Why did you decide to specialize in data science?
I love working with numbers, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue a career in math or statistics. But, thanks to Knox’s data science major, I can gain expertise in both computer science and math/statistics. In addition, data science has applications in many other fields, including my other major, international relations. When I came to Knox I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to study something related to international relations.
What academic opportunities have you pursued that furthered your academic interests?
I did a summer research project with Professor Forsberg on election forensics, which was related to my two majors: data science and international relations. We worked on a beta-binomial regression analysis to test differential invalidation in the 2021 Mongolian presidential election. I learned how statistical analysis can be applied to political science research. Since I want to work as a data analyst in the field of political science in the future, the skills I learned in this research project will definitely help me in the long run.
Also, I went to Meknes, Morocco in the fall semester of 2021 to study Arabic and International Relations. The study abroad program took us to many cities in Morocco, and it was very interesting to see how different cities have very different history, art and culture. I lived with my host family and two other American students, and we learned to cook Moroccan food with our host mother. I took a course called Geopolitical Conflict in Western and Arab Media. Learning about politics and media from a non-Western perspective has definitely broadened my knowledge of international relations, as I usually only get an education from a Western perspective.
What are the biggest challenges you faced while studying the Data Science major?
Taking computer classes is always a challenge for me and something that I always find difficult. Seeking help from Red Room tutors, teaching assistants (TAs), and professors helped me overcome many challenging computer tasks. Many teaching assistants and tutors were very patient with me and helped me until I understood. People are very helpful at Knox, and everyone wants to help others.
Which Knox experiences have benefited you the most?
I enjoyed taking STAT 223: Applied Analytics with Professor Hastings.
Working on classroom projects in his courses made me realize how much I love data analysis and how much I want to make a career out of it. Especially in his STAT 223 class, it was very helpful for me to learn how to effectively communicate the result of an analysis in writing.
What are your favorite on-campus event activities?
My favorite event at Knox is the International Fair. I was an organizer of the International Fair for two years: my second year as public relations chair and my first year as co-chair. So being able to help plan my favorite event at Knox was a fantastic experience for me. Last year was exceptionally difficult for everyone, including the executive members of the I-Club, but everyone worked hard to make the I-Fair a success and I believe we were able to achieve this.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to go to Knox?
If you’re not sure what you want to study right now, don’t worry. You will have many opportunities to pursue your passion, with guidance from supportive teachers. Knox offers us many opportunities and resources to help us discover this.