U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, Park City, UT
Professional athletes/organizations have become increasingly interested in data analysis as collection and implementation tools have evolved into more accessible and easier to use formats. My internship this summer was doing data analysis for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. This organization represents all Olympic snow sports. My job was to simplify data into constructive and clear suggestions that coaches and athletes can use. I compiled waxing and ski testing data for the Nordic team, created an interactive web app summarizing performance testing of the best juniors and also completed an exploratory analysis of judging bias and most influential factors for round qualification in Moguls. One of the greatest challenges was presenting these findings in ways that are productive and do not overwhelm audiences with limited statistics backgrounds.
I also worked on projects that included coding accelerometers for alpine racing, app design, project valuation, gender equality in skiing, and pdf conversion from race results. One of my main tasks was to create solutions that others could use in future years without starting from scratch. For example, coaches should be able to use the Mogul pdf converter in years to come and the interactive web app should auto-update each year as new results are added. This focus on long term solutions has been the most frustrating and rewarding part of the internship.
My current intention after Williams is to pursue a Ph.D. in statistics. This internship gave me a hands-on opportunity to explore the field and see if it matches my expectations from class. I got to use that which I’ve already learned to help the United States come closer to winning more gold medals in the future! I also was able to see where my weaknesses lie and what branches of statistics most excite me. The internship allowed me to dip my toes into statistics as a career before I choose the enormous commitment of graduate school. I was also introduced to fascinating and useful fields, such as machine learning, that are currently out of my grasp but are developing into necessary skills for jobs I want in the future.
Because of this internship, I have made tremendous progress in my ability to code, present, and interpret data. I want to thank the Class of 1974 and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for extending my Williams experience into the summer. I am applying the skills I’ve developed and am preparing for my senior year! Gaining independence and experience is one of the most crucial steps in the statistics major. As a result, I am significantly more prepared for the demands of this final year. Thank you!