2018 WEST - Integrating transfer students into the UCSC STEM community

2018 Workshops for Engineering & Science Transfers

WEST 2018 workshops will be held on the UCSC campus on Monday Sept 17th, Tuesday Sept 18th, and Wednesday Sept 19th 2018.

The overall daily schedule varies depending on each WEST Strand, but participants are involved in a full set (~7-8 hrs) of activities each day. Participants spend significant amounts of time working together and should intend to be present for all activities to get the most out of the workshop. 

Participants are offered a spot in one of five subject strands, depending on their major, research interests, and space availability.

The 2018 WEST Strands:

Astrostatistics WEST

Astronomical discoveries often occur at the very edge of measurement uncertainties. To deal with these large uncertainties in scientific inference, we need a robust framework for relating data to our model of the universe. Bayesian statistics provides one such tool. In this workshop, we'll work to apply Bayesian inference to current challenges in astronomy related to stars, planets, galaxies, and instrumentation. Our focus will be on developing intuition about Bayesian reasoning and its application in astronomy, rather than computational techniques, so that participants can come away with an understanding of tools that can be applied to any scientific discipline.

Chemistry WEST

Molecular interactions are at the heart of understanding events in biological or chemical processes. Interactions that occur between atoms and molecules can induce a macroscopic energy change as a result. This workshop will allow students to explore a light or heat phenomenon produced by molecular interactions and, through experimental design and testing different variables, the concept of energy transfer between molecules will be examined.

Computer Science WEST

This workshop offers exposure to decision trees; a concept used in machine learning (getting computers to learn from data and make some predictions). Students will use computational tools to learn how to create algorithms and build predictive models through data analysis. Some programming experience suggested, but not required.

Ecology WEST

Disturbances, such as sea level rise, forest fire, and disease, can impact natural resources which people depend on for economic and environmental services. In this activity, participants will explore modeling as a way to predict an ecosystem's response to disturbance. We will explore how matter and energy flow as well as energy transfer efficiencies to develop food webs and present mitigation strategies to minimize undesirable impacts of disturbance. Participants with a background in introductory ecology are encouraged to apply, though prior experience is not required.

Isotope WEST

Isotopes are powerful tools used across a wide array of STEM fields here at UCSC. We will learn about some of these powerful tools and how to apply them to answer questions, make predictions, and untangle complicated environmental problems. By the end of the workshop, participants will have a greater understanding of isotope geochemistry and how to prepare a professional-quality poster for a research presentation. General interest in biology, chemistry, or geosciences suggested, but not required.

Learn more about the different Activities each Strand will offer by coming to the Transfer Orientation & Resource Fair: July 25th and 27th, 11:30am-2pm, Porter College Quad. Come say hi at the ISEE - WEST Booth!

Applying to WEST

  • All incoming transfer students interested in science & engineering may apply to WEST. All Accepted Applicants will receive a waiver of registration and program fees to attend.

  • Students accepted into WEST who have a Fall UCSC housing contract are eligible for the Early Arrival Program. This allows participants early move-in into their residence hall prior to the scheduled transfer move-in day. The 2018 Early-Move-In date is Monday Sept 17th (there is an opening dinner for WEST at 5pm that evening). Students are responsible for all early move-in expenses (2018 rate is $160.50). This fee includes $29.50/day in flexi-dollars credited to a meal card used during the academic year.

  • WEST also accepts students who live off-campus, though lodging and transportation needs are independent of the program and up to each individual student to arrange.

  • Application Link: https://tinyurl.com/2018WEST

Important dates:

  • Application Deadline Monday, August 6th, 2018

  • Applicants notified of acceptance into WEST Friday, August 17th, 2018

  • Program acceptance requires returning a signed Confirmation of Attendance form by - Friday, August 24th, 2018 in order to be officially enrolled. Further program details provided after all confirmations are received.