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The 2019 SASA Conference will be hosted by Nelson Mandela University from 27 - 29 November 2019 at the South Campus, Port Elizabeth. Please see conference website for further details

SAS Honours Project Competition

Sponsored by SAS

Background information on the competition

Each year the South African Statistical Association (SASA) awards monetary prizes to students who participate in the annual SAS sponsored project competition. The winner of the project competition is also invited to attend the annual SASA conference to present the winning project (national transport, accommodation and conference fees paid for by SASA and SAS). The prizes are awarded to the top three honours (4th year) projects as decided by an external panel administered by the education committee. Students, through the Department Heads, are encouraged to submit projects in accordance with the rules of the competition (at most three projects from a tertiary institution). Please contact your HOD for further information on the project competition and failing that, contact Mr Chun-Kai (Karl) Huang ( the education committee administrator.
Entry information for 2017/2018 competition
We at the South African Statistical Association's Education Committee invite you to submit the statistics projects of your top three (3) honours students from 2017 for the 2017/2018 SASA Student Project Competition sponsored by SAS®.
There will be three cash prizes for first to third place nationally.  In the case of group work, the prize money will be shared.  The national prize winner will be sponsored to attend the annual SASA conference to be held in Johannesburg, hosted by the University of South Africa (in the case of group work, one member of the team will be sponsored).  The prize includes sponsorship for national transport, accommodation and conference fees. The winner must be prepared to present his/her project at the SASA conference.  In addition, there is a prize for the best use of SAS in an honours project (to be awarded to the project that utilises the software best and places in the top three). 
Closing date for entries: 30 MARCH 2018
If you would like to enter some projects please proceed as follows:
1.      Each University may select at most 3 honours projects.
2.      Fill in the competition form and email it to: by 30 March 2018.
3.      Remove any reference to the student's name, the supervisor’s name and the name of the University from each project.
4.      Send an electronic copy of each project (with names removed) via e-mail to:  All entries need to arrive by the closing date.
5.      Depending on the number of entries, possibly five judges will be selected to rank the projects. The ranked results will be analysed and the winners announced before the SASA conference to be held in Johannesburg (usually by the end of July). Winners must be prepared to be photographed.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Chun-Kai (karl) Huang at   We are looking forward to receiving your university's projects!
Past winners of the competition
Name of winner Title of project University
Zolisa Bleki Laplace variational influence of the single-season site occupancy model using a probit link function UCT
Gabriel de Wet Methods for semi-supervised text classification  UP
Nathaniel Joselson An examination of the use and interpretation of principal components in generalised linear models to treat multicolinearity amongst predictors UCT
Courtney Govender  Empirical distributions of the daily FTSE/JSE all-share index returns: a comparison  UKZN


Name of winner Title of project University
Luca Steyn Statistical Modelling with Quantile-based Methods and L-moments  SUN
Brett Rowland Mixtures of Gamma Distributions to Model the Signal-to-Noise Ratio of Wireless Channels  UP
Kaylan Moodley Application of Linear Programming to a Classification Problem UCT
Name of winner Title of project University
Margaret de Villiers and Dalene Bezuidenhout Influence of right-censoring on some kernel-smoothed hazard rates US
Alex Lau Techniques for background modelling in images UP
Izak Nel Investigating specification tests for short rate diffusion models UCT
Name of winner Title of project University
Cornu Campher Point-in-time-through-the-cycle dual calibration Wits
Melinda Ross Phylogeographic analysis of the Influenza A virus in Africa   UCT
Lionel Kemba 

Modeling financial data using the generalized hyperbolic distribution with an application to South African exchange rates

Name of winner Title of project University
Hassan Sadiq Start-up designs in medical trials UCT
Charles Graham Joint modelling of time-to-event outcomes and continuous disease markers  in the presence of informative censoring and competing events UCT
Kwanda Ngwenduna An assessment of multiple imputation strategies using SAS software: A simulation study Wits
Name of winner Title of project University
Etienne Pienaar Diffusion Models for Interest Rates: Models and Fitting Methods UCT
Heidi Maartens Efficiency of the MCMC with EM Algorithm as a Multiple Imputation Method Wits
Jonathan van Schalkwyk The Dynamics of of the Implied Volatility Surface in the South African Commodity Market UCT
Name of winner Title of project University
Gianmario Afeltra A comparison of stochastic reserving techniques: a GLM approach Wits
Daniel Shapiro Multivariate extremes in finance Wits
Shravan Lalbahadur The calculation of share betas using Lp- norm regression UCT


Name of winner Title of project University
Dorette Pienaar Reliability of some bivariate beta distributions with bounded support space UP
Trishanta Padayachee An implementation of RankCopy and STAC to identify copy number variants (CNV’s) and recurrent CNV’s from array CGH data of individuals affected with KWE Wits
Thalia Petousis Estimating the duration of gametocytemia in the presence of informative censoring UCT


Name of winner Title of project University
Laura Tim An Alternative Approach to the Westlake Confidence Interval Method for Bio-Equivalence Trials Wits
Rinoli Odayar An Analysis of the University of Cape Town Mathematics Competition UCT
Tarylee Reddy Multistate Markov Models for Disease Progression UKZN


Name of winner Title of project University
Jordache Ramjith Cox Proportional-Hazards Regression Model UKZN
Vanessa Margues de Freitas Implied volatility modelling in South Africa using the SABR and Vanna Volga methods. UCT
Warren Brettenny Distribution fitting of metallurgical material NMMU


Name of winner Title of project University
Nishay Vithal Bootstrapping:  With applications in regression analysis for parameter estimation, confidence intervals and precision checking UKZN
Inger Plaskitt The non-central t-distribution and applications:  A new look through conditioning UP
Pieter Kruger Statistiese evaluering van ‘n ingreep by die akademiese onderig van ‘n kurses NWU


Name of winner Title of project University
Miguel Lacerda Sequential regression multiple imputation for incomplete multivariate data using Markov chain Monte Carlo UCT
Susan Melmed An application of time series analysis UCT
Timothy-John Daniel Modeling and forecasting South African house prices UCT