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Clemson U Expands SAS Partnership to Deploy Data Science and Analytics Software for Teaching and Research

Clemson University is teaming up with data analytics company SAS to help build students' AI and analytics skills as well as support academic research. Since 2017, SAS has worked with Clemson's Watt Family Innovation Center to provide data analytics training, seminars and technical support; the latest partnership expands on that initiative with a $3.3 million donation that includes access to SAS Viya, the company's flagship artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics and data management platform.

SAS Viya supports the analysis of large datasets, allowing researchers to transform raw data into powerful insights while significantly reducing data processing time, according to the company. Clemson researchers plan to use the technology to study areas such as inequities in education, wildlife disease, addiction, agriculture and the human genome.

For example, Brian Witrick, a fifth-year PhD student in Clemson's applied health research and evaluation program, is using SAS to analyze an enormous registry of people who suffer from peripheral artery disease and identify disparities in care. Data processing jobs that once lasted seven days now take just 30 hours with SAS.

"The practical implications of using SAS on this project are pretty amazing," said Witrick. "Utilizing SAS allows us to identify the problem and then create potential solutions and interventions."

In addition, SAS will provide Clemson faculty with teaching materials and on-site training to help integrate the technology into coursework and better prepare students for careers where data skills are in high demand.

"By integrating SAS into coursework, we're helping strengthen literacy in data science," explained Cynthia Young, founding dean of Clemson's College of Science, in a statement. "Our students become more competitive, our alumni are more successful, and our state and nation are getting more of a workforce that understands SAS and is better prepared to advance many industries as they harness the power of data."

"Clemson's partnership with SAS has greatly benefitted our faculty, staff and students," said Clemson President James P. Clements. "I am grateful for this gift that will continue to provide them with the best software and hands-on experience."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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