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LSU Agricultural Economics Doctoral Students Recognized with 2013 SAS Student Ambassador Awards

06/06/2013 11:16 AM

BATON ROUGE – David Maradiaga, a recent LSU master's graduate in analytics and doctoral student in agricultural economics, and Aude L. Pujula, a current graduate assistant in the LSU Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness and doctoral candidate in agricultural and applied economics, recently served as student ambassadors during the Statistical Analysis System, or SAS, Global Forum 2013, held April 28-May 1 in San Francisco.


SAS Global Forum is an annual event planned and sponsored by the SAS Global Users Group, a non-profit organization that is open to all SAS business analytics and business intelligence computer software users throughout the world. The organization was formed to provide a means for SAS software users to exchange ideas, explore ways of using SAS software and participate in activities of mutual interest. This year, SAS users representing more than 35 countries gathered for 3 ½ intense days of learning and networking.


“The forum was full of innovative ways of applying statistics, econometrics and business intelligence to solve problems,” said Maradiaga, who also received master’s degrees in both agricultural economics and business analytics and intelligence from LSU. “It was by far the best conference I ever attended, and the biggest with more than 4,000 participants from all over the world.”


The SAS Student Ambassador Program recognizes the top student researchers around the world who are using SAS analytical software in innovative ways to benefit their fields of study. For more information, visit


As SAS student ambassadors, both Maradiaga and Pujula were invited to present their research during SAS Global Forum 2013. The pair presented two research papers – “Exploring Time Series Data Properties in SAS” and “Using SAS to Assess Individuals’ Best Performance in Multiple Dimensions.” 


Hector Zapata, executive director for LSU International Programs and Past Presidents of the LSU Alumni Association Alumni Professor, has mentored both Maradiaga and Pujula in their studies in utilizing SAS software.


A native of Honduras, Maradiaga is an SAS certified base programmer for SAS 9. A seasoned SAS user with a decade of SAS knowledge under his belt, Pineda used the SAS MACRO language and PROC SQL for the research that he presented at SAS Global Forum. He served as the vice president of the 2013 master’s in analytics class and is a former president of the economics doctorate class. He was a SouthCentral SAS Users Group Student Scholarship recipient in 2012.


Originally from France, Pujula is expected to graduate from LSU in August. She was introduced to SAS five years ago, being most familiar with Base SAS, SAS/GRAPH, SAS/IML, SAS/STAT, SAS/ETS and ODS Graphics programs. Pujula was a recipient of the 2012 SouthCentral SAS Users Group Student Scholarship. Specializing her doctoral pursuit in econometrics, she also holds two master’s degrees in agricultural engineering.

LSU Media Relations