Statistical Science Proseminar

The proseminar course – STA 581 – includes informational seminars from experts inside and outside of Duke University, including faculty, industry professionals, career center staff, and administrators from institutes and centers around Duke.

Students learn various ways to apply for their degree, strategies for getting the most out of their two-year program, types of internships and career options, methods to apply for jobs/internships, communication, presentation, leadership coaching, and more.

The course format is mostly interactive; however, sometimes, the presentations may be lecture-style, followed by questions. Many students have found job and internship opportunities after networking with our featured speakers.

The students registered for the proseminar course are expected to attend and actively participate in all sessions. Some proseminar sessions are open to all StatSci students and faculty. If anyone outside the StatSci department wishes to attend a proseminar session, please email

Instructor: Funda Gunes
Day/Time: Wednesday, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm US Eastern

Upcoming Proseminar Events

Past Proseminar Schedules/Events

Photos of Dr. Zachary Abzug and Daniel Salo
Cloud Computing Basics

February 1, 2023

Dr. Zachary Abzug, Manager, Vectra AI
Daniel Salo, Manager, Proofpoint


Photo of Dr. Richard Zink
Statistics Careers in the Medical Product Industry

February 8, 2023

Richard Zink, VP of Biostatistics and Statistical Programming, Lexitas Pharma Services



Photo of Elizabeth Mannshardt

Navigating Your Professional Success: Tips for Networking and Launching Your Career

Dr. Elizabeth Mannshardt, Director of the Statistics, Methods, and Innovation Program, NSF

Feb 22, 2023



Photo of Dr. Radhika Kulkarni
Reflections from my Analytical Journey: Challenges, Opportunities, Lessons Learned

March 8, 2023

Dr. Radhika Kulkarni, Retired VP of Advanced Analytics, SAS



Photo of Syllabus Review and Career Resources Panel
Syllabus Review and Career Resources

Aug. 31, 2022

Dr. Funda Gunes, Director of Master's Program
Megan Kelly Deyncourt, Assistant Director, Student Affairs
Catherine L. Allen, Career Specialist, Duke Career Center


Liberty Mutual Overview Photos
Liberty Mutual Overview

Sept. 7, 2022

Daniel McCarthy, Senior Campus Recruiter
Eden Huang (MSS 2018), Analyst II, Data Science
Sarah Mansfield (MSS 2022), Analyst I, Data Science


Dr. Heidi Scott Giusto, Career Coach, Career Path Writing Solutions
Writing Effective Resumes Workshop

Sept. 14, 2022

Dr. Heidi Scott Giusto, Career Coach, Career Path Writing Solutions



Internship Lightning Talks

Sept. 21, 2022 
Second-year Statistical Science Master's Students will give lightning talks about their summer internship experiences: Nancy Huang - Liberty Mutual, Camilla Yu - Relias, Joseph Ekpenyong - Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Emma Schmidt – Nike, Eva Gao – Walmart, TJ Tang - Duke School of Medicine, and Nick Dahl - D.E. Shaw, Co.


Wells Fargo Logo
Wells Fargo Overview

Sept. 28, 2022
Jeffrey Baker, Analytics Manager 
Gourav Ghoshal, Senior Quantitative Analytics Specialist


Student Industry Career Panel

October 5, 2022

Pierre Gardan, Domino’s (MSS 2021)
Michael Sarkis, 2nd Order Solutions (MSS 2022)
Yuan Fang, Amazon (MSS 2022)
Cathy Shi, Hortifrut (MSS 2022) 

Cole Juracek, Proofpoint (MSS 2021)


Ph.D. Student Career Panel

October 12, 2022

Aihua Li, Duke University (MSS 2022)
Bo Liu, Duke University (MSS 2021)
Ricardo Batista, Iowa State University (MSS 2019)
Yizi Zhang, Columbia University (MSS 2021)


Megan Kelly Deyncourt
Craft Your Personal “Elevator Pitch” & Set Professional Goals

Oct. 26, 2022

Megan Kelly Deyncourt, Assistant Director, Student Affairs



Photo of Will Barfield

Networking & Interviewing Skills

Nov. 2, 2022

Will Barfield, President & CEO of Barfield Revenue Consulting




Emily Griffith Photo

Statistical Communication and Consulting

Nov. 9, 2022

Emily Griffith, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Practice, Dept. Of Statistics, NC State University



Shelley Rusincovitch Photo

Duke Health Data Science Internship Program

Nov. 16, 2022

Shelley Rusincovitch, Managing Director, Duke AI Health

Sunith Suresh photo
Data Science for the Enterprise

Jan. 19, 2022

Sunith Suresh, Solution Leader, C3.AI
Farnoosh Brock photo
Salary Negotiations Workshop

Jan. 26, 2022

Farnoosh Brock, Training & Coach
Photo of Christoph Hellmayr
Data Science for Retail & 84.51° Company Review

Feb. 2, 2022

Christoph Hellmayr, Research Scientist, 84.51°
Christopher and blair
Statistics Careers in Federal Research

Feb. 9, 2022

Christopher Krapu (M.S. 2020) and Blair Christian, Research Scientist, of ORNL
Photo of Larry Blakeman & Guarav Gupta
A Day in the Life – Accelerating your Career Growth

Feb. 16, 2022

Larry Blakeman & Guarav Gupta - QuaEra Insights
Photos of Ding and Coronado
A Day in the Life - Data Science at McKinsey

Feb. 23, 2022

Eduardo Coronado Sroka, Data Science Specialist; Janice Ding, Data Science Specialist and Carmen Mandujano, Senior Recruiter, McKinsey & Company
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Practical Pragmatic Approach to Responsible AI

March 2, 2022

Dr. Scott Zoldi Chief Analytics Officer, FICO
Funda Gunes
Machine Learning Approach to Kaggle COVID 19 Global Forecasting Challenge

March 23, 2022

Funda Güneş, Master's Director, Duke University
Copy of Emily Shao and Gonzalo Bustos


Analytics at Hortifrut: Challenges and applications in the Blueberry industry

March 30, 2022

Gonzalo Bustos and Emily Shao (MSS Alums)-  Hortifrut
Photo of Kanchana Padmanabhan and Anne-Flore Elard
Machine Learning Applications in Supply Chain Problems

April 6, 2022

Dr. Kanchana Padmanabhan, Director of Machine Learning Solutions and Anne-Flore Elard, Director, Advanced Analytics Services – Kinaxis
Photo of Julia Wuench
I’m a Fraud: Kicking Imposter Syndrome to the Curb

April 13, 2022

Julia Wuench, The Authenticity Guide LLC



Funda Gunes
Syllabus and Career Resources (MSS tracks/events/interviews etc.)

Aug. 25, 2021

Dr. Funda Gunes, Director of Master's Program, Duke Statistical Science
Duke Career Center Resources and Thompson Writing Program Resources

Sep. 1, 2021

Catherine L. Allen, Career Specialist, Duke Career Center, Dr. Aaron Colton, Lecturer, Thompson Writing Program
Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual Overview

Sep. 8, 2021

Eden Huang, Data Scientist, Liberty Mutual,  Daniel McCarthy, Senior Campus Recruiter, Liberty Mutual


Dr. Heidi Scott Giusto, Career Coach, Career Path Writing Solutions


Writing Effective Resumes Workshop

Sep. 15, 2021

Dr. Heidi Scott Giusto,   Career Coach, Career Path Writing Solutions
Lora B. Poepping, President, Plum Coaching & Consulting


Learn to Love LinkedIn

Sep. 22, 2021

Lora B. Poepping, President, Plum Coaching & Consulting
Internship Lightning Talks

Sep. 29, 2021

Second-year Statistical Science Master's Students will give lightning talks about their summer internship experiences. Emre Yurtbay, Internship at Facebook Lingyu Zhou, Internship at Voya Financial Michael Sarkis, Internship at 2nd Order Solutions Madeleine Beckner, Internship at Lubrizol Jack McCarthy, Internship at Autodesk Rob Kravec, Internship at Optiver.
Home Depot
Home Depot Information Session

Oct. 6, 2021

As a Manager of a newly formed Data Science team,. Jonathan Weininger will share his experience building a Data Science team. This will include what it has been like to host 25+ interviews of data science and analytics candidates. Prior to leading a Data Science team, Jonathan helped and analytics team mature from primarily rear-view mirror reporting (descriptive) to predicting and helping shape the business (prescriptive/predictive).
Photo of Farnoosh Brock
Communicating Effectively in a Professional Setting, Let by Farnoosh Brock, Training & Coach

Oct. 16, 2021

Students will explore their workplace identities and perceived pressures, as well as learning  interpersonal tools to develop their self-confidence and find their voice. Students will learn about fixed and growth mindset and develop tools for self-reflection. We te4ach students to work collaboratively and avoid miscommunication, and leave with practical tools and strategies to implement. 
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Ph.D. Career Discussion

Oct. 20, 2021

Gong Jessie, University of Texas-Austin, Bo Liu, Duke University, Morris Greenberg, University of Toronto, Gauri Kamat, Brown University,  Christine Shen, Duke University and Dr. Merlise Clyde, Director of Graduate Studies, Duke University Statistical Science. 
Photo of Emily HGadley, RTI
Ethical AI & Data Science

Nov. 17, 2021

Ethical AI & Data Science: As statisticians, data scientists, students, and teachers, we collect data, store data, transform data, visualize data, and ultimately impact how data are used. With this responsibility, it is imperative that we confront the ways in which data and algorithms have been used to perpetuate biases and eliminate discriminatory choices and algorithms in our own work. Join a conversation where we discuss the landscape of ethics in AI and data science. 
Collaborative Research at Duke

Jan. 27, 2021

Dr. Gina-Maria Pomann, Director; Duke CTSI Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) Methods Core
Building a better mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

Feb. 3, 2021

Dr. Michael Lutz, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine
Increasing Trust and Interpretability in Machine Learning with Model Debugging

Feb. 10, 2021

Patrick Hall, Principal Scientist,
Elder and Keiter
Top 3 Things I've Learned in 3 Decades of Data Science

Feb. 17, 2021

Dr. John Elder, Founder & Chair, & Kimberly Kaiter, Data Scientist, Elder Research
Delivering Successful Presentations

Feb. 24, 2021

Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, Duke Career Center
Statistics in the Government: Transparency, Leadership, and Collaboration

Mar. 3, 2021

Dr. Simone Gray, Sr. Statistician, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Dickerson and Kulkarni
Analytical Life Cycle of Model Development at Discover Financial Services

Mar. 17, 2021

Dr. Steven Dickersen, Chief Analytics Officer, & Dr. Raghu Kulkarni, VP of Data Science, Discover Financial Services
Applications of Bayesian function estimation in neuroscience and environmental sciences

Mar. 24, 2021

Dr. Surya Tokdar, Associate Professor, Duke Statistical Science
Introduction to Mathematical Optimization

Apr. 7, 2021

Dr. Matt Galati, Distinguished Operations Research Specialist, SAS Institute
Project Phoenix: Predicting AAP sales under COVID

Apr. 14, 2021

Advance Auto Parts Team: Sukanya Chaudhuri, Sr. Manager, Marketing Analytics & Data Science; Scott Smith, Data Scientist, Data Science; Joan Pharr, Associate Data Scientist, Marketing Analytics & Data Science; Justin Ward, Marketing Analyst, Marketing Analytics & Data Science; Liping Wu, Data Scientist, Marketing Analytics & Data Science; Kristen Biddle, Data Scientist, Data Science