Some Spooky Reflections

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I am certainly a bit spooked with three midterms next week. The first five weeks of graduate school at the University of Chicago Harris School have been a test of perseverance. While the things I have learned go far beyond the professional realm, here are some things I have learned/done so far and some thoughts on future endeavors.

What I’ve learned:

  • Probability theory, including understanding and computing conditional probabilities and set theory
  • Various discrete and continuous distributions and their uses. I can now consider some data and think to myself: “this follows an exponential distribution!”
  • Object-oriented programming theory I had not worked with before, including more work with classes in Python, functional programming, and abstraction (one of the hardest tasks for me)
  • Continued using R and SQL on a research project. I specifically learned important concepts for data storage and memory usage
  • Perseverance when faced with challenging tasks. I’ve spent hours coding, debugging, and composing statistics proofs. My problem solving perseverance threshold is certainly much higher!

What I want to do now:

  • I started a little pet data project on social media discussions of various controversial health issues (think GMOs, organic food, vaccines, etc) that has gone nowhere. I’ve toyed with Twitter’s API and set up Postgress, but there is so much work to do.
  • I’ve had a Fitbit since March, and I think it may soon be time to download the data and become a Quantified Self follower.
  • I’ve been itching to create some form of algorithm that matches mentors to a team of mentees. I got this idea through reading about the National Resident Matching Program and after hearing about the Mentorship program through the Harris School.
  • Doing some research on technology policy, including privacy, technology education, ethics, technology in use in the future, etc.
  • Start considering data science internships for Summer 2016.

I’d love feedback on some of these topics!

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