Date

2017

Department or Program

Mathematics

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Cassandra Pattanayak

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the effects of a Wellesley student’s First Year Mentor’s major and First Year advisor’s department on the student’s choice of major. The Rubin Causal framework was used to draw causal inferences instead of just correlation. Doing so, it is possible to attribute any effect to the type of First Year Mentor or First Year advisor assigned to the student. In the mentoring component, the data was analyzed using Fisher’s Test and the Separate Regressions Method. Each method gave some statistically significant results; however they were not practically significant due to their small effect sizes. Our approach to the mentoring component of this study illustrates a novel application of rerandomization techniques to a natural experiment. In the advising component, the data was analyzed using subclassification because the assignment of advisors is not randomized. After subclassification, the data was analyzed using a weighted t-test. The results were not statistically significant. Thus, First Mentors and First Year Advisors do not appear to have an effect on a Wellesley student’s choice of major.

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