Writing the Book on Learning SAS
For Jonathan Duggins, Associate Teaching Professor and instructor for ST 555 – Statistical Programming I (SAS), the SAS programming language has been a huge part of his statistical career.
“I started using SAS in 1999 as part of getting my BS in math at UNCW so I’ve been using SAS for about 22 years at this point,” says Duggins. Since then Duggins has gone on to use SAS in his career as a Biostatistician and as an award-winning instructor at NC State.
“I worked as a biostatistician for several companies where I got to work on a lot of different clinical trials and I have consulted with various groups – from large organizations like the USDA and EPA down to small, one- or two-person start-up companies in areas like financial planning. In almost all of those cases, I was working exclusively in SAS,” says Duggins.
Duggins brings his industry experience and expert SAS knowledge (including four SAS certifications) to the classroom to create a meaningful experience for his students. After years of teaching the content without a good textbook, Duggins decided to take the matter into his own hands and write a textbook.
“Most SAS books are written as reference books by users for individuals who are already users and are looking to learn a new tool or just learn more about a tool they already know. As a result, they are often a great asset to experienced programmers but are not of use for novice programmers. Further, because they are not written by experts in education, they were often not a good fit for classroom use.”
“We (co-author Dr. James Blum, UNCW) wrote our book in order to give students a better tool for success. More in-depth explanations that are not intended for experienced programmers, examples with explicit explanations of the SAS mechanics, practical applications through case studies, and a breadth of questions to allow readers to gauge their understanding of the material,” Duggins says.
The book, Fundamentals of Programming in SAS: A Case Studies Approach, has been well received by both students and faculty at higher education institutions.
Through strategic employment of hands-on learning, self-tests, and in-depth explanations of powerful procedures, both veteran and new SAS programmers are able to learn about programming best practices and how to hone their skills within a structured and appropriately challenging environment.
This book was written and organized in a way that allows new users to “hit the ground running.” As it teaches you new procs and data lines, it revisits previous material that can be expounded on with the new topic
Dr. Duggins has consistently been rated as an excellent instructor. Our department, online program, and students are all extremely happy to have him guiding our students through their SAS programming journey.
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