Increasing Rates of Success

In its first Mix incarnation, statistics students worked with biology students engaged in a ‘data mash-up’ activity. Since then, with the help of instructor and Mix partner Eugenia Yu, the Department of Statistics has expanded its interdisciplinary connections to work not only with biologists but also with students from the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH).

For the Biology-Stats Mix, statistics students visit the biology lab to learn a bit about the research the biologists are conducting. The biology students then produce a report using fresh data and send it to the statistics students, who prepare and present their statistical analyses back to the biologists, with the best model selected by vote. The first Mix was so successful that participating instructors repeated it again this year. A different kind of partnership has developed with SPPH. In this Mix, graduate students in statistics offer consultation services to SPPH graduate students in the form of joint journal club sessions. SPPH students pick a scholarly article to share, writing a blog entry about its arguments. The statistics students also read the article, then meet with SPPPH students to offer assistance reading and interpreting the statistical information presented. These Mixes are fast becoming part of the regular Statistics curriculum.

Image credit: Matthew Marksbury


Statistics and Zoology Partnered Up for Term 2!

Agnes Lacombe’s biology students generate new data every single semester. That was good news for John Petkau’s statistics students looking for real-world data to challenge their hard-learned skills. This pairing offered all the students an opportunity to work with upcoming experts in their field and to produce professional quality results.

What’s really striking about this pairing is that there was absolutely no compromise in course material. Both sets of students gained much more. The biology students focused on developing their research questions and interpreted the results while the statistics students saw unadulterated data sets and the sorts of real world questions that their skill sets can help answer.

Photo Credit: Breakmould


Arts One and Science One Mix It Up Over Supper

Arts One and Science One may seem like a conventional pair. Both programs inhabit the 3rd floor of Irving K. Barber, both are composed of incoming freshmen students, and both programs focus on interdisciplinarity. They’ve got a lot in common, except for spending time together. UBC Mix decided to change that.

When UBC Mix first approached Christina Hendricks, the director of Arts One, she was very open to the idea. “We spend all our time together on this floor, but the students are so focused on their courses and projects that they don’t really talk to one another,” she confided. It wasn’t hard to get Gordon Bates, the director of Science One on board. Then Fok-Shuen Leung and Brandon Konoval took the lead and organized the first of what we can only hope will be many dinner lectures.

Arts One and Science One students joined together on November 5th, 2010, at the Social Lounge and Dining Hall at St. John’s College. The evening began with a lecture by Kishor Wasan, director of the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative. Students then enjoyed supper at communal long tables with conversation flowing in Oxonian style. This certainly sounds like our tastiest Mix partnership!

Photo Credit: alumroot