This page lists resources for our student consultants to help them lead consulting sessions.
As a student consultant, you are expected to (a) lead and contribute to the conversation with the client and (b) participate in the discussion during the Wednesday seminars.
During a consulting session: During a typical clinic consulting session, a client will come to you, typically with a question relating to their own research. To give proper advice to the client, you should start by asking questions to understand the goal of the analysis, as well as the nature of the data at hand. The client will then typically proceed by showing or explaining what kind of analysis they have done so far, why they are dissatisfied, and why they came to the consulting program. Based on the client’s explanations, you should try to give advice and input into what should be the next step. It is not required nor advised that you take the client’s data and perform the analysis for them: one of the goals of the sessions is for the client to have learned something about statistics at the end of the session. However, if the project that your client is describing is involved, and requires a substantial adaptation or improvement of off-the-shelf statisitcal methods, do bring it up at the Wednesday seminar, and we can arrange for a group of volunteer consultants to collaborate with the client.
After the consulting session: You and your team should write up a small summary of the session. These notes should be detailed enough to be able to accurately describe to the class the problem and what you have suggested during the Wednesday session. You should also send these notes to the client, copying Prof. Wang and Prof.Donnat in your email thread.
During the Wednesday seminar You are expected to contribute to the consulting discussion that week. That is, you should have prepared This will be as well an excellent occasion to filter out projectsthat could be fit for additional more involved collaborations with student consultants. It is also the time and place to discuss cases that were particularly difficult, and where you would like to get the class’ feedback. Based on the outcome of this session, if you describe the case well, you should be able to get back to the client with better recommandations.
To lead a session, you should simply gear the conversation to gain as much information as possible from the client in order to help him:
When you ask questions, remember that this is an exchange between the client and you, and you are trying to teach the client the way you think. So, rather than asking a set of questions such as “How many data points do you have? Are the data split into batches?”, try explaining as much as possible the rationale behind your questions: “How many data points do you have? Knowing the number of data points is important in determining the test that you will be able to use, so for instance, if you have too few (let’s say, less than 30), you might have to use a non-parametruc test. Are the data split into batches? This is important for us to know if we have to add a “batch effect” in our analysis. A big component here is your ability to explain clearly to the client the rationales and subtleties of the analysis that you are suggesting.
This is bound to happen, and you should not worry!!
The consulting cup is a friendly competition amongst consulting teams to be elected “best consultants” of the quarter. The winning team will get a certificate during the final consulting seminar of the quarter. Individual consultants will also gain points, that will count towards the “best consultant of the year” award handed out by the department each year. Individual consultants and teams can gain points by:
|Task||Points for the Team||Points for the Consultant|
|Client Satisfaction Score||+ 10 \(\times\) score||+ 10 \(\times\) score|
|Client Special mention of a consultant||+ 10 \(\times\) score|
|Discussion of teams’ cases during the Wed. seminar||between -20 and 20|
|Participation to the Wed. seminar||+ 5 for each intervention|
|Help with the website||+ 10|
|Hands-on collaboration||+ 50||+ 50|