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Student Spotlights

Bethany: Statistics

Bethany Fry sifted through earthquake and volcanic activity data from Indonesia in her internship with BYU Geology faculty, Professor Ron Harris. Find out what she learned!

What was your internship experience?

I was able to be a research assistant for one of the geology professors on campus. He has data regarding earthquakes and volcanic activity in the Indonesia area. I was able to clean and sift through the data. I looked for patterns and was able to fit regression models to the data to find out how volcanic and earthquakes are linked. I coded in Python and then in R. I also took a regression class concurrently with my internship. I was able to take what I learned in my statistics classes and apply the principles I learned to real-world data.

What did you learn from this experience?

I am finding that there is not much correlation between earthquake and volcanic events. This is interesting to note because Indonesia lies on a fault and there are many earthquakes. Because of this finding, it begs the question, does this happen everywhere? Are earthquake events not strongly correlated to volcanic events everywhere? If so, what makes Indonesia different?

This research is also helpful to people in Indonesia. Natural disasters happen on different islands with different frequencies. I made some graphs and charts so that each event is color-coded to the location where it occurred. This allows people to see which places are most active and the people can become properly prepared to face these natural disasters.

It was interesting to put my regression/statistics skills in real-world data, and improve some of my coding skills. I was able to enhance some of my coding skills in Python and then also utilize skills I had learned in R to implement the code.The statistics regression class helped me know just about everything I needed to know.

What professional skills did you develop?

Timeliness, working independently, communication.

What are your future plans?

Full-Time Employment

Bethany Fry smiling