“It has always been my goal to conduct nanoscience research with modern data science techniques and the MSE in Data Science at Penn offered me an ideal climate to reach this goal.”
B.Eng. in Nanomaterials and Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University
B.Sc. with Honours in Material and Nanosciences, University of Waterloo.
What was your background before joining the Data Science (DATS) Program?
Before sub-matriculating into DATS, I had received a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Beijing JIaotong University, China, and another in Science with Honours from the University of Waterloo, Canada, both in the program of Material and Nano-sciences.
What drew you study Data Science?
To complete my Bachelor’s Thesis, I conducted research at the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China. In order to make sense of a million experiment readings, I tried various techniques, including regression, visualization and machine learning. During this process, I found myself enjoying this numerical detective work more than the experiment in Material and Nano-sciences itself. Therefore, I went on the path of pursuing a career in Data Science.
Why the MSE in Data Science at Penn?
Penn was the only institution I found that offers a program in Scientific Computing and has a dedicated research center for nanoscience (Singh Center for Nanotechnology). It has always been my goal to conduct nanoscience research with modern data science techniques, and the MSE in Data Science at Penn offered me an ideal climate to reach this goal.
And of course, Philly has a much warmer weather than Beijing and Waterloo.
In what ways has the Data Science Program helped you to reach your goals?
I enjoyed every minute of my time in the Database, Machine Learning,and Big Data Analytics classes. If you think they were only hypes like bitcoins, you need to come to Penn to see how they are actually very useful skills.
Also, I was able to waive a required course on basic programming. Now I can conduct three Independent Studies/Practicum Projects as part of my curriculum. As a highly self-driven learner, I found DATS offering more flexibility on this than any other engineering program.
What did you do to relax and have fun outside of school?
When the weather is warm, you can probably find me around the City Hall offering free hugs to random people. Recently, precipitation being high, I usually just go on a bike ride whenever it is sunny. I used to do street photography, too, but I forgot to pack up my camera when I flew from China to the US.
What advice do you have for prospective students on the application process?
Penn offers many opportunities in finance-related fields via its prestigious Wharton School. If you are looking for a transition from an engineering background to the business world, you are in luck! It is probably also true for the biomedical area via Penn Medicine. Keep an eye on the major departments of the universities you are applying to, and you may venture into an unexpected path of life.