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The CAP Boot Camp is the reinvention of the CAP REU Program in a new format designed to serve students missed by REUs, such as undergraduates with summer conflicts, post-baccalaureate scholars between undergraduate and graduate school, and graduate students who never got the chance to develop computational research skills as undergraduates.

Note: The CAP REU alumni news and career discussion pages are still available. News updates should be sent to Project archives are here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Who: Participating students will usually be current, post-baccalaureate, or incoming UNC undergraduate or graduate students nominated by faculty. At least a little previous programming, scientific computing, and/or relevant coursework is recommended, but the Boot Camp is self-paced so all levels are welcome.

What: Two weeks of self-paced computational tutorials covering basics of Linux, Git/GitHub, and Python as well as computational/statistical tools of data science (hypothesis testing, fitting, bootstrapping, model selection, frequentist/Bayesian techniques). The Boot Camp will sometimes draw on the astrostatistics textbook “Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astronomy” (free through UNC libraries) and astronomical data sets. However, no astronomy background is necessary and the skills you will learn are fully general.

When: Tuesday, May 29 – Friday, June 8, 2018. Due to the loss of Memorial Day, the Boot Camp will run 9am-6pm (weekdays only) with a one hour lunch break.

Where: UNC Chapel Hill Physics & Astronomy Department.

Why: The Boot Camp tutorials are all freely available on GitHub here. The advantages of participation in the Boot Camp are (1) a dedicated intensive block of learning time, (2) other students to learn together with, and (3) the opportunity to get help from Boot Camp staff.

Funding: The Boot Camp itself is free. Undergraduates are eligible for UNC on-campus housing/meals and a $1000 stipend based on faculty nomination, thanks to a grant from Data@Carolina. Post-baccalaureate, incoming, and graduate students are not eligible for housing/meals or stipend support from the CAP program but may be supported by their nominating faculty member.

Nominations: Students must be nominated by at least one faculty member, with nominations sent to No other application materials are required. Rolling admissions will begin April 11, 2018.

Questions: Contact Director Sheila Kannappan at for more information.