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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 483
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Consulting
Abstract - #303559
Title: Creating Opportunities for Undergraduate Statistics Students to Become Collaborators in Interdisciplinary Research
Author(s): Paul Roback*+
Companies: St. Olaf College
Address: Department of Math, Stats, and CS, Northfield, MN, 55057,
Keywords: undergraduate research ; interdisciplinary collaborations ; statistical consulting

For 8 years, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at St. Olaf has paired undergraduate statistics students with domain experts across many fields to experience the excitement of interdisciplinary research. Typically in teams of 3 students, we have undertaken nearly 50 projects since the CIR began in 2004 and sent over 50 students to statistics and related graduate programs. This talk will focus on the challenges and successes of taking junior and senior undergraduates, many who enter with only 2 or 3 statistics courses under their belts, and enabling them to effectively contribute to quantitative research questions of faculty and staff. Keys include: careful selection of projects and assignment of students to project teams, a weekly seminar series that follows the research trajectory (collaborative skills, ethics, oral presentations, report writing, etc.), mentoring by statistics faculty, and allowing time for background research in the subject area and in new statistical methods.

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