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.;

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 [...]
8月 302013
Ed says the great jobs of tomorrow will be in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Unfortunately, people with disabilities are currently underrepresented in these fields. So, the accessibility team here at SAS is working hard to make sure that analytical tools are accessible for everyone. This [...]
8月 132013
As part of its celebration of the International Year of Statistics, SAS invites 24 teachers to learn more about statistical techniques and the use of SAS in the classroom. It’s back to school a little early for a group of AP Statistics teachers from North Carolina. The 24 teachers spent […]
7月 182013
High Schools That Work is the nation's largest school improvement initiative for high school leaders and teachers with more than 1,200 sites in 30 states.  This week marks their annual staff development conference and brings together more than 5,000 school leaders and educators. The theme of this year’s conference is […]
5月 212013
SAS is offering summer workshops for high school teachers interested in integrating SAS into their high school programs.  Join a growing network of teachers who are providing students with an advantage in their college and career aspirations. SAS Programming for High School - summer training program for teachers The summer [...]