This module covers a range of research topics that are currently highly active and relevant in statistics and operational research. Teaching will be delivered through a series of four masterclasses, the topics of which will change on a yearly basis.
The masterclasses will be taught through lectures, with some masterclasses also including workshops and computer labs. There will be one workshop for each masterclass to review the material covered and discuss options for research projects.
Students will gain experience of developing literature reviews and research projects in two of the areas covered by the masterclasses. They will work in groups to produce presentations and posters. They will also produce an individual blog for both technical and non-technical audiences.
The module involves the use of computer packages for statistics and operational research, such as R. It also involves the use of the mathematical document software LaTeX.
Students need to be familiar with the most recent developments in statistics and operational research in order to perform research in these areas. This course provides contemporary knowledge through a series of masterclasses delivered by international experts. It also allows students to explore two of the areas covered by the masterclasses at a deeper level through research projects.
The course gives students training in a wide variety of research skills. These include reviewing literature, working in teams, giving presentations, creating posters, designing blogs for diverse audiences and developing interview techniques.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Understand and engage with a range of topical research areas in statistics and operational research;
- Demonstrate a deeper level of knowledge in two of the research areas covered in the course;
- Develop effective research skills though cutting-edge research projects and literature reviews;
- Apply their research skills to a range of complex problems;
- Present overviews of their research projects and results from these projects in talks and interviews;
- Defend the arguments which form the basis of the results of their research projects under cross-examination;
- Demonstrate the ability to write reports which are appropriate for a website environment.
Given the nature of the module, there is no set material over multiple years. Any relevant bibliography will be specific to each year.
Assessment will be through coursework (100%). The coursework consists of assessed exercises under the following headings:
- Two group projects developing material from two of the masterclasses. For one of the masterclasses the results of the project will be presented in a poster and the group will be interviewed about their poster. For the other masterclass the group will present their findings in a talk and an interview.
- Individual blog reflecting on learning throughout term 2. Insights will be presented for both technical and non-technical readers.
Each group project will be conducted in small groups, typically of two to four students. The components of the assessment will be weighted as 30% for the poster and associated interview, 30% for the presentation and associated interview, and 40% for the blog.
There are approximately 45 contact hours provided for this module. The fours masterclasses are likely to have some variation in length, with most masterclasses lasting 6-12 hours. Some masterclasses will include workshops and computer labs to supplement lectures. There will also be one workshop for each masterclass to review content and explore possibilities for research projects. In addition, private study will make up the majority of the learning hours.