In early January I received an email from Denison’s Mathematics department notifying myself of a few potential summer opportunities relevant to my education. I chose to apply to the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics, a program fully funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. I was accepted and joined 19 other students for a 6-week summer program at Boston University.
Throughout the six weeks I was immersed in classes, research, guest speakers, and field trips. I took four classes covering a range of topics including biostatistics, epidemiology, statistical genetics, and clinical trials. Within the computer lab, I learned two computer-programming languages, R and SAS.
During my time at Boston University, I had the opportunity to analyze and do small group research using data from the National Health and Examination Nutrition Survey. For our project, my group members and I decided to look at different factors contributing to depression. The end result was a journal article and a presentation to faculty within Boston University’s Biostatistics department.
It wasn’t all school work though. Many guest speakers, including professionals from The Framingham Heart Study and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, came in to discuss their careers paths. Additionally, the program funded group activities to the Boston Red Sox game, the Freedom Trail, a duck boat tour and several others.
I was thrilled to be given the opportunity and feel I gained an immense amount of knowledge. I hope to be able to be exposed to more experience within the field of biostatistics soon.
Kirsten Audette is currently a junior Mathematics major at Denison.