What can I do with a QSS degree?

QSS is an interdisciplinary program that provides its students with both technical skills, concentrated in statistics and computing, and a grounding in a social science.  Alumni who have studied in QSS, which prior to 2015 was named the Program in Mathematical Social Sciences, have built on their Dartmouth careers with activities that cover the map, ranging from university teaching to research, law, business, medicine, public service, and a variety of individualized careers.

Below you will find narratives from program alumni, describing their post-Dartmouth activities. The variety of these undertakings illustrates the breadth of the QSS curriculum and the creativity of the Dartmouth students who have studied in the program.

Clara Wang '17 - QSS Minor

Undergraduate research intern

This past summer, I worked as an undergraduate research intern for Harvard University’s Privacy Tools Project. Funded by both the NSF and the Sloan Foundation, the Privacy Tools Project seeks to apply differential privacy to create a tool that allows social scientists to analyze sensitive data without releasing private information about individuals. The project’s goal is to facilitate data-sharing among social scientists so that others may verify the results of studies through replication, and so that researchers can access more datasets to draw new insights. 

My project for the summer was to replicate published social science studies using differentially private algorithms. My goal was to assess the practical applications of differential privacy. I translated code from STATA to R, wrote R code to replicate studies using univariate statistics, and calculated error metrics for differentially private analyses. I drew on a number of different skills from my QSS courses, and I gained a significant amount of experience interpreting and manipulating data.  

September 2017

Annie Ma '17 - QSS Minor

Data reporting intern

I just started at The Oregonian for the summer as a data reporting intern. I’m still figuring out my exact project assignments, but the first few days I’ve been looking into government salary data and have felt very prepared thanks to the QSS program. I think the work overall might skew a bit more towards Python and my computer science background, but the ability to think critically about data and how it might answer and reveal certain questions has certainly been an advantage in journalism that I’ve learned from the minor. 

June 2017

Garrett Schirmer '16

Sports Analytics

I may be a bit of an outlier here in that I neither majored nor minored in QSS and actually only took one QSS class during my entire time at Dartmouth. That one class was Sports Analytics (the first time it was ever offered), co-taught by Professor Herron and President Hanlon during my senior fall (15F). Personally, I came into the term dabbling with the thought of exploring a career in sports analytics and was hoping that this class would help me decide if that was a path I’d realistically enjoy. The course ended up providing clarity on that front and being more rewarding than I could have ever expected.

While attending the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at the end of the term with Professor Herron and President Hanlon, I was fortunate to connect with some representatives from the Cleveland Indians (MLB). After a few conversations and interviews, I was offered a business analytics position working with their Business Strategy team. A year and a half of honing my analytical skills with the Indians (and dealing with the ups and downs of a World Series loss) prepared me to pursue my dream of working for my favorite sports team, the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). The foundational knowledge I gained from the Sports Analytics class, coupled with my experience with the Indians, allowed me to land the business analytics job I’d been hoping for. Now working as a Data Systems Analyst with the Lightning, I’m using advanced statistical modelling to aid key business processes, such as dynamic ticket pricing and sales forecasting.

Working for a professional sports team has always been a career dream of mine, but I’d be lying if I said I expected it as my first job out of college. However, I have never felt out of place. Today I’m using the same analytical techniques, probabilistic modelling, and data handling practices that I picked up in QSS. Beyond the content I learned during the ten weeks of Sports Analytics, I’m even more grateful for the doors it has opened for me. Despite having taken only one QSS class, I can safely say that the department has changed my life for the better.

Alexis Savini ’14 - MSS Major

Corporate startup team

I'm working at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP on their corporate startup team. KTS is mostly known for their IP and patent work, so it's interesting to be on a smaller team within the firm that is doing something different from everyone else. We work with a lot of Bay Area startups, mostly medical device companies that need help with forming a company and finding funding opportunities. So far I'm really enjoying it - the corporate team is pretty small, so I've been given a good bit of responsibility and am definitely learning a lot. I'm mostly doing a lot of formations (which is honestly just a lot of paperwork), but in the end I'm transforming a guy with an idea into an actual company, which I think is pretty cool. We work with a lot of UCSF and Stanford professors and grad students, so a lot of the technology we get to see is pretty amazing.

November 2014

Matthew Boyas ’13 - MSS Major

Business Analytics Associate

I did an MA in Statistics at Berkeley and am now working as a Business Analytics Associate at ZS Associates, a sales and marketing consulting firm, in their New York office.

October 2014

 

Joseph Tanenbaum '13 - MSS Major

MD-PhD student

I am currently an MD-PhD student in the MSTP program at Case Western Reserve University. My PhD work is in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics where my research focuses on the association between increased market penetration of novel healthcare delivery systems and changes in population health. The QSS program (or the artist formerly known as MSS) was instrumental in helping me develop both analytical and critical thinking skills. The encouragement to develop a strong foundation in statistical methods while simultaneously pursuing studies in social science theory and application helped prepare me for my graduate school work and for my career moving forward.

June 2016

 

Danny Kim '11 - MSS Major

Venture capital and entrepreneurship

The MSS program equipped me with a rigorous data-driven framework to think about exciting yet puzzling empirical questions in the business world. I am currently a PhD student at MIT focusing on venture capital and entrepreneurship — a career path I decided to pursue after doing a fascinating networks-based research project in a MSS class. I'm so thankful for the MSS experience at Dartmouth!

October 2014

Joe Ornstein ’09 - MSS Major

PhD Student

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on the intersection of political science and economics. Prior to graduate school, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC

October 2014

Anne Irvine ’06 - MSS Major

Senior Data Scientist

I had the incredible experience of teaching two MSS courses at Dartmouth in the Fall of 2011, and I recently completed my PhD in Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. I have just started work as a Senior Data Scientist at RedOwl Analytics, a Baltimore-based startup that is developing a software product that performs sophisticated social network analysis for our corporate customers. My focus is on natural language processing, but our core product is very much in line with the social network analysis research and coursework that I completed as part of my MSS degree nearly ten years ago! It's amazing how impactful the MSS curriculum has been on my career thus far.

October 2014