Boot Camp in Quantitative Methods           


August 2011


Co-Directors: Mike Springer and Rick Born

(michael_springer[at], 432-7391; rborn[at], 432-1307)


Teaching Fellows: Allison Baker (allisonevabaker[at], Rishi Jajoo (jajoo[at], Douglas Ruff (douglas.ruff[at], Alexandra Smolyanskaya (alex.smoly[at], Jue Wang (juewang[at]


Curriculum Fellows: Heather Doherty and Catherine Dubreuil


Time: August 18-25

Location: Countway Library, Rm. 403


The goals of this camp are to introduce you to programming in the MATLAB environment and to show you the power this provides for analyzing data and for gaining intuition about the behavior of complex systems through the use of numerical simulations. The first two days will cover basics of programming intermixed with some image analysis and statistical methods for analyzing data. The third day will focus on statistics. The fourth day will focus on image analysis and quantitative approaches.  The final day will cover some modeling.  The course assumes no knowledge of programming, statistics, image analysis, or modeling.  The object is to give people a set of practical tools that they can use towards any problem they want to address and to go through examples which both reinforce the different programming concepts and give hands on examples of data processing.


The longer term goal is to integrate the new quantitative skills you will obtain into your scientific toolbox. In this spirit, you should think of the boot camp as the start of a beautiful relationship—one that will continue throughout your coursework and follow you into your dissertation labs. We will integrate MATLAB-based demonstrations and problems into the core curriculum as well as have two additional "top-up" sessions during the first year: one in January and one in June of 2012. During these sessions, you will be encouraged to bring data and analysis problems from your lab experiences.


PREREQUISITE: Must be able to turn on a computer and use a keyboard and mouse.


NOTE: If you have your own laptop, please bring it to the first session so that we can install the latest version of MATLAB (R2011a) for your personal use. If you don't have a laptop, do not worry. We have laptops for everyone with all of the necessary software already installed.


Syllabus (html)

Syllabus (pdf)




Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Bonus Code!




            Day 1 Survey, Day 2 Survey, Day 3 Survey, Day 4 Survey, Day 5 Survey




            Beach Outing