Three Day Nerdfest

SAS: The Power To Know.

Three more days.

I just need to survive three more days.

And then it’s off to Calgary for adventuring and shenaniganning with Rick.

Have I mentioned that I’m stoked?

Anyway, the next three days are going to be extremely busy but also a lot of fun. I’m heading to the Public Health Agency of Canada for 3 full days of training. It’s going to be all SAS, all the time.

For those of you not in the know, SAS is a program that is used for statistical analyses. It is, I would say, the gold standard of stats programs. Yes, the use of the term gold standard does imply that there is more than one program used for statistical analyses. Many in fact.

Personally, while I use SAS and understand its power, I usually rely on R (a freeware statistical program). They both perform the same types of analyses, but I prefer that R allows me to code in the same way I would were I writing a program in C++ or most other standard programming languages.

Anyway, I’ve spent the eve prepping my notes for tomorrow, emailing Rick, reviewing presentations, and updating slides. I still have a few touches to add, but I’m pretty confident that I’m going to be ready to tackle whatever might be thrown at me between tomorrow and Wednesday.

While all of the prepping and programming has been time-consuming, it has come with a set of advantages. For example:

  1. I’ve been forced to formalize some of my notes (which were a bit of a mess to be honest).
  2. I’ve allowed myself some time to review statistical theory that I’ve not been able to review for a while.
  3. I’ve relearned things I forgot.
  4. I’ve strengthened my understanding of some concepts.
  5. I’ve reminded myself once again that I love mathematics and statistics.
  6. I’ve used this task as an excuse to get my nerd on both in terms of coding in SAS and in R (not that I really needed an excuse to get my nerd on).
  7. I’ve updated my $\LaTeX$ coding skills, specifically in the realm of presentations using something called Beamer.

But most of all, this work has given me the opportunity to work with Rick. And I have to say, I’m very fortunate to work with someone like him. He’s a hard-working nerd in all the best kind of ways. That’s right folks, he’s not just a pretty face – he’s also smart.

Just don’t tell him I said that.


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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    Haha! It’s true- I’m not just a pretty face :D. I do work on statistical things once in a while. I have been reminded that I enjoy stats more than I thought I did, and that I really need to brush up on my skills in LaTeX and R and all things statistical. I also wish I were attending this nerdfest, especially since that training session that prevented me from attending in the first place isn’t actually happening. Scheduling fail.

    1. dangillis says:

      Scheduling fail indeed. But that just means we can shenanigan on Thursday, yes?

  2. Ride on with the Statistical Analysis thing and proceed to the trip to Calgary. I’m sure you’ll do fine. Seems Rick caught you already. Lol. Enjoy!

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