DegreeComputer Science and Statistical Science ’19
I had an awesome experience as a part of this research team. I began the year by learning a ton about how the U.S. government spends money on its constituents and I would now consider myself an expert on the U.S. tax system. I also became much more aware of how many direct spending programs function, who they target, and the purposes they serve. I ended the year by synthesizing this knowledge with the research the team had performed to present our findings in a digestible, concise, and approachable manner. In between the research happened!
Though I had a little experience gathering and analyzing data to answers questions, I had never taken part in a team-based search for answers like this and I certainly had never been involved in a project with such a large scale. Though working in a team provided its own set of challenges — communication proved very key to getting everyone on the same page — the experience was very rewarding and I am extremely grateful to have had team members who worked so hard. Working on such a large-scale project was just as rewarding and I take pride in answering such an important question.
In closing, I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to participate in this project. The skills I developed — STATA and IPUMs fluency, team-based communication, piecing together fragmented bits of data to answer a larger question — and the values I have come to hold — persistence, hard work, humility — will stick with me for the rest of my time at Duke, and hopefully for the rest of my life.