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Week 1: Introduction and Preparation

Mar 11, 2021

Hello everyone! My name is Dora and welcome to my blog!

For the senior project, I will be working with Professor Bill Fagan from the University of Maryland on coding a script to automate calculations of bacterial growth rates from a database of cell size. Using the data analysis techniques that I learn from this project, I will be applying them to analyze the statistics behind the psychological effects of COVID-19 on Gen Z. I am excited to begin my internship because it will not only allow me to experience working with professional statistical analysis programs but will also challenge me to seek deeper learning into programming languages for application in my future career.

Since my internship project will involve coding an automated script in R, these first couple of weeks will be about learning how to use Rstudio and familiarizing myself with its functions. This week, I started learning the basics of R through the first part of a self-paced online course. With four sections on functions and data types, vectors and sorting, data wrangling and plots, and conditionals and for loops, I completed one section each day. Since I have previous experience with programming languages and data analysis, the course served as a good refresher for me to understand the general syntax of R. The data science online course consists of 9 courses on R that range from the basics to machine learning, so to further improve my skills, I strive to complete 1 course about every week, even once I start working on the internship project and preparing my deliverable. Hopefully, I can finish it by the beginning of May (Week 9). I will have weekly updates on my progress so stay tuned!

On Wednesday, I requested my internship advisor to send me the necessary databases for starting the project. To better understand what my project entails, I will be meeting him online next Monday to get a debrief on what my task is. Next week will be much more interesting, as I will be reviewing the given databases and planning my approach to coding the script.

See you next week!

4 Replies to “Week 1: Introduction and Preparation”

  1. Jeffrey G. says:

    Wow Dora! Your project seems very interesting! I think it’s so cool that you’ve taken on the challenge of learning a new programing language! I look forward to seeing the rest of your Senior Project.

  2. Sean P. says:

    Very fascinating Dora! It’s awesome that you are applying the techniques you learn from this project to understand the psychological effects the pandemic has had on Gen Z. I’m excited to see what you find out!

  3. Jiaming Z. says:

    Good job Dora! Our intern projects seem very similar! I think I’m also going to learn R language soon. And good luck on data collecting and statistical analyzing for your research.

  4. Peter L. says:

    Very intriguing Dora! Although I do not have a lot of knowledge in your area of research, I really look forward to what you will bring in the coming weeks. Best of luck to mastering R and the databases!

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