(This article was originally published at The DO Loop, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.)

I am pleased to announce that this year at SAS Global Forum 2013 (San Francisco, April 27 to May 1, 2013) I am giving a free hands-on workshop (HOW) entitled "Getting Started with the SAS/IML Language."

If you are not familiar with the very popular Hands-On Workshop series at SAS conferences, here are the highlights:

- A HOW is a two-hour workshop that is FREE for anyone attending the conference.
- A HOW takes place in a room filled with 40-50 computers that are pre-loaded with SAS software. (Typically two attendees share a computer, so 80–100 participants.)
- A HOW is a mixture of lecture and hands-on exercises.

The HOW series introduces SAS users to useful or new features of SAS software. Past HOWS have included topics such as SAS Enterprise Guide, ODS, the macro language, and "workhorse" procedures such as SQL, TABULATE, and REPORT.

Analytical topics are featured less frequently, so I am honored to have been invited. In 2012 Jennifer Waller gave a workshop entitled "How to Perform and Interpret Chi-Square and t-Tests," which is one of the few statistical HOWs in recent years. There were also several recent HOWs on ODS statistical graphics, including "Using SAS ODS Graphics" and "Graphing Made Easy with SG Procedures."

At my HOW, I intend to teach elementary SAS/IML syntax and topics such as the following:

- The fundamentals of a matrix language: How is it different from the DATA step?
- Reading and writing data: From matrices to data sets and back!
- Programming features: What is a matrix language good for?
- Applications: Descriptive statistics, simulation, and more

I assume that the attendees have experience with the DATA step and with elementary statistics. I also assume that the attendees know a little about matrices and vectors, since otherwise why would they want to learn an interactive matrix language (IML)?

Maybe you are curious about the capabilities of the SAS/IML language, but your workplace does not currently license it. Or maybe you've been meaning to learn the language, but your schedule never gives you the opportunity. Or maybe you learned R or MATLAB in school or at a previous job and want to learn about the SAS matrix programming language. Whatever the case may be, this is your chance to learn the basics of the SAS/IML language!

The workshop tentatively scheduled for Tuesday April 30, 1:30–3:30pm. I'll update this information when schedules are finalized.

The workshop is free, but space is limited, so you might want to arrive 15–20 minutes early to make sure you get a seat at a computer. I hope to see you in San Francisco!

**Update 07Jan2012**: SAS Press has informed me that they will donate a copy of my book

*Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software*to a random participant of my HOW. Yet one more reason to attend!

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