STATCOM members are students who are interested in serving the community through statistical consulting projects. Our volunteers are primarily comprised of graduate students in the Department of Biostatistics, Statistics, and Survey Methodology.
STATCOM is a great way to get involved and gain hands-on experience in applying statistics to diverse sets of projects.
We meet twice a year as a large group. Reach out if you would like to be added to our mailing list to stay informed on new projects and opportunities.
"STATCOM gave me a chance to put into practice what I had learned in theory. While giving me a chance to see the "real world" problems that confront so many applied statisticians, it gave me a chance to practice defining a collaborator's problem in statistical terms, as well as communicating the relevancy of statistical results in a real-world context. This connection between classroom knowledge and real-world practice has been invaluable to me in furthering my understanding of applied statistics."
Adam Peterson, Biostatistics PhD student
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much time do each student typically volunteer?
Each student can volunteer as much time as he or she wishes. Some projects can be done with only 5-10 hours of work. Others could take much longer, perhaps 30-40 hours of work or more. With groups of 4-5 people it is easy to share the workload of a given project. This way, when students have busy schedules, others can work on the project. If there is a busy week for all students, e.g., finals week, make sure you set a reasonable completion date for the project. School work will always come first.
How do students fit STATCOM in with their other research and course commitments?
STATCOM is a natural way for students to apply what they have learned from research and their courses. It is also excellent experience in teamwork. These are two important skills all students should have when pursuing a graduate degree. Each student decides how much time they want to commit, and everything in STATCOM operates within a team structure. This allows individual team members to take time off when exams, research, teaching, family life, or other needs arise; while, the remaining team members maintain steady work on the projects
What courses does a student need to be involved?
A background in statistics is beneficial and useful when assisting with the analysis. However, each team has varying degrees of expertise. This allows members with less experience to learn from those who have had many courses. Since STATCOM has been involved in many survey analyses, a course in survey design and analysis is helpful. In addition, many teams involve students from multiple departments which allows for different perspectives.