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Critical to Stats Success: Donor Funds Used to Modernize New Studio Classroom Space

Cal Poly Statistics in new facility (From left) Statistics students Dominic Farradj, Arushi Sharma and Luke Connolly collaborate in the Statistics Department's studio computing classroom in Building 38. The department is adding a new, modernized space next door. Donor funds are helping to augment the new classroom. Photo by Heather Smith

June 2024
by nick wilson

The Statistics Department is relocating and updating its studio computing classroom within Mathematics Building 38 with plans to open the new space in the fall. 

The dated studio computing classroom is being moved due to the expansion of the Preschool Learning Lab, said Andrew Schaffner, chair of the Statistics Department.

To help augment the new studio classroom that’s set up in a lab environment, donor funds are being used to modernize the facility. 

“This space is absolutely critical to the success of the courses that we offer,” said Heather Smith, a statistics lecturer who has used Room 123, located next door to the new classroom location, for years. “The layout is very important to facilitate collaboration efforts. The space has been heavily used throughout the day. It's pretty chockablock."

Because students typically work on their own laptops, Schaffner said the lab will not have stationed computers. But the setup will focus on connectivity and have technology for screen sharing both within each table group as well as class wide. The room will have enhanced Wi-Fi and power for each student.

The relocated space will continue to host statistics computing classes and be used for Capstone consulting, where “we meet clients and videotape all our client meetings,” Smith said.

Through Capstone, clients present their needs for their projects and students get to use their expertise to craft a solution.

About $40,000 in donor funds are being allocated to modernize the relocated space at the discretion of the department to enhance student learning and classroom resources. 

Other costs due to the move also are being paid for by Cal Poly’s Office of the Provost because of the mandated relocation. Construction began this spring and with plans to use the room in fall. 

A big thanks to donors for enhancing the Learn by Doing experience! 

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