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. Aurora was a Fellow in our Spring 2016 cohort who landed a job with Verizon Wireless.
Tell us about your background. How did it set you up to be a great Data Scientist?
I obtained my Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from UC, Irvine in 2014. I collected data related to brain activity representing autobiographical memory using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for my dissertation. The accurate analysis of MRI data demanded the ability to preprocess, and clean data as well as automate the processing steps using Matlab and R. Understanding how to properly use these tools was instrumental towards acquiring a new programming language (i.e. Python). Furthermore, the ability to apply statistical concepts to analyze various forms of data from diverse scenarios was highly conducive towards becoming a well-rounded data scientist who excels at analyzing novel datasets.
What do you think you got out of The Data Incubator?
The Data Incubator laid the foundation of knowledge for computer science and data science-related concepts. The curriculum provided me the breadth, and depth, of knowledge necessary to understand everything from software engineering and numerical computation to the use of programming tools (including Python and d3 for data visualization), Natural Language Processing, statistics and probability, as well as the ability to apply parallel processing to data analysis. Importantly, The Data Incubator also prepared me for the technical questions asked during my data science interviews.