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Concluding DataWhys Summer Internship Program 2023

27 Jul 2023 . Category . Comments #research #education-research #datawhys #data-science #machine-learning #programming #statistics #service #outreach

Today we concluded our fourth year of a virtual summer internship program in data science!

Because of COVID, we moved the internship online in 2020, and even though COVID seems to be squarely in the rear view mirror, we’ve kept it online due to the increased access the online option has brought. This year we openned up the internship to students nationally (though we primarily recruited in the southeast US), and 2/3 of our interns came from outside the city of Memphis. Twelve interns participated, which is one of our largest groups ever.

The internship structure stabilized in year 3: we have a 2 week programming bootcamp, followed by 4 weeks of data science (using a selection of our free/open training materials), followed by 2 weeks of community-sourced projects. Almost all communication is through Discord except for Zoom meetings for faculty lunches/invited presentations/ and we use JupyterHub to create a consistent environment for the interns with all the software libraries they need preinstalled.

However, we did have some discussion this year about shrinking the bootcamp a few days to create more time during the project phase. Projects everywhere tend to end bunch, and this creates less time to practice the presentations. Currently I favor the idea of having practice project presentations using intermediate results (as opposed to dry runs of the final presentation), and cutting into the bootcamp would help make space for that. Of course we could also explore making the entire internship a little longer :)

Our projects this year involved program evaluation and educational disparities related to diversity in TN schools. Interns on both teams were really motivated, and I was very proud of what they accomplished!

The DataWhys Project and internship are supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant 1918751 for to the University of Memphis.

NSF award information