The new semester has just begun, and with that comes a new batch of promising Master of Science in Data Science students. To celebrate our incoming class, we decided to talk with five of the incoming students, to hear about their backgrounds, their interests, and their goals for the future. We’ll be interviewing one student each day of this week, and today we’ll be talking with Julie Helmers.
What did you study during your undergraduate education?
During my undergraduate studies, I majored in Cognitive Neuroscience.
Have you worked any jobs or internships that have contributed to your decision to enter into a Master of Science in Data Science program?
I was the lab manager of a cognitive neuroscience laboratory that was very computationally focused and borrowed heavily from machine learning techniques, so that was my jumping off point for exploring data science as a field.
Can you talk about some research projects that you’ve worked on?
Last year, some of my friends and I created an app that used publicly available crime data to determine safer routes for pedestrians. It was a great introduction to using data science in a real-world application, especially one that has real-world benefits.
Of your fall courses, which one are you most excited about? Why?
I’m most excited about Optimization and Computational Linear Algebra, because it will be delving into the mathematics behind many of the machine learning techniques that I’ve encountered before.
What are you ultimately looking to get out of your time at the Center for Data Science?
I’m not married to any one discipline yet, and one of the things that I am looking to get out of this program is the time and flexibility to find the area I’m most passionate about.