The Department of Statistics has received a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE), a training program for undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that helps meet America's burgeoning need for statisticians who are trained to do interdisciplinary scientific research.
The overriding objective is to train students to solve a scientific problem by translating it into a statistical question, then explaining the results so they can be understood by the scientific community.
The program also prepares graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to be university-level statistics instructors. The long-range goal of VIGRE programs nationwide is to increase the number of U.S. citizens who pursue the mathematical sciences.
Statistics has also received a two-year, $50,000 grant from the Eli Lily Foundation to fund its Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program. In partnership with Morehouse College in Atlanta, the department brings undergraduate minority students to Carnegie Mellon, where they spend eight weeks engaged in hands-on biostatistics research projects. Previous projects have included an analysis of time trends in sexually transmitted diseases, a study of the effects of socioeconomic status on hypertension and an analysis of the firing rate of neurons. The summer program grew out of the department's concern about the scarcity of minorities in statistics, biostatistics and epidemiology. The grant will fund the program this summer and in 2004.
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