When students need help wrangling data and working with statistics, they can turn to Statistics and Data Science (SDS) Fellows, peers who put in hours as teaching assistants in classes and consultants at the Moss Quantitative Center.
But there’s a whole other level at which the SDS Fellows work, one which arguably benefits every single person at the College, through projects that are helping the College run and grow.
“They provide the basic support we need, but they're also able to delve into project that they won't see in the class setting,” said Amy S. Wagaman, Associate Professor of Statistics, who advises the students. “They're not going to see that in class. And they're really making a contribution to the college.”
Now in its fourth year, the SDS Fellows program, supported through the David and Jeanette Rosenblum Fund for Statistics Fellows, established by David Rosenblum ’92, selects 10 students annually from a competitive pool. Though they aren’t necessarily stats majors, these students have all completed studies in introductory and intermediate statistics.
“Students at Amherst are keenly interested in the institution and how it works,” says Jesse D. Barba, director of Institutional Research and Registrar Services. “I get a lot of questions every year from students who are writing theses, and they really want to know about Amherst.”
So, along with Nicholas J. Horton, the Beitzel Professor in Technology and Society (Statistics and Data Science), he developed project proposals to get SDS Fellows involved in studying the College itself.