Independent Summer Statistics Community: Beyond Coursework!

April 22, 2020 by Negin Neghabat

With summer being just around the corner, we can all feel it: the worry and the fear of looming isolation. We know that COVID-19 may bring disappointing disruptions to our students’ summer plans, and, in response, Professors Liza Bolton, Nathalie Moon, and Nathan Taback, along with Megan Whitehead-Douglas - Mentorship and Internship Coordinator in the Department of Statistical Sciences, came together to introduce an exciting initiative to support students: The Independent Summer Statistics Community (ISSC). 


Who is ISSC for? All undergraduate students in a statistics PoST or who took STA130 in Fall 2019/Winter 2020.

But what is it really? An adventure. An experiment. A way to stay connected. Definitely not a course. At the core are curated resources about portfolio building, career preparation and personal developmentplus a platform on which to share, discuss and support each other. 

Reasons to join:

  • DataFest! An online version of the popular annual ASA DataFest @ UofT will be run in late-May to early-June (TBC), and ISSC members will have exclusive access to register. Note that while the number of participating teams will be limited, there will be lots of interesting ways to engage with data through the ISSC.
  • Professional portfolio. From building a website or blog to learning how to use GitHub or make a Shiny app – ISSC will support members in developing their personal brand!
  • Remote working skills. Practicing collaborating remotely with popular tools like Slack; building the online working skills that will matter to interviewers.
  • Networking and community. Forging connections with fellow students, invited speakers and participating faculty. It is these kinds of connections that often lead to future opportunities.
  • Curated resources. The ISSC team has carefully gathered a range of useful resources for building a professional portfolio!

Next steps: 

Student sign-up! Undergraduate students who are eligible to join have already received an email invitation to register. And over 100 students had signed up within in the first two hours alone! All eligible students are encouraged to register by April 29, in order to attend the virtual launch event, which is to be held on May 1. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Statistical Sciences is working hard with the ISSC Team in extending the reach and depth of offerings for our summer community.

More information to follow soon via the department website and twitter (@UofTStatSci).