In Spring 2021 the Department of Statistical Science was awarded an $11,000 grant from the Trinity Research Enhancement (TRE) Fund, a program by the Office of Academic Affairs to support undergraduate research and senior thesis projects. The goals for the 2021 award are to make ongoing undergraduate research initiatives in the department more sustainable and to support a new workshop aimed at getting students involved in research early in the statistics curriculum. The Principal Investigator is Assistant Professor of the Practice Maria Tackett.
A large part of the 2021 grant will support a new workshop entitled, Introduction to Undergraduate Research in Statistics. This workshop is designed for students who have taken STA 210: Regression Analysis, who have not previously participated in independent research or campus programs such as Data+, Bass Connections, and Code+. During the two-week program, ten students will work in teams to complete an analysis project with mentorship from two Ph.D. students and a Statistical Science faculty member. In addition to the project, students will participate in activities to develop research skills, and guest speakers will share their research experience and current projects. Students will be encouraged to identify research opportunities they’re interested in pursuing after the workshop or write a proposal for an independent research project. The workshop curriculum will be developed and facilitated by Joan Durso, Coordinator of Undergraduate Training, Research, and Development, and Yue Jiang will be this year’s faculty mentor.
In addition to the Introduction to Undergraduate Research in Statistics, funding from the TRE grant will be used to continue existing undergraduate research initiatives. These include workshops facilitated by Duke Libraries and the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences on topics such as literature reviews and reproducibility. It will also fund the department’s Undergraduate Conference Fund, a program established in Fall 2020 to provide financial support for undergraduate majors presenting their research at external conferences.