QR Centre Programming Week

Always wanted to learn programming but not sure where to start? Join us for a series of workshops during the QR Centre’s Programming Week!

The QR Centre is pleased to organise a series of workshops, for those in the USP community who are interested to get started into programming. These workshops are run by your fellow USP peers who are computing enthusiasts. Each workshop is limited to 40 students, so do sign up soon!

Details of the workshops are as follows:

Instructions for workshops:

Please bring along your own laptops! You will need to install Python prior to coming to the workshop. Installation instructions can be found here.

(1) Intro to Python with Telegram Bots (6 Sep Thurs, 7 – 9 pm, ERC Active Learning Room)

Conducted by Chow Keng Ji (Linguistics), Lee Ningyuan (Computational Biology) and Tham Wai Kin (Business)

Ever wanted to learn programming? Why not start with Python? Python is a general purpose programming language with wide applications such as game development, data processing and machine learning. It is easy to pick up, and many of its concepts are transferable to other programming languages as well. So do join us as we program the evening away! No experience is required for this workshop, which will cover the basics of programming in Python, followed by a hands-on development of your own Telegram bot!

Outline of workshop:

• Primitive types: strings and numbers
• Data structures: lists
• Control flow: for loops and if/else conditionals
• Modules: local imports
• Build a Telegram bot to report Singapore’s air temperature!

Notes on the workshop: No prior programming experience is required.

Sign up here.

(2) Data analysis with Python (11 Sep Tues, 7 – 9 pm, SR6 and SR7, Town Plaza)

Conducted by Nikolas Lee (Business analytics)

Want to be a part of the data revolution? Still stuck on Excel in 2018? Don’t let your dreams just be memes! Come down for a great evening learning the basics of handling and analyzing publicly available real life data with Python and the Pandas Library. If time permits, we will feed the processed data into a simple model that will predict HDB resale prices.

Interested participants are advised to attend the abovementioned workshop on “Intro to Python with Telegram Bots” for maximum benefit, although a brief crash course of Python basics will also be covered at the start of this workshop.

Outline of workshop: 

– Introduction to DataFrames (The basic data structure in Pandas)
– Sub-setting Data (How to select specific rows and columns for further processing/analysis)
– Apply (How to apply a custom function to multiple data points)
– Merge (How to combine two data sets with complementary information)
– Groupby (How to group data by their values and apply aggregate functions to each group)

If Time permits:
– Linear Regression without the Math (Predict HDB resale prices with linear regression)

Sign up here.

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FAQ – full html


What should I expect from a Drop-in Session?

If you’re coming with queries, come ready to learn through lots of discussion. Bring your notes, and your enthusiasm!

QR Assistants are trained to help you learn, not give you answers. Getting to your question’s answer is only part of what we’re aiming to do in the QRC. We think the journey to that answer’s equally important. Our broader goal is to guide our student patrons with nudging questions, to help clarify and strengthen our patrons’ understanding of various quantitative reasoning concepts.

In order to help QR Assistants help you without confusing you, we strongly suggest you bring along your class notes. Different modules teach certain concepts differently. It would be useful for the QR Assistant to know what/how you have been taught in class, so that s/he can guide you correctly and conveniently.

Top

What if I’m not coming with queries? What if I just want to work?

Come then, too! Understand, though, that QRAs may ask you for your thoughts regarding other patrons’ discussions, from time to time. This is what makes the Drop-in, a drop-in. Don’t worry, though. We try to strike a reasonable balance when we encourage discussion. You won’t be talking the entire time! You’ll still be able to get work done.

Top

What should I expect of the Quantitative Reasoning Assistants? What are they expecting of me, as a patron?

Glad you asked. We think it’s important to clearly spell out our expectations, for ourselves and for you. We have an entire page dedicated to this very question.

Top

Can you help me with my QR writing assignment?

Yes, we can! Just bring your essay and we can help you check the rigour of your quantitative analysis, as well as general flow, grammar and prose. However, after visiting us, we encourage you to also visit the Writing Centre where you can get help on the argumentative aspects of your essay.

Top

Do I have to make an appointment?

No, you don’t have to. Just drop in any time during our operating hours. If you’re not able to visit us then, just send us an email: qrhelp@nus.edu.sg to book an appointment with us via QRC-on-demand.

Top

Is the QR Centre only offering remedial or tuition services for weak students?

No, not only that. The QR Centre aims to foster a positive environment for QR-related discussion in the USP. While our QR Assistants do focus on clarifying concepts with students who need help, they are also ready to engage students in broader discussions on QR.

Top

Can you match me with a QR Assistant who knows about my topic, or who has taken the same class?

Our QRAs know quite a lot (if we do say so ourselves) and we have been trained to help with most queries that come in, regardless of whether the QRA has taken the same QR module that you’re taking now. And that’s because QRF modules are centred around the same learning outcomes and similar syllabus outlines. If, after visiting us, you find that you still have doubts, you can always seek further clarification from your professor. Oftentimes, even if your question isn’t completely answered after meeting with us, you will likely find that you have a clearer idea of what it is you don’t know, and that will help you have a more fruitful session when you meet with your professor subsequently.

Top

Can a QR Assistant answer my queries over the phone or email (via QRC-on-demand)?

We find that it’s more useful to clarify concepts in person, rather than in writing or via phone. Any queries that come in via QRC-on-demand at qrhelp@nus.edu.sg will be answered during the subsequent face-to-face appointment.

Top

I am unsure about this method that’s described in my QR-assigned reading. Can the QR Centre help? Come to think of it, I have a group presentation that’s coming up as well. Can you give me feedback?

Yes, and yes. We can help clarify your doubts if you’re unclear about any quantitative methods that are described in your assigned readings for your QR modules. If you have a group project that you need to present on, you can also drop by the Centre (or book an appointment via QRC-on-demand) to rehearse your presentation and get immediate feedback from the QRA.

Top

Can the QR Centre help me check my answers to an assignment?

Unfortunately, we are unable to help you directly with assignments, especially checking your answers for assignments that are to be submitted for a grade, as doing so might constitute an academic integrity violation. However, we can help you in many other ways, such as clarifying any QR concepts (such as operationalisation) that you’re unclear about or how to use QR tools such as regression, etc.

Top

I’m interested in becoming a QR Assistant. How can I do that?

We hire 3-7 people, once an academic year. You should keep an eye out for our hiring call, which comes around March or April every year. The call will specify what you need to submit in order to enter the candidate pool.

Top

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QRC-on-demand

Have a QR question but unable to visit us during drop-ins? Fret not!

You can now book an appointment with us via QRC-on-demand. Helpful information about our new initiative as follows:

What is QRC-on-demand?

QRC-on-demand aims to complement the existing drop-in format of the QR Centre in providing assistance to students with QR-related queries. If you’re unable to visit the QR Centre at the Multimedia Lab during drop-in hours (e.g. you have a timetable clash), you can now email the Centre at uspqrhelp@nus.edu.sg to set up an appointment for a QR assistant (QRA) to meet with you. You can expect a reply within 24 hours to set up an appointment where we can meet at the Centre and assist you with your query. If your email comes in during weekends, you will get a reply by 9am the following Monday. Do include in your email the QRF module you’re taking, as well as a brief description of your query, so that we can better help you when we meet. Please note that we will only be able to answer your query during the appointment, and not directly over email.

The QRC-on-demand service runs from Weeks 3 to 13 (29 January 2018 till 20 April 2018 for this semester), excluding recess week. Do note that the last day for face-to-appointments is 20 April, so please send us an email in advance, giving us ample time to arrange a meeting with you.

Booking an appointment via QRC-on-demand

Send us an email at: uspqrhelp@nus.edu.sg. Just let us know what QR module you’re taking and include specific details of your query in your email, so that we can better help you during the appointment. Hope to hear from you!

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Join us!

We are currently hiring our next group of QRAs, who will begin working alongside our current QRAs beginning Sem1 of AY 18/19.  Interested in what the job entails?

What is the QR Centre?

See here.

What is a QRA?

Quantitative reasoning assistants (QRAs) are the student employees of the QR Centre (QRC). They staff the QRC’s Drop-In sessions and on-demand service, helping fellow students with their QR-related questions, and guiding peer-to-peer discussions on these queries. These queries can include QR concepts such as operationalisation, statistical models such as regression, or how to use programming or software packages to carry out data analyses. So if you’re passionate about these topics and wish to share your love of all things QR by helping fellow students, do submit an application now! In addition to the QRA duties described above, you will also have a unique opportunity to have input into the QRC’s continued development, by helping us continue to mold the QRC into a versatile and useful resource for the USP community.

Time commitment

Being a QRA is a paid position, with a 3-5 hr. commitment per week during the semester.  If you are hired, you would be on staff in principle until you graduate from USP, aside from any semesters where you are on exchange, given good performance.

Qualifications

  • Year 1 or Year 2 USP student
  • B+ or better in QRF
  • An interest in developing QR’s role in the USP community

How to Apply

Please send an application packet containing three pieces of information:

  • An up-to-date CV; please place your name and matric number at the top of each page. Do also include in your CV:
    • Your current NUS and USP co-curricular activities involvement
    • Any proficiency with a programming language or statistical software package
  • From QRF, a copy of an assignment you feel is representative of your best work in QRF.  Group project slides are also acceptable.
  • A brief paragraph (250-500 words max) that justifies, and reflects upon, why you feel this assignment is among your best QRF work.

Please combine all three materials into a single PDF, and send it to uspqrcentre@nus.edu.sg.  The deadline is Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 2359.

Based on your application materials, we will then be in touch with further details regarding the selection process.

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About the QR Centre

2 - qrc, tri-color, side (from Word, mod) - for web

The Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Centre provides a place for students enrolled in the University Scholars Programme (USP) to work on matters related to quantitative reasoning. Similar to the Writing Centre, the QR Centre aims to provide guidance to students in using statistics and data to cement their argument. The QR Centre is especially geared for students currently reading the Quantitative Reasoning Foundation (QRF) module, to provide guidance in understanding key concepts so as to buildup students’ foundational skills in quantitative reasoning.

If you are a USP student in need of help with QRF, the QR Centre invites you to drop in during its operating hours. You will be engaged by fellow USP students, trained as QR Assistants (QRAs). Instead of working on minute problem solving, the Drop-ins focus on higher-level concerns in quantitative reasoning. Why is it that the student does not understand the idea of modelling? Is there an alternative way the student can try to understand the concept? How else can we operationalise a concept?

If you are a USP student that doesn’t need help with QRF, or have already taken QRF–stop by anyway! Patrons are also invited to use the QR Centre to work on any QR-related assignments. The QR Centre aims to serve as an open space for QR-related work, regardless of whether students need help or not.

QRAs engage students either individually or in a group setting. We believe that students can often learn from peer-to-peer discussions. In order to facilitate this, QRA prefer to channel queries into group discussions and then guide patrons’ discussions with questions instead of providing answers.

QRAs do not, and should not be expected to, give direct help on assignments. QRC Drop-ins complement, but do not replace, the relationships students have with their professors.

Our Objectives

  1. To foster a positive environment, beyond remedial help, for the discussion of QR-related matters in the USP community.
  2. To create an open space where students can come to work on QR-related matters, alongside others who are also working on QR-related matters.
  3. To render reasonable levels of assistance to students regarding QR-related matters, particularly for QRF modules.
  4. To place an emphasis on QR concepts and meta-level thinking, by promoting peer-to-peer discussions.

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Our QR Team

Quantitative Reasoning Assistants

(front row L-R): Tongyao, Samuel, Ning Yuan, Xueyan, Nikita, Wei Qi, Kher Liang, Doreen

(back row L-R): Benedict, Ye-Min, Miguel, Kaiser, Zhen Yong, Ryan, Abhi

Absent: Jean, Tiantian

 

Students who have previously worked for the QR Centre

  • Krittika Bhatnagar
  • Royston Chua Zhe Xuan
  • Lee Kee Wei
  • Steven Liman
  • Imran Shah

 QRF Faculty

  • Dr Charles Burke
  • Dr Philippe Raynal
  • Dr Edmund Low (QRC director)

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FAQ


  • What should I expect from a Drop-in Session?

    If you’re coming with queries, come ready to learn through lots of discussion. Bring your notes, and your enthusiasm!

    QR Assistants are trained to help you learn, not give you answers. Getting to your question’s answer is only part of what we’re aiming to do in the QRC. We think the journey to that answer’s equally important. Our broader goal is to guide our student patrons with nudging questions, to help clarify and strengthen our patrons’ understanding of various quantitative reasoning concepts.

    In order to help QR Assistants help you without confusing you, we strongly suggest you bring along your class notes. Different modules teach certain concepts differently. It would be useful for the QR Assistant to know what/how you have been taught in class, so that s/he can guide you correctly and conveniently.

    Top

    What if I’m not coming with queries? What if I just want to work?

    Come then, too! Understand, though, that QRAs may ask you for your thoughts regarding other patrons’ discussions, from time to time. This is what makes the Drop-in, a drop-in. Don’t worry, though. We try to strike a reasonable balance when we encourage discussion. You won’t be talking the entire time! You’ll still be able to get work done.

    Top

    What should I expect of the Quantitative Reasoning Assistants? What are they expecting of me, as a patron?

    Glad you asked. We think it’s important to clearly spell out our expectations, for ourselves and for you. We have an entire page dedicated to this very question.

    Top

    Can you help me with my QR writing assignment?

    Yes, we can! Just bring your essay and we can help you check the rigour of your quantitative analysis, as well as general flow, grammar and prose. However, after visiting us, we encourage you to also visit the Writing Centre where you can get help on the argumentative aspects of your essay.

    Top

    Do I have to make an appointment?

    No, you don’t have to. Just drop in any time during our operating hours. If you’re not able to visit us then, just send us an email: qrhelp@nus.edu.sg to book an appointment with us via QRC-on-demand.

    Top

    Is the QR Centre only offering remedial or tuition services for weak students?

    No, not only that. The QR Centre aims to foster a positive environment for QR-related discussion in the USP. While our QR Assistants do focus on clarifying concepts with students who need help, they are also ready to engage students in broader discussions on QR.

    Top

    Can you match me with a QR Assistant who knows about my topic, or who has taken the same class?

    Our QRAs know quite a lot (if we do say so ourselves) and we have been trained to help with most queries that come in, regardless of whether the QRA has taken the same QR module that you’re taking now. And that’s because QRF modules are centred around the same learning outcomes and similar syllabus outlines. If, after visiting us, you find that you still have doubts, you can always seek further clarification from your professor. Oftentimes, even if your question isn’t completely answered after meeting with us, you will likely find that you have a clearer idea of what it is you don’t know, and that will help you have a more fruitful session when you meet with your professor subsequently.

    Top

    Can a QR Assistant answer my queries over the phone or email (via QRC-on-demand)?

    We find that it’s more useful to clarify concepts in person, rather than in writing or via phone. Any queries that come in via QRC-on-demand at qrhelp@nus.edu.sg will be answered during the subsequent face-to-face appointment.

    Top

    I am unsure about this method that’s described in my QR-assigned reading. Can the QR Centre help? Come to think of it, I have a group presentation that’s coming up as well. Can you give me feedback?

    Yes, and yes. We can help clarify your doubts if you’re unclear about any quantitative methods that are described in your assigned readings for your QR modules. If you have a group project that you need to present on, you can also drop by the Centre (or book an appointment via QRC-on-demand) to rehearse your presentation and get immediate feedback from the QRA.

    Top

    Can the QR Centre help me check my answers to an assignment?

    Unfortunately, we are unable to help you directly with assignments, especially checking your answers for assignments that are to be submitted for a grade, as doing so might constitute an academic integrity violation. However, we can help you in many other ways, such as clarifying any QR concepts (such as operationalisation) that you’re unclear about or how to use QR tools such as regression, etc.

    Top

    I’m interested in becoming a QR Assistant. How can I do that?

    We hire 3-7 people, once an academic year. You should keep an eye out for our hiring call, which comes around March or April every year. The call will specify what you need to submit in order to enter the candidate pool.

    Top

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Feedback

Have some feedback on the QRC? Let’s hear it!

Feedback

Were we helpful?

How were we helpful?

(You may select more than one answer.)

How did you interact in the QRC?

Will you come see us again?

Sending

Contacting Us

The QRC’s email address is uspqrcentre@nus.edu.sg. Please note that this email address is for QR Centre-related matters. If you have questions about QR, you should stop by one of our Drop-in Sessions. We’re sorry to say that we cannot, and will not, currently respond to QR-related queries over email.

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Our Creed (and Yours)

What do we expect of ourselves, as QRAs?

I am an assistant of the Quantitative Reasoning Centre.

My duty is to lead, to educate and to engage.

To lead my fellow peers in learning journeys.

To educate my fellow peers on various QR concepts.

To engage my fellow peers in discussions.

I will be the guide on this journey;

I will be patient, respectful, constructive, and listen to all;

To bring the best into our community.

What do we expect of you, the patrons?

As a patron to the Quantitative Reasoning Centre,

I am to be open to expected and unexpected discussions,

I am to be constructive in my interactions,

I am to be critical in thought and understanding,

I am to ask the QRAs questions pertaining to QR.

I am to bring my notes and other material related to my queries.

I will be patient and respectful to all in the Centre

I will not to ask for help on specific assignments from the QRAs.

This is for me to gain the most out of this journey.

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Operation

Location

Writing and QR Centre. Cinnamon South Learn Lobe, first floor. University Town, NUS.

Operating Hours

Semester 1, AY 18/19

Tuesday, 6:30-9:00pm
Thursday, 6:30-9:00pm

Opens: 27 August 2018 (Week 3)
Closes: 16 November 2018 (Week 13)

The QR Centre will be closed during Recess Week, and on Deepavali (6 November).

All USP students are welcome. Do drop in and visit us!

Booking an appointment via QRC-on-demand

If you have a question on your QR modules but is unable to visit us during our drop-in hours, fret not! You can now book an appointment with one of our friendly QR Assistants via QRC-on-demand. Just send an email telling us what QR module you’re taking, along with a brief description of your query, to the following email: uspqrhelp@nus.edu.sg. A QR Assistant will get back to you within 24 hours (or by 9am on Monday if your email comes in during weekends) to set up an appointment, where you can get help on your query.

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