Northwestern’s IDEAS program is transforming graduate STEM education by prioritizing integrated research and learning, professional skill development, and preparation for data-intensive careers throughout the academic and professional sector. Our students are driven to ponder the questions no one has yet thought to ask, provide appropriate research and analysis, and communicate the response for a variety of audiences and clientele. The IDEAS program is run by the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA).

IDEAS is a multi-faceted program designed for masters and PhD students in a variety of departments; students can participate at a range of levels. At its core, the program offers a range of coursework in data science, but it goes far beyond that. As part of the program, students can also participate in summer school activities focused on data visualizations and computer programming, engage in science communication workshops, participate in the development of a citizen science project related to their research focus, and earn an internship opportunity. In addition, they will have the chance to participate in other data science-focused activities that will help them build further the professional connections and abilities necessary for successful careers in academia as well as the professional sector. (More details on the programs are available on our Traineeship page.)  Students whose thesis research focuses on Earthscope, aLIGO, or LSST can apply for a year of funding through the IDEAS program.

Students who wish to take only the core coursework will be able to receive a certificate granted by The Graduate School at Northwestern University.

Want to learn more? Meet our current trainees, and watch CIERA graduate student Niharika Sravan below as she describes Data-Driven Discovery in her “Seven Minutes of Science” video from September, 2015.