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Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education

Website Update

Paid Opportunity! Research Assistant

About the project: You will be working as a team member in a research study funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal is to better understand why students choose to join co-curricular undergraduate engineering projects (like Formula SAE, Concrete Canoe, Robotics Club, and so on), or why they choose not to. We understand the potential benefits of participation, but we know surprisingly little about the decision-making process that students go through when thinking about whether or not to participate. With this lack of knowledge, it’s hard to properly understand why female students and those from other under-represented groups gravitate towards some projects over others, or participate at rates even below their demographics at the university. It is also hard to know how to best change university programs or allocate resources to initiatives that improve the experience and participation of all students.  

Your Role: Survey Data Analysis - You will be working with a team to help investigate acquired survey data for insights on why students decide to join or not join co-curricular activities, helping to decide the best way to analyze, model, and explain this from the context of the research question and the data.

Desired skills:

  • Statistical modeling and data analysis, in particular:
    • Data Preparation and Analysis planning (extra experience with categorical analysis is a bonus)
    • Statistical analysis knowledge and experience, especially multiple logistic regressions
    • Experience using R or Python or Matlab for statistical modeling  
    • Bonus: experience with complex sampling
  • Ability to conduct background research from literature to support hypotheses and findings
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Comfortable working in a self-directed way (weekly team meetings, tasks expected to be completed in a timely manner with other students or sometimes individually)

Interested contact: 

Graham Doig <gcdoig@calpoly.edu>

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