COURSE ON SAS STATISTICAL PACKAGE PREPARES ACCI STUDENTS FOR RESEARCH
Optimising the use of the SAS statistics programme concluded the Advanced Biometry Workshop for second-year African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) students. Emeritus Professor of Statistics from Kansas State University (KSU), George Milliken, presented a five-day course on SAS related to advanced mixed linear models and messy data analysis.
Professor Milliken's invitation to UKZN was facilitated jointly by Dr Henry Mwambi from the School of Statistics and Actuarial Science and Dr John Derera from the ACCI. It forms part of the strategy to enhance capacity in biometry in UKZN and in the sub-Saharan region.
Recognised globally for his statistics prowess, Professor Milliken has published numerous articles and books, many of which are widely referenced by the statistical research community. Although he officially retired from KSU in 2007, Professor Milliken continues to run his consultancy, Milliken Associates, Inc.
Professor Milliken commented on the attentiveness of the UKZN students and said, “When people take statistics classes, they often fall asleep so this was a big plus.” He enjoyed interacting with the students, many of who hail from other countries in Africa, and found their areas of research interesting.
The ACCI students, with an intense three-week instruction in statistics under their belts, will now be well-prepared to tackle their field research which is the next step towards achieving their PhD degrees in plant breeding.