All I really need to know about Newton’s method I learned in primary school

May 18, 2016
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All I really need to know about Newton’s method I learned in primary school

I was eleven years old when I first saw Newton's method. No, I didn't go to a school for geniuses. I didn't even know it was Newton's method until decades later. However, in sixth grade I learned an iterative algorithm that taught me (almost) everything I need to know about

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Copy McCopyface and the new naming revolution

May 17, 2016
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Copy McCopyface and the new naming revolution

As a parent of children who love books, I can tell you that there is something humorous about taking a first name, adding a "Mc" and then a rhyming surname to make up a brand new character name. My daughters always loved to read the adventures of Harry Mclary from

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The Babylonian method for finding square roots by hand

May 16, 2016
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The Babylonian method for finding square roots by hand

When I was in the sixth grade, I learned an iterative procedure for computing square roots by hand. Yes, I said by hand. Scientific calculators with a square root key were not yet widely available, so I and previous generations of children suffered through learning to calculate square roots by

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Ad-hoc reporting with SAS: Tips for the e-mail jockey

May 15, 2016
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Ad-hoc reporting with SAS: Tips for the e-mail jockey

What's the most common data reporting mechanism? Is it web-based reporting? PDFs? How about spreadsheets? Maybe, but in my experience many reports are delivered using a less-scalable and transient mechanism: e-mail. I'm a data steward at SAS. Specifically, I look after the operational data around our blogging program and our

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What we can learn from popular science communicators

May 13, 2016
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I recently had a chance to hear Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki on triple j radio in Australia.  Known simply as Dr. Karl, he has a weekly national show answering science questions on an alternative rock radio station.  Yes, science on rock radio station. Yes, national. Yes, Thursday morning – when people

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What’s Your SAS Interface?

May 12, 2016
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What’s Your SAS Interface?

These days SAS programmers have more choices than ever before about how to run SAS.  They can use the old Display Manager interface, or SAS Enterprise Guide, or the new kid on the block: SAS Studio.  All of these are included with Base SAS. Once upon a time, the only choices were Display Manager...
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Is that a CSV file … or have you been drinking?

May 12, 2016
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In this blog post I explore some of the open data police incident reports for Raleigh and Cary, while showing you the easy way to handle various types of CSV files. In recent years, many cities have set up open data websites, to share various kinds of data about their city.

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Ten tips before you run an optimization

May 11, 2016
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Optimization is a primary tool of computational statistics. SAS/IML software provides a suite of nonlinear optimizers that makes it easy to find an optimum for a user-defined objective function. You can perform unconstrained optimization, or define linear or nonlinear constraints for constrained optimization. Over the years I have seen many

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Jedi SAS Tricks: DIY Tasks in SAS Studio

May 10, 2016
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In my previous post, Jedi SAS Tricks - Make This a Button in Base SAS I demonstrated running a SAS program from a tool bar button in the SAS Windowing environment. The program we execute is the macro from a previous post, Jedi SAS Tricks: The DATA to DATA Step

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