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SAS Users Group Westwood

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Welcome to SAS Users Group Westwood!

SAS Users Group Westwood (SUG-WE) hosts meetings dedicated to helping people further develop their SAS® skills. Our meetings are open to everyone and almost always involve hands-on training. We also provide free food and opportunities for networking. SAS Users Group Westwood is registered as an official SAS users group but operates totally independent from SAS. There are no dues or membership fees, but there may be small fees for certain trainings. We meet four to six times per year, and the meetings are usually held on the UCLA campus.

Upcoming skill-building and networking opportunity - November 11!

SAS Users Group Westwood welcomes you on Saturday, November 11, 2017 to network with local SAS users, boost your SAS skills, and learn about some of the latest SAS tools and technologies. The featured presentation by Michael Lamm, SAS, is "Causal Effect Estimation With Observational Data: Methods and Applications."

This short course introduces propensity score analysis and its applications to causal analysis in observational studies. Because randomized experiments are not always possible in clinical or biomedical studies, researchers often have to meet the challenge of making causal inferences from observational data. For example, the observed relationship between smoking (as a binary treatment variable) and lung cancer (as an outcome variable) is often confounded by the background characteristics of subjects. To estimate the causal effect of a treatment variable on an outcome variable, special statistical techniques are required for dealing with observational data.

This course briefly reviews the issues concerning causal inference from observational data and explains the logic and assumptions behind the propensity score and related methods. Applications of these methods to example data are used to demonstrate and compare different causal inference techniques. Specifically, this course covers the applications of the following methods: matching, stratification, weighting, regression adjustment, and doubly robust estimation. It also covers numerical and graphical techniques for assessing covariate balance in causal analysis. The course uses SAS software (PROC CAUSALTRT and PROC PSMATCH) to demonstrate the causal analysis techniques and focuses on how to apply appropriate statistical analyses for inferring causal relationships from observational data.

Please RSVP (and indicate any food restrictions for breakfast and snacks) to Michael Johnston at

We look forward to seeing you in November!

Past Events

In June, Kirk Lafler, Software Intelligence Corporation, gave 2 hands-on workshops: "Powerful PROC SQL SELECT Queries Every SAS® User Should Know" and "Fuzzy Matching SAS® Programming Techniques."

Other past events include:

  • 10/1/16: William E. Benjamin, Owl Computer Consultancy LLC and SAS Press Author gave 2 presentations: "Leave Your Bad Code Behind: 50 Ways to Make Your SAS® Code Execute More Efficiently" and "Give the Power of SAS® to Excel Users Without Making Them Write SAS® Code"
  • 4/9/16: Kirk Paul Lafler, Software Intelligence Corporation gave a hands-on workshop "Building Business Intelligence Dashboards Using Base-SAS Software"; Christine Wells presented "Survey Data Analysis in SAS"; and Cynthia Trinidad spoke on "Nifty Uses of SQL Reflexive Joins and Sub-Queries in SAS."
  • 8/26/15: Mary-Elizabeth Eddlestone, Principal Systems Engineer at SAS presented "Star Wars and the Art of Data Science: An Analytical Approach to Understanding Large Amounts of Unstructured Data" and "Proven Practices for Predictive Modeling"
  • 5/16/15: Deepak Goel hands-on workshop "HASH Objects: Fast and Creative Ways to Merge."
  • 1/24/15: Kirk Lafler hands-on workshop "Best Practice Programming Techniques Using SAS®" and "Google® Search Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts"
  • 10/11/14: Arthur Li (City of Hope) "Fundamentals of SAS Datastep Programming."
  • 5/3/14: Vince DelGobbo (SAS) hands-on workshop "Some Techniques for Integrating SAS Output with Microsoft Excel Using Base SAS" and "An Introduction to Creating Multisheet Excel Workshops the Easy Way with SAS."

Directions to our meetings

The Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA (map ) is located at:

630 Charles E. Young Dr., S. (steps to entrance are to right of 630)
Los Angeles, CA 90024

The closest parking structure is UCLA parking structure 9 and the closest point of purchase for a parking pass is kiosk #9 (500 Westwood Plaza [1]).
Fees are $12 ($5 for disability) for an all-day pass payable with cash or Bruincard only OR self-park by the hour at certain locations (structures 2 and 8 at $3/hour are closest: see how to park at UCLA: [2]).

Other transportation options to the School are provided on the School's webpage here.. Maps, Parking, and Transportation.

We usually meet in room A1-241 in the School (level A, corridor 1, room 241). After entering the building's front door (Google Map) there is a set of elevators a few steps in front of you and starting down a corridor to the left. Take one of the elevators in this bank to level A. Exiting the elevator on level A, take an immediate left turn, and then an immediate right turn: this is corridor "1". Room 241 will be on your left near the end of the corridor.

Executive Committee

We have a terrific Executive Committee chaired by Michael Johnston. Stop by at one of our meetings or contact any one of us if you would like to join in and contribute to our group!

>> Current EC <<

Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston holds both base and advanced SAS certifications. He has 10+ years of experience in healthcare. He pursued graduate education at UCLA, earning a Master's of Public Health in Biostatistics and a PhD in Sociology (one field of expertise is Health and Medicine). His experience in statistical analysis includes risk adjustment, regression (multiple variable, logistic, multilevel, and longitudinal), survival analysis, missing data, and propensity score analysis. Michael has published more than 20 academic papers and delivered more than 100 public presentations.

Chan Chan

Chan Chan is a Data Analyst/SAS Programmer at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC in the division of Dental Public Health & Pediatric Dentistry. He holds both base and advance SAS certifications with a strong background in science/research. He obtained a Bachelor's in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and a Master’s in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology from USC.

Johnny Lin

Johnny Lin has worked with SAS for more than eight years and currently works as a statistical consultant at UCLA. He obtained his Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from UCLA and has published with researchers in psychology, education and medicine. Previously he worked as a psychometrician at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey.

Karen Spritzer

Karen Spritzer has been using SAS since 1981. A programmer/analyst in UCLA's Division of General Medicine Health Services Research since 1998, Karen enjoys analyzing complex datasets. She has been a member of the executive board of SUG-WE and vice-president of Operations since September, 2012.

Cynthia Trinidad

Cyndy is a SAS ver 9 certified programmer and has been a Clinical Data Management SAS programmer for more than 10 years. She recently presented a paper at the 2015 SAS Global Forum and regularly participates in a variety of SAS user group meetings. In her spare time, she enjoys public speaking and competing at her local Toastmasters club.

Christine Wells

Christine Wells, Ph.D., has advanced knowledge of SAS and has worked as a statistical consultant for more than 15 years. She has worked with a wide range of data types and statistical models and assisted consulting clients with all phases of the research process. Christine is a very active member of our executive board.

Yan Wu

Yan Wu is a data analyst/programmer at in the litigation consulting industry. She majored in applied mathematics at UCLA with experiences in data management, linear/fixed effects regression, VAR and other analytical techniques.

>> EC past members - our Hall of Fame <<

Brian Chen

Brian Chen is a co-founder of SUG-WE and served as a board member and Vice-President of Academics through December 2014. We thank him for his contributions to the group.

Ken Chou

Ken Chou served as our Vice-President of IT from the founding of the group through March 2015. He built up our web presence on a variety of platforms and we remain grateful for his help in starting the group.

Elaine Liu

Yihang (Elaine) Liu is a senior statistician with UCLA and has a diverse background with degrees in Medicine, Statistics, Epidemiology and Communication Management. She is a certified SAS programmer with more than 10 years working experience in the healthcare field and has co-authored on many papers published on peer-reviewed journals. Elaine is a co-founder of SUG-WE and served as a board member and Vice-President of Membership and Communications through December, 2016. We thank her for all her contributions to the group.

John Maierhofer

John Maierhofer served as Vice-President of Quality Analytics from April 2012 to June 2013. In that role, John helped collect and analyze data on participant experience with the goal of improving workshop satisfaction. John had to move on, but is missed!

Web Site

For more information and to join our mailing list please visit us on our SUG-WE LinkedIn page.

We thank SAS [3] for their continued support.