SAS honors excellence in teaching and learning data science and analytics

Company adds new awards for HBCU and emerging educators

Through partnerships with colleges and universities around the world, SAS is building a sustainable pool of data science and analytics talent. At the virtual SAS Global Forum 2020, the company is recognising the educators and students who are teaching, learning and using SAS in innovative ways.

“The pandemic has put a bright spotlight on the importance of analysing data to make better decisions,” said Sean O’Brien, Vice President of SAS Education. “This year’s honourees are a testament to a world driven by analytics, at a time where their expertise is needed most.”

In response to COVID-19, SAS launched flexible, free learning options. From short videos to interactive online courses, the SAS® training resources can introduce beginners to programming or statistics, or lead to a valuable industry credential like the SAS AI and Machine Learning Professional.

SAS supports eight award programs for students and educators participating in the virtual forum.

The Distinguished SAS Educator Award recognises an educator who has made significant contributions to advancing analytics education and preparing students for careers in analytics and data science. This year, Steven Myers from The University of Akron received this award for his work supporting students and incorporating analytics in the classroom and beyond. Myers has been teaching for over four decades and considers himself an ‘evangelist’ for data science.  

A new award, the Emerging SAS Educator Award honours an educator who has shown exemplary progress in advancing analytics education and creating new analytics and data science talent. Leila Halawi from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University integrates analytics into instruction and prepares her students to enter the workforce by staying up to date with industry needs. 

Building on a history of support for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), SAS developed a new travel award for  HBCU Educators to acknowledge their work in the analytics world. Award recipients were selected based on their contributions and interest in expanding analytics education at their institution. Three recipients were selected to receive this award: Anthony Troy Adams, Kentucky State University; Burcu Adivar, Fayetteville State University; Jason Black, Florida A&M University. 

The SAS Global Forum Student Symposium competition is an opportunity for teams of postsecondary students and a faculty advisor to showcase their skills and compete with other teams in the application of SAS Analytics in big data. Chosen from among eight team presentations, the winning team from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN applied machine learning techniques to National Science Foundation (NSF) data to recommend similar proposal abstracts to aid the merit review process for proposals.

Other SAS Global Forum academic award winners include:

  • Fifteen educators from US and international post-secondary institutions were awarded Faculty Scholarships to support their continued work in analytics education.
  • Twelve international educators received the International Professional Award for expanding analytics education. 
  • Fourteen professionals, who have never attended SAS Global Forum and have used SAS for less than five years, submitted compelling applications that garnered them the New SAS Professional Award.
  • Fourteen Student Ambassadors were selected in recognition of students using SAS software to benefit their fields of study. 

Today's announcement is in conjunction with SAS Global Forum 2020, the world's premier analytics conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s conference is being held virtually.

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