Statistics Living-Learning Community
MCTP: Sophomore Transitions: Bridges into a Statistics Major and Big Data Research Experiences via Learning Communities
This Statistics Living-Learning Community (STAT-LLC) project at Purdue University addresses two transitions in the training of undergraduate statistics students:
- The bridge from first-year general curriculum into sophomore year Statistics major courses, and
- The bridge into a student's first research experience in data analysis, especially with Big Data.
- a new project-based course in big data analysis,
- new mentored research collaborations and thrusts,
- a new seminar series,
- professional development initiatives, and
- living together in a new learning community.
- probability theory,
- statistical theory, and
- data analysis
The Senior Personnel are 12 faculty from the Department of Statistics at Purdue University. Additional faculty mentors will hail from Actuarial Science, Atmospheric/Earth Science, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering and be supported by administrators, academic advisors, and recruiters.
Beyond Purdue, Rose-Hulman will host the students for their annual Undergraduate Mathematics Conference.
The Department of Statistical Science at Duke University and the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles will partner with Purdue on a DataFest student competition.
Assessment will be provided by Purdue's Discovery Learning Research Center, and an External Advisory Board has been assembled with colleagues from the American Statistical Association, Duke University, Indiana University, the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of South Carolina, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, in Melbourne, Australia.
Pairing the academic and residential life experiences is a known best practice for the first-year experience but is rarely used at the sophomore level as it is in the present project. Furthermore, the Statistics Living-Learning Community (STAT-LLC) will pair this model with an early, team-oriented introduction to big data analysis. We conjecture that the project will
- promote retention,
- instill confidence in the students,
- help propel the students through the formative second year of college, and
- prepare them to apply for graduate school.
Our assessment of this comprehensive training experience should reveal new insights into the way that pairing academic coursework, research, professional development, and residential life at the sophomore level can alleviate the sophomore slump within STEM disciplines.
The Senior Personnel will offer faculty training workshops at national meetings to teach colleagues how to unite the aspects of the sophomore experience in a relevant way for their campuses. The workshops will be free, to maximize participation by faculty who would not otherwise have access to such resources, networking, partnerships, and professional development opportunities. As a result, more campuses will be able to offer research experiences for sophomores in the context of a learning community.
Students will communicate their experiences each spring at
- the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Conference and
- the Indiana MAA Section meeting.
- Purdue's Disability Resource Center;
- Emily Mauzy Vogel Sophomore Leadership Development Conference;
- HORIZONS Student Support for 1st generation students;
- Purdue's chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS);
- the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Indiana project; and
- the Science Diversity Office.
Synopsis of MCTP Program, from NSF MCTP website:
"The long-range goal of the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) Workforce program is to increase the number of well-prepared U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents who pursue careers in the mathematical sciences and in other NSF-supported disciplines. The Mentoring Through Critical Transition Points in the Mathematical Sciences (MCTP) activity is part of the Workforce Program. MCTP supports education through research involvement of cohorts of trainees at specific stages of professional development that have been identified as crucial to career success."
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1246818. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.