Data are becoming the new raw material of business
The Economist

Calculating the Perfect Algorithm: Alumni Spotlight on Sumanth Swaminathan

At The Data Incubator we run a free eight-week Data Science Fellowship Program to help our Fellows land industry jobs. We love Fellows with diverse academic backgrounds that go beyond what companies traditionally think of when hiring Data Scientists. Sumanth was a Fellow in our Winter 2016 cohort who landed a job with one of our hiring partners, Revon.


Tell us about your background. How did it set you up to be a great Data Scientist?

I did my bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware and my PhD in Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University. After some postdoctoral work between Northwestern and Oxford University, I went into industry as a quantitative consultant for W.L. Gore & Associates. For the past 4 years, I have spent most of my time delivering technology solutions at W.L. Gore, teaching mathematics at the University of Delaware, and performing and teaching Indian Classical Music.

On the question of what makes a strong data scientist, I think that the better practitioners in the field tend to be hypothesis driven, strong critical thinkers with hard skills in statistics, programming, mathematics, and hardware. Hence, my background in engineering and mathematics, my consulting experience, and my years of teaching probably contributed the most to my success.


What do you think you got out of The Data Incubator?

1. I learned an incredible amount of new problem solving methods, concepts and technologies
2. I joined a large community of practicing and aspiring data scientists (the fellows admitted into this program were really accomplished and came from all educational backgrounds)
3. I was approached and interviewed by numerous companies of all sizes.
4. I received professional advice from hiring managers, computer scientists, and strong mathematical talent.

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