The number of academics using and teaching SAS has grown steadily over time. More than 3,000 universities now use SAS in their teaching and research activities. Also over time, it has become clear that this group is keen to come together as a community, to share ideas and experience, and learn from each other. This community has been fairly informal until now. However, we have recently put in place new support mechanisms to help it grow and develop, and it also has a name: the SAS Powered Educators Community.
One of the issues that we keep finding among SAS users and customers is a keen desire to learn from peers. SAS provides the tools and the initial expertise on analytics and how to use those tools. However, we don’t necessarily have the deep domain expertise in our customers’ fields. SAS communities offer the opportunity for SAS users with particular shared interests to come together and learn from each other about the experience of using SAS tools in their world. They also give us a chance to learn from our customers about what they need, and therefore enable us to help them to solve problems more effectively.
The SAS-Powered Educators Community is focused on universities and the academic community. Its initial focus was Central and Eastern Europe. However, in this hybrid world, there is no reason why academics and universities from elsewhere should not be involved. The idea is to allow academics to come together both in-person and virtually, to learn how different universities use and teach with SAS, and to share ideas.
We run quarterly meetings, each lasting 90 minutes. These are hybrid events: part in-person and part virtual. We will be present at the host university, along with the hosts themselves, and quite likely others too. However, we expect the majority of attendees to be remote, from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and even beyond if they wish. The session will also be recorded, and the recording—or, more likely, an edited and condensed version that is easier to manage—will be available afterwards for those who were unable to attend.
Each event to feature a particular university, and a particular topic that the group has identified as important. There will be a short presentation, followed by a moderated discussion and question and answer session. These events will be led by the interests of the group, and by what the wider community wants to discuss. Focus will be on the big issues facing universities in teaching and using SAS. We want to be able to showcase those who are successfully tackling these problems, and help others to learn from their experience.
Kicking off the series in Poland
The first event will be from the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland. It will be hosted by Ewa Hryciuk, SAS’s Academic Programme Manager for the area, who will moderate the discussion. There will be two speakers, Agnieszka Kucharska, from the Faculty of Management, and Bartosz Jabłoński, from the Faculty of Mathematics and Information Science.
They will talk about using SAS Viya in teaching. They will start by discussing the university’s migration from SAS9 to SAS Viya, and the main differences between the two. They will also touch on why you might want to migrate, and when is the best time to do so. They will also talk about SAS Viya for Learners, and the advantages and disadvantages of using SAS Viya for teaching.
This should be a very interesting discussion. Agnieszka’s research is on business intelligence and the use of Big Data in the public sector. She is very business-oriented in her approach. Bartosz, by contrast, is more technical. He is a mathematician by background, and has extensive experience of using SAS tools. It will be fascinating to hear their different views from those perspectives and faculties, and how both are using SAS Viya in their teaching.
Next quarter, the first in 2023, we will move to Romania, and Politehnica University of Bucharest. Beyond that, it will depend on the group, and who is prepared to share their experience and host an event. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved. We will be sending out invitations to people who we think would be interested, but please do get in touch if you’d like to attend.
The first edition - December 9th, 2022 from Poland, a recording from the meet-up is available here: https://youtu.be/TjV1QbU96iA
The second edition - March 31st, 2023 from Romania, a recording from the meeting is available here: SAS Powered Educators (4140044) (on24.com).
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