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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 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 astrostatistics examples and astronomical data sets. However, no astronomy background is necessary and the skills you will learn are fully general.

When: Monday, June 7 – Friday, June 18, 2021, 9am-5pm (weekdays) with a one hour lunch break.

Where: Virtual on JupyterLab and Zoom

Why: The original Boot Camp tutorials that were designed for completion on site in the UNC Physics & Astronomy Department are all freely available on GitHub here. “Portable” tutorials that can be completed remotely using JupyterLab are under development, with a few already available here. The advantages of real-time 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. Five undergraduate and post-baccalaureate participants nominated by a faculty member will be selected to receive a $1000 stipend based on need, thanks to a grant from the NSF. Limited subsistence (housing/meals) support is also available, based on need. Current graduate students are not eligible for housing/meals or stipend support from the CAP program but may be supported by their nominating faculty member. Participation without funding is possible up to a total program capacity of 10 participants.

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 9, 2021.

Questions: Contact Director Sheila Kannappan at for more information.