iTREDS Internship & Capstone

iTREDS brings social responsibility and societal engagement to data science. One of the key elements of the training iTREDS scholars receive is the chance to engage in experiential learning through a summer internship and capstone project. During this time, students learn how to effectively engage with stakeholders and incorporate the utility and value of data science for societal impact.

Summer Internship

As part of the iTREDS program, scholars are required to complete a summer internship before their senior year. The goal of this internship is to apply the data acumen gained from the program, experience a practicum, and further strengthen a student’s understanding the stakeholder’s needs and assess societal impact.

Scholars are encouraged to seek internship opportunities provided by iTREDS stakeholders or explore other options through the iTREDS network, the University of Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s College Career Service departments.

Summer internship for 2024!

Interested in working with stakeholders in the South Bend-Elkhart region? Join a vibrant group of students from local universities, state college campuses, community colleges, and high schools to engage in multidisciplinary research projects focused on solving community-based problems. Learn more

Senior Capstone

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: In their senior year, iTREDS scholars undertake a capstone project that involves working in interdisciplinary teams and engaging with external stakeholders. This project emphasizes the application of data science fundamentals.

Co-Creation Process: Projects are developed in partnership with stakeholders from either the industry or non-profit sectors, with the Center for Civic Innovation and Center for Social Concerns supporting the capstone project development process by leveraging their community and regional partnerships.

Development Process: Coursework leading up to the senior year prepares scholars to develop their capstone project proposal topic. They are given a capstone project template that outlines the framework through the lens of design thinking and ethics, including;

  • articulating the problem statement (the why),
  • data science solution/innovation (the how),
  • and impact (the what).

Project Review and Implementation:

  • Before the end of the junior year, iTREDS scholars finalize their capstone project proposal and preliminary work, submitting it to the committee for review.
  • Senior-year students focus on the implementation of the capstone project, including writing and presenting the capstone thesis.

Credit Allocation: Scholars are required to enroll for 2 credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring of their senior year for their capstone project.

Presentations and Workshops:

Fall Semester Mini-Workshop: iTREDS scholars have the opportunity to showcase their capstone project progress at a mini-workshop that brings together stakeholders, faculty, graduate students, and iTREDS staff. This event serves as a platform for scholars to present updates, gather feedback, and refine their projects based on insights from a diverse audience.

Spring Semester Capstone Presentation: Scholars deliver Ted-style talks on their final capstone projects to a wide-ranging audience that includes stakeholders, members of the broader data science community, participants from other DSC-funded projects, and regional high school students and teachers.

Capstone Project Thesis Submission: Coincides with the spring workshop, marking the culmination of the iTREDS experience.

Post-capstone opportunities: After completing their capstone, scholars have the chance to further their work into publishable research/manuscripts, launch entrepreneurial ventures, or file intellectual property. Each iTREDS student receives $5,000 as compensation for their capstone project research.

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