Macalester-HHMI Data Scientists

Overview - The Data Scientist awards seek to broaden the range of opportunities for science students to access research experiences that involve data sets of increasing complexity and size. Interested students are encouraged to contact Program Director, Paul Overvoorde (overvoorde@macalester.edu).

2014 Program- For the summer of 2014, the Macalester-HHMI Data Scientists positions fall into the five subcategories listed below.  Application to each program requires a separate cover letter that explains and justifies your interest in the program.  Students selected for participation will receive a $400 per week stipend to support their work for either 6 or 10 weeks.  Students working on-campus are eligible for free housing at Macalester. Funds to defray the cost of living while working at other institutions are also available.

  1. On-campus Data Scientist awards seek to broaden the range of opportunities for advanced science students, both international and domestic, to access research experiences that involve data sets of increasing complexity and size. Students majoring in biology, chemistry, geology, geography, math, statistics, and computer science, environmental studies, physics, Neuroscience Studies, and psychology are encouraged to apply.  Up to 4 students will be selected to work with Macalester faculty as Data Scientists.
  2. Off-campus Data Scientist awards seek to broaden the range of opportunities for Macalester students, both international and domestic, to access research experiences and data sets at  institutions other than Macalester.  Students majoring in biology, chemistry, geology, geography, math, statistics, and computer science, environmental studies, physics, and psychology are encouraged to identify opportunities at other institutions early, as a letter of support from a hosting scientist forms an key component of the application.  Up to 4 students will be selected for this program and be eligible for up to $3,000 housing allowance.
  3. Macalester-HHMI Data Scientist at the Institute for Math and its Applications (IMA).  These awards complement a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) award from the National Science Foundation.  Dr. Andrew Beveridge (Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science) directs the REU program at the IMA, which runs from June 9- July 28, 2014.  Up to 3 students will be selected for this program.
  4. Macalester-HHMI Embedded Data Scientist (MHEDS). These awards allow students with strong backgrounds in computation and statistics the opportunity to collaborate with other science faculty and students.  Students selected for MHEDS awards will help others to analyze and visually summarize data using the R-programing language.  In addition, MHEDS participants will work with Steve Sundby (Biology) and Paul Overvoorde (Biology) to create a statistics module for BIOL265: Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory.  Up to 3 students will be selected for this program.
  5. Macalester-HHMI Data Scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).  These awards provide students with the opportunity to work closely with epidemiologists and public health professionals at the MDH.  Participants receive mentoring and training to analyze public health data to aid in policy development.  Up to 3 students will be selected for this program.  Click here for additional information and requirements for this program

How to Apply

In order to Upload your application files, you must be enrolled in the MHRI Application course.  You can enroll in the course by looking for the Settings block, located below the Navigation block on the right hand side of the page, and clicking on the link "Enroll me in this course".

Once you have enrolled,  upload the appropriately named PDF-formatted files described below.  You will also complete form on the site that allows you to provide key pieces of information, including 2 Macalester faculty or staff members who are willing to provide a recommendation for you.

Application materials must be uploaded onto the Moodle site by 5 pm on Monday, February 17, 2014.

For each of the programs you will be required to provide the following:

  1. A 250-500 word Cover Letter that explains your interest in the program, relevant course or extracurricular experiences, and the impact of participating on your long-term plans.  This letter allows you to make the case that a program is a "good fit" for you and explain to the selection committee why you should be selected.  NOTE: If you intend to apply for more than one program, you MUST create a separate Cover Letter for each program.
  2. A C.V./resume.
  3. Unofficial transcript.
  4. Names of 2 Macalester faculty or staff who would be willing to serve as references.

PDF-formatted files for 1-3 above (with a separate file for each Cover Letter) will be uploaded onto Moodle.  The names of the Macalester faculty/staff and some basic information will be gathered through a form located on the Moodle site.

2013 On-campus participants

Oliva Warner ('14) and Christa Nilsen ('14) worked on-campus with Dr. Chad Higdon-Topaz (Math, Statistics, and Computer Science).  Their work led to the the publication of Social Aggregation in Pea Aphids: Experiment and Random Walk Modeling in PLOS One.

Linnea Swanson ('14) worked with Dr. Devavani Chatterjea (Biology).

Nolan Kriegel ('14) completed work in collaboration with Dr. Mark Davis (Biology), Dr. Jerald Dosch (Biology), and Dr. Mike Anderson (Biology). 

Jeff Kaplan ('14) worked with Dr. Daniel Trudeau (Geography).

2013 Off-campus participants

Emma van Emmerick ('14) worked with Dr. Amika Singh (VU Medical Center, Amsterdam).

Elizabeth Kwak ('14) participated in research in the lab of Dr. Edward Smith (Children's Hospital Boston)

Margaret Nemetz ('15) worked with Dr. John G Younger, MD (Biointerfaces Institute, University of Michigan)

Margot White ('14) collaborated with Dr. C. Sarah Cohen (Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Fransisco State University)