Chengcheng Zhai Creates Software Called "ModSel"

  • For five weeks, Chengcheng Zhai '18 worked side by side with Prof. Danel Draguljic in statistical research. For five weeks, Chengcheng Zhai '18 worked side by side with Prof. Danel Draguljic in statistical research.

During  summer break between her junior and senior year, Chengcheng Zhai '18 worked  with Professor Danel Draguljić, a statistician in the Math Department. "We created an R package called ModSel,"  says the senior student.  "The package is R sofware that selects from many possible mixed or fixed linear models the best one according to some user-specified criterion.

" In addition to being able to handle mixed models, the software also preserves the effect hierarchy of the model terms," Chengcheng adds. "The summer research has been a wonderful experience for me as a math major.  I wanted to gain some experience doing  research before having to make  the decision of whether or not to pursue a PhD.  I wanted also to learn more about applied statistics,  so I reached out to Prof. Draguljić and he suggested this project."

 

"I highly recommend that students do an independent study/ research. Take the advantage of the small student - professor ratio at F&M."

 

"Working side by side with a professor is a great learning opportunity.  I was able to learn how to solve a problem when I face one, experience the learning process, develop good habits, make my code more readable, document my random thoughts, organize my workflow, etc.  All the skills doing this research will be of great help for my future study/work/life," says Chengcheng.

And Chengcheng recommends, "If you are interested in a general topic, go ask a professor, express your interest, and together you can decide on a more specific topic to work on. It is never too early to reach out to a professor!"