Spotlights

 

Summer Statistics Institute Celebrates 10 Years

ssi2017Dr. Michael Mahometa teaches "Introduction to Regression" during the 10th Annual Summer Statistics Institute." Photo by Nathaniel Raley.26 May 2017—The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences (SDS) hosted the 10th annual UT Summer Statistics Institute (SSI) May 22–25, 2017, in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts in the College of Liberal Arts building. 

2017 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Summer Statistics Institute. Participants could select from 23 twelve-hour courses designed to appeal to a broad range of students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Participants joined the Institute from across the country, coming from as far away as Vietnam, illustrating the reach and popularity of the UT Summer Statistics Institute worldwide. 

SSI participant Justin Hatch said, "This has been a wonderful experience, having both university and community members together learning from a leader in the field. I have learned so much in just a short time." 

Through the last decade, SSI has welcomed a total of 58 instructors, 258 UT graduate student volunteers, and 5546 participants.

Hailing from multiple departments across campus, SSI instructors showcase the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences' commitment to interdisciplinary training using statistical tools and methodologies. The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences is pleased to recognize six instructors who have participated in SSI for each of the last 10 years:

  • Dr. Stephen Jessee, Department of Government
  • Dr. Michael Mahometa, Department of Statistics and Data Sciences
  • Dr. Marc Musick, Department of Sociology
  • Dr. Keenan Pituch, Department of Educational Psychology
  • Dr. Tom Sager, Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management
  • Dr. Tiffany Whittaker, Department of Educational Psychology

This year, Camry Isaac, a sophomore in the University Leadership Network, joined SDS as the SSI coordinator in training under the guidance of Sasha Schellenberg. Camry took the lead role in the organization of the 2017 Summer Statistics Institute. Camry said of her experience with SSI, "I am so glad I was able to participate in planning and running SSI. It has been a huge learning experience that got me out of my comfort zone, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I can't wait until next year!"

“I don’t know how much work went into planning this," said Dr. Cassandra Delgado-Reyes, Assistant Director of the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan, "but the event was a smoothly running machine. There was a small army of student assistants to support the instructors and any technology gremlins or logistics were adeptly slayed with minimal disruption to the class. The class participants were diverse in terms of background knowledge, fields of application, and occupational expertise which made for rich discussions and questioning during the course. Instructors seemed to value this diversity as an integral dynamic of their teaching approach and they never missed a beat or seemed to make anyone feel excluded from the learning environment.” 

SSI offers intensive four-day workshops on diverse topics from introductory data sciences to advanced statistics. Whether participants are new to data analysis or seasoned statisticians, SSI provides a unique hands-on opportunity to acquire valuable skills directly from experts in the field. 

“I have been coming to SSI for a long time, first as a student, then as a volunteer, now as an instructor," said Dr. Kristin Harvey. "It is a fantastic event for all involved. SSI is a great way to brush up your stats skills or get a hands-on head start for learning a new skill.” 

Special thanks to the 2017 Ice Cream Network Sponsors: CaboBobs, Moojo, Alamo Draft House, Amy's Ice Cream, and P Terry's Burger Stand.

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