzle junkie, definitely that’s the case with Sudoku, Kakuro and Kenken. I contributed to a panel on solving Sudoku with SAS at SAS Global Forum a couple of years back. I’m always looking for more interesting puzzles to keep the brain active!

  3. I’ve heard you could be a top contender - if there were a prize - for “Attended the Most SUGI/SGFs.” How many have you attended?
    My first SUGI was in 1979, and I’ve been to 29 altogether through 2010. I am planning to attend SAS Global Forum in 2011 in Las Vegas. My abstract for Coders Corner was accepted, so I will be describing SAS code that reproduces a SAS data set using only a SAS program.

  4. What is the most interesting SAS project that you have ever worked on?
    I’ve worked on many different things during my time at SAS. Interesting projects include the Sudoku solver, the MODULE functions to call external programs, SAS/TOOLKIT Software to allow users to write their own PROCs and functions, and “UNPUT” processing to optimize performance of formatting in SQL queries.

  5. What do you read or watch for enjoyment?
    Although I was once a big TV watcher, I rarely watch TV these days and instead read a lot on the various Internet news sites. I do enjoy movies though, and have been catching up with many classic titles via our Netflix queue. For example, I recently watched “Fargo” and “Chinatown” for the first time.

    I also read books, mostly non-fiction, on various topics. Most recently I went back to the 1980s for the book “Liar’s Poker”, Michael Lewis’ scathing depiction of trading in the bond market.

    Take a look some of the fun things Rick has done with SAS. For instance, check out The Pegboard Game: An Iterative SAS® Program to Solve It, SAS® and Sudoku, and Text on My Remote Control: An Experiment in Shortest Distance Using SAS® Software. But Rick has a serious side, too. In December, he was acknowledged as “instrumental in the development of the ETS Interface engine.”

    Now that you know Rick a little better, make sure you say “Hi!” when you get to Las Vegas in April. Rick will be in the Solutions Center (formerly called the Demo Hall).
12月 202010
 

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?

  2. 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.

  3. That sounds like a lot of writing.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. What do you read or watch for enjoyment?

  14. 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?
12月 132010
 
This year’s winners of the Best Paper Award at SAS Belux Forum 2010 have been given a trip to SAS Global Forum 2011 in Las Vegas. Attending any SAS users group event is an exciting opportunity to meet other SAS users and learn new ways to use SAS, but this trip for Ragna Préal and Véronique de Vooght will add the additional delight of traveling to the glamorous city of Las Vegas.

I decided to include Ragna and Véronique in our interview of people with SASonality (after all, they have a love for SAS users, innovate with SAS, and give back by presenting - SASonality).

 



  1. Why did you write your paper for SAS Belux Forum?

    IMA is a health care organizations initiative. IMA worked with a provider from 2002 to 2009 for data processing by hardware transfer. In 2009, IMA decided to switch to a comprehensive solutions provider operating within a full SAS environment managing security, ETL, DWH and supporting multiple setting and location data analysis. Our SAS account manager asked if we were interested in giving a presentation to the Belgium SAS forum.

    The presentation gives an overview of the IMA structure and emphasizes the advantages of a SAS environment and the possibilities and difficulties of implementing it. The Permanent Sample (EPS) is the largest IMA project and serves as a concrete example that’s not too complicated but is recognizable and easy to tell.


  2. What drew you together as partners?

    We worked together setting up the new IMA structure and environment:

    Véronique, as coordinating Program Manager having an overall view on all IMA projects, and Ragna as coordinator of the EPS and an experienced SAS user. We are each other’s backup for just about everything we do, our partnership in the presentation is a reflection of the way we work on a daily basis.


  3. What is your title: developer, programmer, analyst, etc.? How do you use SAS at your organization?

    Véronique: I am the Program Manager of IMA. I am responsible for the daily supervision and coordination of all projects of IMA. I am also responsible for the general follow up of IMA.

    Ragna : I am Business Unit – IT and EPS coordinator. I spend most of my time on the Permanent Sample. I keep it up and running and manage the needs and questions of the EPS partners: the overall work of a project leader on a never ending project that will be expanding in context and technical development.


  4. What makes you uniquely Ragna or Veronique?

    Véronique: My partner and I have two daughters. In addition to our devotion to our daughters, we share a passion for wine. Together we have established a small wine shop.

    Ragna: I am married, and we have one girl of twelve. My family and I like to swim, and I enjoy horseback riding. I really like logic games.


  5. Will you be presenting SAS Global Forum 2011?

    As health insurance is a hot topic in the US now, and the Belgium system is the underlining topic in our presentation, we hope to be selected.


  6. Have you ever visited the United States before? What are you excited about or nervous about? Do you have tours arranged during your trip?

    Véronique : I have never been to the US.

    Ragna: I visited the US 16 years ago. I spent a few days in New York, then a week in Atlanta and finally 14 days in Florida. I traveled from Orlando through the Everglades to Miami. We loved the Everglades so much that we stayed for five days even though we’d initially planned to pass through and spend one day.


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

    We built a complete SAS environment from the ground up with very highly skilled SAS analysts as the decision makers, business-experts on the health-care system in Belgium, and a new hosting firm with no SAS experience at all. Some informatics specialists are looking at the IMA technical and logical set-up with surprise at its simplicity: We used very simple rules and methods for receiving the data from the health insurance organizations, and the Belgian health care system re-imbursement is unique, allowing easy information retrieval. Last but not least, we have the advantage that there are only around 11,000,000 Belgians, which makes the size manageable.


  8. What do you read to keep you on your professional toes?

    In our business, we have to keep up with regulations, new laws and a little bit of politics.


  9. What do you read or watch for enjoyment?

    Véronique : I am a very regular reader, the style of my reading material varies enormously. The last book I’ve read and recommend all is the Millennium trilogy from Stieg Larsson

    Ragna : I read novels and crime roman’s. I love movies of all kinds. “Lost” was the best television I’ve seen in years. My favorite movies are the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the three “Matrix” movies.


For more information about Veronique and Ragna’s project, you can download their presentation. Don’t get thrown by the title page, the slides are in English. Do you have questions you’d like to ask of these SASonalities?

Subscribe to this blog so that you won't miss any SASonality. The next post will feature Rick Wicklin.