iTREDS brings social responsibility and societal engagement to data science.
A key component of iTREDS scholars training are experiential learning opportunities – via a summer internship and capstone project – in which students learn how to effectively engage with stakeholders and incorporate the utility and value of data science for societal impact.
All iTREDS scholars must also participate in a summer internship before their senior year. The goal of the internship is to apply the data acumen learned from iTREDS program, experience a practicum, and further strengthen a students depth of how to understand stakeholders needs and assess societal impact.
iTREDS engaged stakeholders are encouraged to provide internship opportunities to the scholars to enhance capacity building and translational impact of their work. But iTREDS scholars also have an option to pursue other internship opportunities as enabled through the broader iTREDS network or through Notre Dame or St. Mary’s Career services.
The senior capstone project provides the iTREDS scholars to work in interdisciplinary teams and with external stakeholders on topics that require data science fundamentals and application. iTREDS scholars co-create their project with a stakeholder partner (industry or community-based / regional or not-for-profit organization). The Center for Civic Innovation and Center for Social Concern can help facilitate various co-creation of Capstone projects through community and regional partners.
The coursework leading up to Senior year helps scholars develop their Capstone project proposal topic. A Capstone project template is provided, which represents the structural framework through the lens of design thinking and ethics: articulating problem statement (the why), data science solution/innovation (the how), and impact (the what).
Before the end of Junior year, The iTREDS scholars will finalize their Capstone project proposal, along with preliminary work, and submit to their committee for review. Senior year, students focus on implementation of the Capstone project, including writing and presenting the Capstone thesis. All iTREDS scholars enroll in 2 credit of Capstone in the Fall semester of their Senior year and 1 credit of Capstone in the Spring semester of their Senior year.
At the end of Senior year Fall semester, a mini-workshop is organized for iTREDS scholars, wherein students present their Capstone project updates to stakeholders, faculty, graduate students and staff within the iTREDS program. Additionally, students present their final Capstone project at an iTREDS Workshop at the end of Senior year Spring semester. iTREDS scholars give a Ted-style talk to the audience, consisting of stakeholders, as well as the broader data science community, members of other DSC funded projects, and high school students and teachers from the region. At this time, scholars are also be required to turn in a thesis on their Capstone project.
Upon capstone completion, iTREDS scholars do have the opportunity to convert their Capstone into a publishable manuscript or translate to a not-for-profit or start-up or develop a patent application for Intellectual Property. iTREDS scholars receive a stipend of $5,000 as compensation for their capstone project research.
Need more information?
For more information on the iTREDS program, please contact Sugana Chawla.