Rhodes Information Initiative Spring 2024 Newsletter
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 Rhodes Information Initiative
Rhodes Information Intiative
Spring 2024 Newsletter
Ceramic cat and amaryllis
Director's Memo
Spring is in the air, and that means applications to our +Programs are humming.
Last summer, more than 200 undergraduate/MS students participated in the +Programs - Data+(109), Code+(58), CS+(21), Math+(22), Applied Ethics+(27). We are hugely grateful to university leadership for their help in arranging an on-campus housing option.
Across the +Programs we had 107 students living together on campus, a vibrant learning community with a rich social program. We introduced Applied Ethics +, a new +Program developed by Science and Society, and welcomed Esko Brummel to our leadership team. Esko had previously participated in the +Programs as a student, and as a client, so he already knew what was required of an organizer. This summer, the +Programs run from May 20 through July 26, and the 2024 program promises to be the best ever!
Associate Directors Jim Moody and Lisa Keister are stepping down this summer. I would like to conclude by thanking Jim and Lisa for their contributions, and by welcoming our new Associate Directors, Nick Eubank and Colleen Robles. 
Jim Moody, Associate Director, Lisa Kiester, Associate Director, Robert Calderbank, Director

iiD Welcomes New Associate Directors Nick Eubank and Colleen Robles

iiD’s partnerships with SSRI and the MIDS program as well as the Math Department has brought new ideas and research opportunities. We welcome our new Associate Directors Nick Eubank and Colleen Robles to the iiD leadership team!
Nick Eubank is an Assistant Research Professor in the Duke Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). His research is focused on understanding two aspects of political accountability: the determinants of citizen capacity to hold politicians accountable, and elite strategies for subverting mechanisms of accountability.
Mathematics professor Colleen Robles is a geometer.  Her research is focused on questions in complex geometry that are motivated by Hodge theory and its applications to moduli of algebraic varieties. She also supervises projects on the formalization of mathematics via automated theorem-provers and proof-assistants (such as Lean).
We are excited to have them in iiD and look forward to sharing more about new projects coming soon.

Society for Women in Science 

The Society for Women in Science hosts 6 lectures per academic year featuring Duke women faculty in the sciences. It has fostered a great sense of community among Duke faculty and students in science and has been well received since its beginning in 2019. 

The lectures include lunch, followed by a 30-minute broad audience talk. Co-organized with Fan Li in statistical science, Janice Crawford in Biology and assisted by Kathy Peterson in iiD this past year, attendance has doubled to 40 attendees on average. The lectures in 2024 – 2025 will be organized by Janice Crawford and Di Fang.

The series has been generously funded by the
Duke Office for Faculty Advancement and the Rhodes Information Initiative.

Speakers for Spring 2024 are listed below:

Feb 23, 2024             Kate Scholberg

Mar 22, 2024             Nina Sherwood

Lunch is served at 12:30pm and talks begin at 12:45 in Ahmadieh Grand Hall (Gross Hall 330).

Mathemalchemy Tour and Navajo Nation Math Circles Project

We are currently fundraising to bring Mathemalchemy to the Navajo Nation Museum in Arizona, and to collaborate with the Navajo Nation Math Circles Project on a Mathemalchemy-themed summer camp.
The dates are not final, but it will be the Summer of 2025.
We are offering an incentive of a Pi cookie-cutter as our gift for donations. More details are on our (adorable) donation page - https://mathemalchemy.org/donation/
Updates, including an upcoming (don)auction (donation auction) can be found on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mathemalchemy/
And in the Mathemalchemy newsletter, which you can subscribe to here https://mathemalchemy.org/ the link is at the bottom.
Mathemalchemy’s tour lineup is:
Northern Kentucky University – now until May 5
NYC – MoMath; late May through Fall 2024
Montreal – tentative; Fall 2024 through Spring 2025
Navajo Nation Museum and Navajo Nation Math Circles Project, Arizona – Summer 2025

MIDS Recruitment Process in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Nick Eubank, assistant research professor in Duke University’s Department of Political Science and Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), and a faculty member and admissions chair for the Duke Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) program, will be featured in the upcoming Chronicle of Higher Education discussing the unique recruitment process developed by Duke’s MIDS program after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision striking down race-conscious admissions practices in the Students for Fair Admissions cases. The new rubric developed by the MIDS program focuses on 5 ideal traits of a MIDS candidate:
1. a demonstrated ability to excel academically (for our program, we further decided that applicants must demonstrate an ability to do quantitatively or mathematically rigorous work, but they need not have majored in statistics, mathematics, data science, computer science, or a similar field);
2. a mature perspective regarding the promise and limitations of data science and a thought-out, clearly articulated reason for pursuing a degree in data science;
3. data-science relevant life experiences that would contribute to the educational experience of other students in the program;
4. non-academic work experience;
5. an understanding of the importance of interpersonal skills in data science and a demonstrated ability to work in teams.
“In practice we have found the magic of this rubric is that almost no one gets top marks in all five categories. Rather, the diversity of attributes evaluated in the rubric gives rise to a pool of high-ranking applicants with extremely diverse profiles—we certainly have many students who are coming straight out of undergraduate institutions with great grades in math or statistics, but we also have 30-something professionals who did not excel as undergraduates, but who have since matured and now want to acquire new skills to be more impactful in their careers”, says Professor Eubank.
Check the Chronicle of Higher Education website to see when this article is published: https://www.chronicle.com/

Plus Programs Opens Applications for 2024

Duke's Plus Programs launched the 2024 season with an Information Fair on January 18th, 2024 to showcase the lineup of summer projects for undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to the Climate+ program, 2024 welcomes the Applied Ethics+ program as well as Math+ (formerly known as DoMath), along with Code+ and CS+. 
The Data+ program continues to welcome undergraduate and masters students interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges. It is suitable for students from all class years and from all majors. Students join small project teams, working alongside other teams in a communal environment. They learn how to marshal, analyze, and visualize data, while gaining broad exposure to the modern world of data science. The projects come from an extremely diverse set of subject areas.
Plus Program participants will receive either a $5,000 stipend, out of which they must arrange their own housing and travel, or an option to live on campus with room and board and a $1000 stipend. Funding and infrastructure support are provided by a wide range of departments, schools, and initiatives from across Duke University, as well as by outside industry and community partners.
The application deadline is February 25, with rolling admissions after that until teams are all filled. Students interested in Plus Programs can learn more, review our 2024 projects, and apply here:

Professor Hans J. Van Miegroet

Rhodes Information Initiative is saddened by the passing of Professor Hans J. Van Miegroet of Duke University. Professor Van Miegroet served on the Trinity faculty for many years in the Art, Art History, and Visual Studies Department. He also designed the logos for the Rhodes Information Initiative. His contributions to Duke and beyond will not be forgotten.
To read more about Professor Van Miegroet's work please click here.