SAS will host its sixth annual data mining conference, M2003, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel in Las Vegas on Oct. 13-14.

The change in venue, from SAS headquarters in Cary to Las Vegas, comes largely as a result of the conference’s growing popularity among users, accoprding to SAS. Participants came from nearly 20 countries to last year’s event, and attendance is expected to nearly double this year.

M2003 is chaired by Jaideep Srivastava, professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota and formerly the chief data mining architect at Amazon.com, and Terry Woodfield, statistical services specialist in the Educational Division at SAS.

With four distinguished keynote speakers, eight session track topics and more than 30 speakers representing the worlds of business, government and academia, M2003 will address the latest advances and best practices in the industry, offering a variety of sessions for those interested in data mining.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Andreas Weigend, chief scientist at Amazon.com; Lotfi Zadeh, a distinguished professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, and “fuzzy logic” pioneer; Raghu Ramakrishnan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin; and Thomas Mitchell, the Fredkin Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

These speakers will offer participants their insights on key trends and advances in data mining, illustrating, for example, how they can better predict the future and identify factors that will secure a desired effect, apply new techniques to retain their most valuable customers, and segment their markets for a more targeted approach.

Immediately following the conference, M2003 will offer three days of practical training courses that highlight the latest data mining technology on Oct. 15-17.

M2003: www.sas.com/events/dmconf