WUSS Virtual Classes

WUSS Virtual Classes – 2024 Edition

Western Users of SAS Software is excited to announce a full slate of WUSS Virtual Classes for 2024 featuring several of our most popular half-day training classes taught by seasoned industry experts. These classes are a tremendous value at just $175 per class. All classes are held from 10am to 2pm PT (1pm to 5pm ET).

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Registration is NOW OPEN for all classes! Please click on each class title for a detailed description of the course and information about the instructors.

Date Course Title (click for description) Instructor(s)
(click for bio)
FEBRUARY 2024
Feb 27 From %MACRO to %MEND: Getting Started with SAS Macro Language Basics – Part I Josh Horstman
Feb 28 From %MACRO to %MEND: Getting Started with SAS Macro Language Basics – Part II Josh Horstman
MARCH 2024
Mar 12 The Complete Guide to PROC SQL: Mastering Essentials and Unlocking Advanced Techniques – Part 1 (Single Table Queries) Tasha Chapman
Mar 14 The Complete Guide to PROC SQL: Mastering Essentials and Unlocking Advanced Techniques – Part 2 (Multiple Table Queries) Tasha Chapman
APRIL 2024
Apr 2 Introduction to Statistical Analysis Using R Software Lida Gharibvand
Apr 10 Custom Reports, Spreadsheets, and Dashboards Using PROC REPORT Kirk Paul Lafler
Apr 26 Navigating ChatGPT in Biometrics: Unlocking Data Insights for Practical Application Kevin Lee
JULY 2024
Jul 17 Applying Machine Learning Algorithms to Real-World Data with Python: Programming by Example Ryan Paul Lafler
& Anna Wade



Course Descriptions

From %MACRO to %MEND: Getting Started with SAS Macro Language Basics – Part I
Josh Horstman
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

This two-part seminar is designed for the SAS programmer who is new to the Macro Language. We will start with the basics and cover the fundamentals necessary to start applying SAS macros in your programs. Part 1 covers how the Macro Language works, what the Macro Symbol Table is and how to store values in it, how the SAS System uses Macro Variables, calling and executing macros, using macro parameters, and other key Macro Language concepts. It is intended to be paired with Part 2 for a complete foundation in the macro language.

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From %MACRO to %MEND: Getting Started with SAS Macro Language Basics – Part II
Josh Horstman
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

This two-part seminar is designed for the SAS programmer who is new to the Macro Language. We will start with the basics and cover the fundamentals necessary to start applying SAS macros in your programs. Building on the foundational concepts of the first part, Part 2 covers how to control your SAS programs with macros, the use of key SAS Macro Language statements, interfacing with data values in the macro language, macro functions, macro language arithmetic, and other fundamental macro language concepts. Using examples, this course demonstrate the power and flexibility of this part of the SAS System and will enable you to apply its functionalities to your own programs right away.

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The Complete Guide to PROC SQL: Mastering Essentials and Unlocking Advanced Techniques – Part 1 (Single Table Queries)
Tasha Chapman
Tuesday, March 12, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

The Complete Guide to PROC SQL: Mastering Essentials and Unlocking Advanced Techniques
Part 1 – Single Table Queries

SQL is a common language used across many computing platforms to store, retrieve, and manipulate data in relational databases. You can use SQL code in SAS, instantly doubling the tools in your coding toolbox, but after this course you’ll also be able to seamlessly query and manipulate data from multiple data tables on any programming platform AND easily communicate with non-SAS programmers in a language they understand.

This course is appropriate for beginners who have never used SQL as well as intermediate level users who would like to strengthen their existing skills. The course will cover the basic syntax of SQL to develop a firm understanding of how the language is used, and then move to more advanced topics. With engaging activities and exercises, there will be plenty of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned both in and out of the classroom.

This class is split into two parts. While each part can be taken individually, it is strongly recommended that both parts be taken together.

By the end of part one attendees will have an understanding of:
Basic database concepts
SQL select statements
Restricting rows and sorting data
Using SAS syntax within PROC SQL
CASE/WHEN expression
Group functions

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The Complete Guide to PROC SQL: Mastering Essentials and Unlocking Advanced Techniques – Part 2 (Multiple Table Queries)
Tasha Chapman
Thursday, March 14, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

The Complete Guide to PROC SQL: Mastering Essentials and Unlocking Advanced Techniques
Part 2 – Multiple Table Queries

SQL is a common language used across many computing platforms to store, retrieve, and manipulate data in relational databases. You can use SQL code in SAS, instantly doubling the tools in your coding toolbox, but after this course you’ll also be able to seamlessly query and manipulate data from multiple data tables on any programming platform AND easily communicate with non-SAS programmers in a language they understand.

This course is appropriate for beginners who have never used SQL as well as intermediate level users who would like to strengthen their existing skills. The course will cover the basic syntax of SQL to develop a firm understanding of how the language is used, and then move to more advanced topics. With engaging activities and exercises, there will be plenty of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned both in and out of the classroom.

This class is split into two parts. While each part can be taken individually, it is strongly recommended that both parts be taken together.

By the end of part two attendees will have an understanding of:
Basic database concepts
Creating tables
Joining tables
Unions
Subqueries
Tips for better coding
Using PROC SQL with non-SAS databases

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Introduction to Statistical Analysis Using R Software
Lida Gharibvand
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

The objective of this course is for the beginner and intermediate students to develop an overall understanding of how to use R software to analyze data in real-world applications. The students will first be introduced to statistics and critical thinking through foundational concepts such as types of data, quantitative and qualitative data with tables and graphs, normal distribution, Central Limit Theorem, sampling distribution and its use. Then, students will learn how to define a confidence interval, perform hypothesis testing, understand the difference between null and alternative hypotheses, Type I and Type II error, statistical significance, and clinical importance. Next topic will be the difference between the level of significance of a test and a p-value followed by how to use a p-value or critical value to determine statistical significance. The students will learn the important skill of how to use a confidence interval to determine statistical significance. The class will also provide practical knowledge so students can determine when to use a paired t-test and when to use an independent t-test or one way ANOVA using R. Finally, the course will discuss correlation and regression analysis using R software. This course aims to equip beginner and intermediate students with practical knowledge of R software to analyze real-world datasets and use the power of data to improve the decision process.

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Custom Reports, Spreadsheets, and Dashboards Using PROC REPORT
Kirk Paul Lafler
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

SAS users everywhere turn to the REPORT procedure, Output Delivery System (ODS), ODS EXCEL, and Statistical Graphics to customize and satisfy their reporting needs as they create and deliver quality custom detail / summary reports, spreadsheets, dashboards, and specialized output for management, end users, and customers. Attendees of this popular course learn how to create detail and summary reports, spreadsheets, dashboards, and specialized output using PROC REPORT, ODS EXCEL, and Statistical Graphics; acquire useful ODS and Statistical Graphics skills; combine PROC REPORT and the powerful ODS PDF, HTML, and Excel destinations to produce quick and formatted reports, spreadsheets, dashboards, and specialized results; customize output and results with SAS-supplied styles; compute subtotals and totals at the end of a report using COMPUTE Blocks; calculate percentages; produce statistics for analysis variables; apply conditional logic to control summary output rows; add background images, logos, and watermarks; build custom autofilter techniques to subset (or filter) reports and Excel workbooks; freeze row and column headers for frame-of-reference vantage points (viewing) while scrolling in Excel workbooks; add traffic lighting scenarios; and build custom (n-rows x n-columns) dashboards with ease.

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Navigating ChatGPT in Biometrics: Unlocking Data Insights for Practical Application
Kevin Lee
Friday, April 26, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

ChatGPT is at the forefront of the next revolution, and in this class, we’re about to embark on a journey that will demystify this remarkable technology. Imagine a virtual assistant that can comprehend and generate human-like text from Clinical Trial Data, a tool that can answer questions about specific patients, write SAS/R/Python codes, assist in content creation such as tables/listing/graphs, and even unleash its creativity in the realm of art. To truly harness its potential, you need to understand how to use ChatGPT in the art of prompt engineering, application development using ChatGPT API in Python/SAS and fine-tuning ChatGPT with your own data. In the class, we will embark on an exploration of ChatGPT that will equip you with the knowledge and skills to leverage its capabilities effectively while ensuring ethical and responsible use.

The class will cover various aspects of Large Language Models (LLM), with a focus on ChatGPT. It will begin with an introduction to LLM. The class then delves into ChatGPT, explaining its purpose, development history, and potential impact on organizations and individuals. The class will explore ChatGPT applications, including website prompts, API integration, Python coding and fine-tuning, and presents use cases ranging from simple inquiries, SAS coding, SAS migration to R/Python, to art generation. There’s an emphasis on how to effectively use ChatGPT through prompt engineering techniques. Concerns regarding ChatGPT, such as data privacy, bias, and ethical considerations, will be addressed. Finally, the class touches on enterprise-level ChatGPT implementation, discussing risk mitigation and regulatory compliance.

After attending the class, you will emerge with a comprehensive understanding of the LLM and ChatGPT phenomenon, including its architecture, practical use cases, prompt engineering, and API applications using Python/SAS. You will learn practical skills to effectively utilize ChatGPT in various domains, from effective prompts, content development, coding, art generation and more. Furthermore, you will gain insights into the ethical considerations surrounding LLM and ChatGPT, encompassing data privacy, bias, and regulatory compliance. You will also be equipped with knowledge about enterprise-level ChatGPT implementation and risk mitigation strategies. Ultimately, this class will empower you to leverage ChatGPT’s transformative potential while adhering to ethical and responsible ChatGPT practices in Biometric Department.

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Applying Machine Learning Algorithms to Real-World Data with Python: Programming by Example
Ryan Paul Lafler, Anna Wade
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time

This virtual half-day course is open to all data scientists, statistical programmers, software engineers, researchers, project managers, and Machine Learning enthusiasts searching for an example-oriented training seminar incorporating supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning algorithms to:

  • Confidently work with both labeled (tagged) and unlabeled (raw) data,
  • Automate classification and regression tasks for Artificial Intelligence workflows,
  • Mine real-world data to uncover relationships between features,
  • Perform clustering and dimensionality reduction on unlabeled data,
  • Optimize, evaluate, and measure the performance of Machine Learning algorithms using Python’s Scikit-Learn library.

Several supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning algorithms will be thoroughly discussed, programmed, and fine-tuned using Python, including:

  • Decision Trees for Multi-Class Classification and Non-Linear Regression,
  • Random Forest and Gradient-Boosting Ensemble Methods,
  • Clustering strategies for Observation Segmentation and Anomaly Detection,
  • Dimensionality Reduction (and Manifold Learning) techniques to reduce the complexity of Big Data.

By enrolling in this course, attendees receive the documented Python code, their personal copies of the PDF version of the slides, and the confidence to implement supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning algorithms in their organizations.

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Meet the Instructors

Tasha Chapman has been using SAS since 2003 and an active member of the SAS User Community since 2006. Throughout her career she has championed continuing education and professional development, presented trainings and workshops at professional conferences across the country, sat as an executive committee member on nationally recognized associations, and founded two organizations dedicated to educating colleagues about research, data, and statistics. She was the chair of the Western Users of SAS Software Conference and Educational Forum in 2017 and 2022.
Tasha received a Master’s Degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on personality assessment and psychometrics from the University of California, Riverside. Since 2005 she has worked for the State of Oregon as a lead research analyst providing data and policy analysis for Oregon OSHA, the Oregon Child Welfare Program, and the Oregon Health Authority. She lives in Salem, Oregon with her two adorable kids, Nadia and Atlas.

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Dr. Lida Gharibvand is the Director, Statistics and Research Education and Professor at Loma Linda University. Lida has been using SAS since 2005 and an active member of the SAS User Community since 2006. Lida serves as the president of her local SAS users group and is on the leadership council of the local chapter of American Statistical Association (ASA).
She has shown strong interest and skills in mathematics since childhood which has evolved into a strong focus on data analytics, information technologies and computer sciences. In addition to academic work, she worked as a data analyst and consultant at the university’s Center for Research Design and Analysis. She has really enjoyed using R& SAS tools ever since to solve analytical problems faced by client institutions.

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Josh Horstman is an independent statistical programmer based in Indianapolis with over 20 years experience using SAS in the life sciences industry. He specializes in analyzing clinical trial data, and his clients have included major pharmaceutical corporations, biotech companies, and research organizations. A SAS Certified Advanced Programmer, Josh loves coding and is a frequent presenter and trainer at SAS user conferences. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science, and a master’s degree in statistics from Colorado State University.

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Kirk Paul Lafler is a consultant, developer, programmer, educator, and data scientist; and currently works as a lecturer and adjunct professor at San Diego State University, a consultant who performs project-based ETL, data analysis, and data science services for clients in a variety of industries, and teaches SAS, SQL, open source, and cloud-based technology courses to users around the world.

Kirk has decades of programming experience and specializes in SAS, SQL, RDBMS technologies (Oracle, SQL-Server, Teradata, MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL), Python, R, and other languages and software tools. Currently Kirk serves as the WUSS EC Open-Source Coordinator and is also actively involved with SAS, SQL, Python, R, Database Management Systems, Machine Learning, and cloud-computing user groups, conference committees, and blogs.

Kirk is the author of the popular PROC SQL: Beyond the Basics Using SAS, Third Edition (SAS Press, 2019) along with other technical books. He is also an Invited speaker, educator, keynote, and leader; and is the recipient of 28 “Best” contributed paper, hands-on workshop (HOW), and poster awards.

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Ryan Paul Lafler is the Founder, CEO, Chief Data Scientist, and Lead Consultant at Premier Analytics Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm based in San Diego, California, that specializes in optimizing Machine Learning algorithms for Artificial Intelligence workflows; developing responsive Full-Stack Applications and Dashboards; leveraging Open-Source Software for powerful analysis; and offering personalized training tailored to his Clients’ Big Data goals.

He’s also an Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University for the Big Data Analytics Graduate Program and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Ryan’s multilingual experience in Python, R, SAS, JavaScript (React.js & Node.js), and SQL has contributed to his success as a Big Data Scientist; Machine Learning Engineer; Statistician; Full-Stack Application Developer; and Project Manager.

He received his Master of Science in Big Data Analytics from San Diego State University in May 2023 following the successful defense and publication of his Thesis. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and minored in Quantitative Economics from San Diego State University after graduating Magna cum Laude. His passions include Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, full-stack application and interactive dashboard development, data visualization, and Open-Source programming languages.

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Kevin Lee is a passionate Data Scientist and esteemed Machine Learning Leader, boasting two decades of experience in cutting-edge Machine Learning and Data Sciences Services and products within the pharmaceutical industry. His enduring enthusiasm for leadership and innovative technologies has helped him to drive continuous innovation in the Biometric department.

Recently, Kevin has found renewed excitement in the immense potential of ChatGPT, particularly in its applications within the pharmaceutical industry. He is eager to contribute his wealth of knowledge and expertise in AI, LLM, and ChatGPT to the dynamic realm of the Biometric Department by pushing the boundaries of technological advancement.

As a lifelong learner, Kevin takes pleasure in sharing his extensive knowledge, having delivered over 100 papers. Beyond corporate boundaries, he extends his expertise by imparting insights into Machine Learning, Python programming, data standards, and oncology, both in academic and corporate settings.

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Anna Wade is an accomplished Statistician currently working in clinical trials at Medicinova, La Jolla and acting as a Consultant with Premier Analytics Consulting, LLC, in San Diego, California. Anna began working in math education following her graduation from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019, earning dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy. In 2021, while pursuing her Master of Science in Statistics from San Diego State University, she worked as an Instructor and Graduate Teaching Associate for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, where she found joy in simplifying complex statistical concepts for students and positively impacting their educational experience. Through her studies, she became proficient in SAS, R, and Python, and acquired a profound understanding of mathematical and theoretical Statistics.

Since graduating, Anna’s passionate about applying her skills as a Statistician to many fields including environmental research, health sciences, and climatology. She is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of researchers and scientists, all while advocating for ethical practices, equal opportunities, and environmental stewardship.

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