stem

11月 162016
 

There are no limitations for what you can accomplish. That’s the message Keith Poston from the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences imparted to 300 middle and high school students, teachers and parents assembled this week at the museum for the fourth STEM Career Showcase for Students […]

Event inspires students with disabilities to pursue STEM careers was published on SAS Voices.

11月 032016
 

The job market for individuals with analytical skills is hot, and it’s only getting hotter. A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute puts the situation in perspective, citing a shortfall of nearly 200,000 professionals with strong analytical skills by the year 2018. Businesses are looking to colleges and universities […]

The post Three skills every student seeking a career in analytics should develop appeared first on Generation SAS.

10月 052016
 

While men still outnumber women in the analytics field, there are plenty of opportunities available for women. At a recent Chief Data and Analytics forum, I was encouraged to see a well-balanced number of senior executives presenting about the business of analytics.  Speakers included 12 women and 14 men, which indicates a […]

Two tips for women starting a career in analytics was published on SAS Voices.

8月 172016
 

My computer geek colleagues are boasting about their humble beginnings by sharing lists of their first seven programming languages. You can find these under the hashtag #FirstSevenLanguages.

From what I've seen of these lists, the programming languages that appear are very much a function of age -- not the age of the language, but of the person sharing the list. It's also a function of industry. For people of a certain age who first worked at a bank, COBOL appears early on the list. Did you work in the defense industry? Ada is probably on your list.

Of course, the SAS programming language features prominently among my colleagues. I have argued that listing SAS is a bit of a cheat, since SAS actually comprises several different programming languages: DATA step, SQL, DS2, SAS macro, IML, GTL, SCL, and more. SAS also contains hooks into other languages like Lua and Groovy. Some SAS analytical procedures are programming languages in their own right, like PROC OPTMODEL.

I have several friends who have built their entire careers on SAS programming. There is little risk of boredom, as the SAS language evolves with each release and is used in virtually every industry. It's like a huge mansion of a programming language -- we all have our favorite rooms where we spend most of our time, but there are always new additions to discover and explore.

I've said that I don't identify myself as a programmer, even though programming is an activity that occupies lots of my time. Here's my #FirstSevenLanguages list. It's not exactly in chronological order, and like other folks I'm cheating by grouping some languages together into eras.

  • Extended basic on the TI99/4A (high school, in my parent's basement)
  • Turbo Pascal and Turbo C and Assembly (school and internships)
  • REXX and Perl (two different jobs, but used both to automate tedious tasks)
  • C++ (our first versions of SAS Enterprise Guide)
  • Java (various projects)
  • C# and .NET (SAS Enterprise Guide since the mid 2000s)
  • SAS - (first learned in a SAS education class in 1993, and still learning it)

Unlike some of my more distinguished colleagues, there are no "punch cards" languages on my list. Nostalgia is sometimes fun, but I don't believe anyone who says that the era of punch cards, 16K RAM, and 8-inch floppy disks was "the good old days." Instead, I prefer to look forward to my #NextSevenLanguages. In my current role with SAS Support Communities, I get to dabble in JavaScript, FreeMarker, and Python. But I use SAS every day and for so many tasks, it remains high on my list of languages to learn!

tags: computer science education, csedweek, stem

The post What were your #FirstSevenLanguages? appeared first on The SAS Dummy.

2月 122016
 

North Carolina has over 300 miles of wide, flat Atlantic beaches as well as the highest mountain in the eastern United States, Mount Mitchell. The variety is impressive for a state that isn't even in the top half of the 50 states by size. One key reason is geometric: North Carolina […]

The scholastic chess championship for all of North Carolina was published on SAS Voices.

8月 182015
 

In my local paper this morning, I read about how a North Carolina state commission plans to recommend changes to our teaching standards for mathematics. One of the topics that they want to bring back: Roman numerals. Why? According to my exhaustive 30 seconds of Internet research, the only practical applications of Roman numerals are: I) understanding Super Bowl numbering, and II) reading the time on old-fashion clocks.

But I don't need convincing. I believe that there are other advantages of teaching Roman numerals. The main lesson is this: the world has not always revolved around "base 10" numbering, and actually it still doesn't today. Having the ability to express numbers in other forms helps us to understand history, passage of time, technology, and even philosophy*.

In the popular media, binary (base 2) is famous for being "the language of computers". That may be so, but binary is not usually the language of computer programmers. When I was a kid, I spent many hours programming graphics on my TI 99/4A computer. I became proficient in translating decimal to hexadecimal (base 16) to binary -- all to express how the pixels would be drawn on the screen and in what color. Due to lack of practice and today's availability of handy tools and higher-level programming languages, I have since lost the ability to calculate all of these in my head. I also lost the ability to solve any Rubik's Cube that I pick up -- there go all of my party tricks.

But the SAS programming language retains many fun math tricks, including the ability to express numbers in many different ways, instantly. Here's an example of one number expressed six (or 6 or VI or 0110) different ways.

data _null_;
  x = 1956;
  put  / 'Decimal: '     x=best12.;
  put  / 'Roman: '       x=roman10.;
  put  / 'Word: '        x=words50.;
  put  / 'Binary: '      x=binary20.;
  put  / 'Octal: '       x=octal10.;
  put  / 'Hexadecimal: ' x=hex6.;
run;

The output:

Decimal: x=1956
Roman: x=MCMLVI
Word: x=one thousand nine hundred fifty-six
Binary: x=00000000011110100100
Octal: x=0000003644
Hexadecimal: x=0007A4

You might never need some of these number systems or SAS formats in your job, but knowing them makes you a more interesting person. If nothing else, it's a skill that you can trot out during cocktail parties. (I guess I attend different sorts of parties now.)

* For example, the number 'zero' has not always been with us. Introducing it into our numbering system allows us to think about 'nothing' in ways that earlier societies could not.

tags: formats, stem

The post Why should we teach Roman numerals? appeared first on The SAS Dummy.

7月 292015
 

Summer break is in full swing for most students, but many parents and those who volunteer in the classroom continue to be interested in ways to keep the momentum going. That desire brought together a panel of SAS Curriculum Pathways staff at an education-based event last month at SAS world […]

The post School’s out, but STEM's in appeared first on Generation SAS.

3月 092015
 
Chess as a team sport? Sure, it’s like singles tennis as a team sport: the team score is an aggregate of individual results. Team chess is everywhere from local three-round weekend afternoon chess tournaments to the biennial Chess Olympiad where national chess teams compete for the Hamilton-Russell Cup. Just like tennis teams, chess […]
3月 112014
 
It is always important to continue to sell the value of analytics within your organization, especially to your leaders.   Usually, these type of results are delivered via reports, dashboards, or emails.   However did you know that analytics: Detects when expensive machinery like electrical submersible pumps (ESP) or oil platforms need maintenance before [...]