March Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist

This is a continuation of the series of my sabbatical reports. Here are the previous entries.

The skills needed to be a data scientist.

I thought that I was done cleaning and validating my code, but it turns out that I had a bad data source. I spent a lot of last month re-doing the code so that I could get the same data from a different, reliable source.

I did build one model prior to that, which I now need to re-do. However, I am going to end up doing three or four models for this data, and the one I did first is the least important and most redundant. I did it first because it was the easiest for me to implement.

The reason that model was the easiest to implement was because it was a classification problem, which is what my first problem was. The other models I am doing for Project 2 are regression.

How academia and business are different. No report.

How will this experience influence my teaching?  My manager leaving made me realize something: I was doing the project thinking that he was the main audience. He technically wasn’t—a different part of the business was going to use my code—but he was the one who was going to have to maintain the code and get all of the questions from the real end users.

I like him, and part of my motivation was to do a good job for him to make him look good. I realized that I had a dip in motivation once I found out that he was leaving. I was able to realize this and re-frame it in my mind to re-gain my motivation, but the dip was there (I also really like my new manager, but this is less of her project since she hasn’t been involved in the project until now).

This reminds me that we are all motivated for different reasons, and some of my students might be motivated by their relationship with me. I am thinking about this generally, and I am also thinking about this in the context of Ungrading, which I am planning on using next year. Like most people, I am concerned about motivating students without the stick of grades. However, I think having a positive relationship with my students can be a carrot that replaces much of the grade stick.

My feelings about being in industry.  I am looking forward to being a professor again. I miss it. But I am now in the phase where I have 1.5 months left here, and I am starting to miss this job already. I am definitely not struggling the same way I was in November.

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2 Responses to “March Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist”

  1. April Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist | Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] « March Sabbatical Report: My Year as a Data Scientist […]

  2. Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] March Report […]

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