QAI Summer Program
The 2021 QAI Summer Program Application is now closed.
About the program: The QAI Summer Program is a free, non-credit, second-level applied statistics and data science course designed for Wellesley students. The program's goal is to introduce advanced data skills while supporting students in their current and future research projects. Topics include statistics fundamentals, such as study design, statistical inference, and tools for handling common complications like missing data or multiple comparisons; practical data handling skills, including data cleaning and the use of complex data sets; and data communication, such as best practices for visualization. All students will become proficient in the statistical software R, which is free, open-source, and field-neutral, and training in other skills such as SQL, webscraping, and interactive graphics will be available as well. The course is also intended to bring together students from a variety of disciplines whose work involves data.
About the QAI: The QAI was founded in 2013, designed to expand the role of statistics and data science in research, learning, and teaching at Wellesley and beyond. Since its first year, the QAI has run a summer program. The QAI also includes internships during the semester, statistical consulting for research projects, online tutorials, and other resources.
This year's program will run for eight weeks, from Monday, June 7, 2021 until Friday, July 30, 2021.
Before deciding whether to apply, please read the QAI Summer Program details and FAQ below. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. However, the sooner you apply, the higher the chance that we will be able to find enough teaching assistants and arrange lab times that meet your schedule. It is especially helpful to receive early applications from students participating in the science or social science summer research program, so that these students can be given priority. We don't always have the capacity to accept students who apply just before the summer begins.
The QAI Summer Program was adapted in 2020 in response to the pandemic, and the 2021 program will look similar:
- The program is completely remote. Lectures are delivered via asynchronous, recorded videos. The materials were developed as part of the college’s Andrew W. Mellon Blended Learning Initiative. Labs and office hours will be scheduled at a variety of times, including evening hours, based on the availability of participating students and teaching assistants. We hope to accommodate students from any time zone. Assignments include quizzes and problem sets.
- The course is taught by the QAI Director, Casey Pattanayak, along with a large team of teaching assistants. The TAs are Wellesley students or recent alumnae who offer support remotely from all around the world.
- The program is open to all Wellesley students, including spring graduates: the Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, or 2024. Because the program was originally aimed at students participating in the science or social science summer research programs, such students will be prioritized. Past participants include research assistants from anthropology, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, environmental studies, Italian studies, neuroscience, physics, political science, psychology, the Botanic Gardens, and Wellesley Centers for Women.
- The prerequisite is any introductory statistics course at Wellesley (STAT 160, STAT 218, ECON 103/SOC 190, PSYC 205, BISC 198, POL 299, or STAT 101). (Prior to 2020, some other QR Overlay courses could be used as prerequisites, but those courses are no longer sufficient prerequisites.) AP Statistics is not a sufficient prerequisite.
- The program is a non-credit version of STAT 260/QR 260. Students who complete the program earned QAI Certificates. Students who earn certificates can move on to courses that require STAT 260 as a prerequisite, meet the modeling requirement for the statistics minor or data science major, and apply for QAI Internships. (In 2020, we offered a separate six-week track, but that shorter track will not be available this year.
- If you have taken STAT/QR 260, you should not apply for this program. However, students who have already taken other post-introductory statistics courses, such as STAT 318 or ECON 203, are encouraged to apply.
- Students spend about ten hours each week (range: 8-15 hours) on the course, for eight weeks.
- Students who are participating in the summer research program or any other internship or job, at Wellesley or beyond, should include their advisor or supervisor’s email address in the application. Please discuss the QAI program with your advisor/supervisor before applying. This person must agree that the student can dedicate 10 hours each week to the QAI program. In our experience, the summer does not go well if students attempt to complete the QAI program on top of a full-time position, unless they are released from that work for 10 hours each week. Ten hours is more time than it sounds like. If you are working 35 hours/week, it is 28% of your time! Students with part-time jobs may not need a supervisor’s sign-off to apply for the QAI program. Please explain your summer situation in your application.
- We will do our best to accept as many as qualified students as possible. In summer 2020, we received 148 applications and were able to accept 80 students. We anticipate that we will be able to accommodate closer to 60 applicants in 2021. Qualified students participating in the Science or Social Science Summer Research Program will be prioritized.
- All students will need access to the internet and a computer (an iPad or Chromebook is not sufficient). Please let us know on your application if accessing this technology is an obstacle.