SAS Art Competition 2015 - The Results
Once again, we were amazed by the diversity of artistic talent there is amongst pharmaceutical statisticians and SAS programmers. We had planned to offer one prize, but we have selected a winner and a runner up, as both were extremely close in the final votes.
This piece, inspired by Van Gogh's painting "Field with Poppies" (June 1890), by Andrew Ndikom was voted the winning entry. Andrew describes the work in the following way:
This picture is inspired by the Van Gogh painting Field with Poppies (June 1890). It is constructed from 15000 dots using the pointillism technique. Van Gogh painted several versions of this painting, each one slightly different from the next. The program I have written is able to replicate this approach and is effectively able to produce an infinite number of different versions of the same image. This is achieved through random number generation, with the result that each iteration of the program creates a painting that is unique in terms of its colour, content and composition. Other versions can be viewed in this link.
One of Van Gogh's original versions is shown to the right.
Programmatically this is done by creating an annotation dataset, every observation of which determines the properties of an individual point in the painting. The variables of the dataset control the position, colour, transparency and size of each dot and these characteristics are determined by a series of random variables. The cumulative effect of this is that individual images can differ greatly, and that the shade of the field, the shape of the trees, the strength of the sun or the placement of the corn will be different each time.
The sky for example, is built from 6000 points of eight different colours. The colour of each point is selected by generating a random variable between 0 and 1 based on the uniform distribution (using the RANUNI function), if this number falls within a given range then the point is assigned a particular colour. For example if the random variable takes a value between 0.5 and 0.6 then the point generated by this observation will be colour CXAF95A6 (the light colour from the Phastar logo). The position of each point in the sky is similarly determined from a different pair of random variable whose values are re-scaled so that the sky covers the whole image horizontally but only the upper portion vertically.
The winning festive entry was received from Laura Culley a new masters graduate statistician at PHASTAR - this is being used as the design for our PHASTAR 2015 Christmas cards.
SAS Art Competition 2015 - Open to All.
This year we will have an additional category: a £200 shopping token will be awarded to the best Christmas themed SAS generated art, and will also feature on PHASTAR Christmas cards this year.
Here's an example:
PHASTAR Open Office Evening in London.
PHASTAR held an open office evening in our new London offices this week. Due to our continued success and growth, we moved to new facilities earlier this year, and invited leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to visit our offices. Our CEO, Kevin Kane, talked about the history of the company, the principles behind the quality of our work, and our growth, which is fuelled by repeat business from satisfied customers.
The attendees were treated to a talk by Simon Singh on "The Mathematical Secrets of The Simpsons", revealing some quite complex mathematical problems that are hidden in the popular cartoon. Simon has worked as a producer and director in BBC programmes such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. After publishing an article about a chiropractic, he was famously sued by the British Chiropractic Association in a libel case that lasted two years, and which he eventually won. Simon now works closely with Sense About Science, a charitable organisation that works with scientists and members of the public to change public debates and to equip people to make sense of science and evidence. Simon's talk was humourous and well received.
We were all also entertained by The London String Trio who played on the night - they have performed at the Royal Variety Show, The Brit Awards and played with a variety of artists including Katherine Jenkins, Michael Buble, Cher and Rhianna as well as many more.