In this episode we talk with current MS and PhD students about the life at CDS.
April 2, 2020 | 11:04
(INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING)
TIM BAKER (HOST): Welcome to the Center for Data Science and Missions podcasts. I am your host Tim Baker. On this week’s episode our current Ph.D. and MS students will discuss life at CDS.
STUDENT: (INAUDIBLE) I’m a first-year student at CDS. Life is pretty great, honestly. Like for me it consists of, you know, going to class, going to lab, getting involved on campus, and then connecting with my classmates and also finding other ways to get involved with like the larger NYU community. Aside from CDS. ‘Cause CDS is amazing, but outside CDS there’s also a lot of cool groups on NYU which are like awesome to get involved with.
TIM BAKER: Yeah.
STUDENT: Going to class is probably the biggest chunk of my time as an MS student compared to undergrad. I feel like undergrad like I spent half of my time doing extracurriculars and half of my time doing classes. But now I think I spend 70% of my time doing like classes and problem sets and things related to the class and 30% doing other things. I’m involved with like CDS leadership circle, which is a great thing to get involved in if you do decide to come to NYU, (LAUGHTER) which you totally showed 110%. And then I’m also involved with other groups like Women in Computing and CS for Social Good. So CDS leadership circle is just like a really fun time, you know, like there are all these people who like love data science on the one hand but they’re also like really fun. Like you guys kind of come from similar like similar social-cultural backgrounds and it sounds like you get the same jokes, you get the same memes, you know, you can relate at that level.
And everyone is like really friendly. I think for all of the people I’ve met here, they all really want to help you succeed. And just like the friends I’ve met here, they’re really fun to go out with. We go out and hang out and stuff and I’m currently on the hunt for kind of like research opportunity here as well. While there are a lot of professors who do, cool they have like cool research projects which they’re very open to students joining. You also have like the opportunity to like, I don’t know, they get published if that’s something you’re interested in. Yeah.
GUY: My name is Guy Davidson. I am a first-year Ph.D. student here at the Center for Data science that I started this past September. I think one of the interesting things about New York is that everyone has people in New York like there are very few people who had moved to New York and not have any friends or anyone day no. Which is not true for smaller university towns. I found that there is a social culture here and more work. We’re actively working on building more events for Ph.D. students, both, you know, coffee within the weekdays, but also going out to grab drinks and evening and happy hours, et cetera. There’s also sort of independently if the entire department or is my lab, the lab I’m working with is both people from CDS but also people from the Psychology department. So there’s also lab meetings and social events through the lab. And then I think that otherwise, I do try to spend some time seeing my non-academic friends and that covers most of the free time I have. It’s not, I, I rarely find myself sitting at home and being like, Oh I wish I had something better to do tonight.
KATRINA: I’m Katrina, I’m a second-year Ph.D. student. So yeah, I try to, like, organize my day. I usually have a bunch of meetings with like collaborators or like other students. And I attend some of the CDS events.
TIM BAKER: OK.
KATRINA: Like there are a lot of like guest speakers who come to talk here, which is like super interesting.
TIM BAKER: Yeah.
KATRINA: I participate in some reading groups where like people read on a particular topic and they present some like recent papers from different like disciplines.
TIM BAKER: Cool.
KATRINA: I am really fond of the leadership circle. It’s a student organization which organizes events for the CDS community that like help students like engage with each other, get to know each other, like interact with faculty. I think it’s a great way for like people to feel more part of a community. Like one of my favorite events that we organized at the CDS academy awards where, like, students can get recognized for the work and the projects that we… that they do during their studies. Yeah.
SREYAS: Hi everyone, this is Sreyas. I’m a second-year master’s student at the Center for Data Science. Life is great. So life is challenging. Life is busy. I mean it’s a struggle but in a good way and it’s well worth it. And also your life changes or the period of two years. So when you’re here, there’s also there, there’s the excitement of being in New York and you’re seeing things that you’ve only heard about like the World Trade Center and the Empire State. And with respect to NYU, you meet like Yan Lee Kuhn, who you, you, you’ve just heard about in news and you meet people like that here. So there’s the excitement phase. And then the academics kicks in and you realize that you have a lot to study, but then there’s friends to help you out and you put a lot of effort and master all that. And then there’s the job-hunting phase. So that’s a different taste of life. So the first semester was really busy and the second semester was a bit easier because you’re used to stuff. And in the third semester when the stuff gets really hard, I find that the third semester was the busiest.
STUDENT: My name is (INAUDIBLE). I’m a master’s student at CDS, second year. I honestly think it’s almost all pros. Like that was the thing I was really worried about when applying to places and moving to a city where I didn’t know anybody really. I was really worried about being lonely. And while I’m still lonely sometimes, as I would expect, it’s been way better. Well, I think one thing is just that CDS is pretty big. Like the cohort is pretty big. So there’s gonna be people you like no matter what, I think. I mean going through classes is really bonding, the classes. And that’s actually something I didn’t really have in undergrad because the people I had classes with weren’t the same people I was friends with. So that’s really fun. And also the diversity of the student body in all senses. Like where people are from country-wise like where, what people’s undergrad was in like race, income, everything. It’s actually pretty high I guess.
TIM BAKER: OK.
STUDENT: So I think that leads to more interesting social interventions.
ERIC: My name’s Eric. I’m currently a student part-time in the Center for Data Science. From what I can see many of the events, CDS hosts are during the day, which is a little bit unfortunate for the part-time students among us. That’s not to say there are not events outside right there. They’re happy hours after 5:00 PM. I think it was pretty important for like part-time students to be able to attend which events they can as like when you’re in classes people mostly are just there to learn, right? They’re not there to have fun anymore. So it is hard, but you will get out what you put in as a part-time student. Like personally speaking, I would say that I’ve met a lot of people mostly because like I went to the events that I could and people are open to meeting during them. I think the leadership circle is pretty great. Essentially what you’re doing is you’re organizing events for the student body and like this really does give you a look into the internals of what might be going on. So definitely I think the leadership circle is a much more open group of people and definitely a lot of great resources among the people there.
IRINA: My name is Irina and I’m a CDS Ph.D. student. Currently in my second year. I think CDS has an interesting and unique culture because maybe, maybe it’s because of the building or the way their building is set up. It’s very interactive. You can interact easily with other students, master students that are around working, faculty, post-docs. However, it’s, it’s very easy to have a chat with people. And also student wise, you can quickly form a group, like a friendly group and then have plans together or no, it’s good. And from what other friends from other universities tell me, I think I like this culture a lot more than a traditional department. I have other friends who will tell me, OK, I am all day in my office. I don’t see anybody because it’s a department with like each of them have their office. OK. Here we also have our offices, but the planning is very open.
TIM BAKER: Yeah. It is the glass, glass from us, yeah.
IRINA: And I think it impacts on your, on your wellbeing and on your research still because yes, you all friends with people to talk about and to be friends with and then you can, it’s very easy to collaborate and quickly you’re start talking about each other’s research and they gave you ideas or you gave them ideas.
SWAPNEEL: My name is Swapneel Mehta. I’m an undergrad student from the University of Mumbai in India and I worked at Sown for a bit before joining the Ph.D. program at the Center for Data science this year. Well, I find it really nice, like really, really nice that all the events we have are at the CDS. Like you don’t have to go to places to find events. And even though the places that and gender NYU events are relatively close by, it’s Washington square.
TIM BAKER: Yeah.
SWAPNEEL: But the CDS, I just had to walk out of my office for the next social event as a bunch of people out there…
TIM BAKER: It’s just literally right outside.
SWAPNEEL: Exactly! (LAUGHS) I think that that’s part of like why I’m attending a lot more social events here then I wasn’t, so not anywhere else. This is fun. Like I meet people that talk politics, I meet people that are Quantum Physics. I meet people that talk statistics.
TIM BAKER: That’s awesome.
SWAPNEEL: And yeah, it’s nice. So the last time we had a social event, this was an NYU event. I think we went to some burger place and…
TIM BAKER: OK.
SWAPNEEL: ..This, this mathematician from Berlin explained Applied Category theory to me. And I know I’m a nerd but getting a mini lecture on Applied Category theory at a bar. It was really fun.
TIM BAKER: That’s cool.
(INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING)
Tim Baker (HOST): Thank you for listening to the Center for Data science admissions podcast. Today’s episode was hosted by Tim Baker, mixed by Katerina Mora, and music was provided by Cryptic. You can find his music at crypticone.bandcamp.com.