Cornell Data Science: building data-driven solutions to a variety of real-world problems!

I joined Cornell Data Science my freshman spring – at that time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future, and joining a project team really gave me exposure to various fields that combine computer science and math, two subjects I’m passionate about. Working on different machine learning projects in the team helped me realize this is something I would like to pursue as my career.

Members of the data science team.

Classes teach you theories and train you how to think, and I would say my project team is where I am able to apply those skills and knowledge. For example, I learned to manage larger scale projects, as well as to be aware of the difference between theories and what people actually do in practice. I can’t stress enough how the things I learned from the team have always been handy in my internships.

We have weekly subteam meetings, where each member takes turn to present research papers or organize technical workshops to share their knowledge. On top of that, I am currently working on a project on estimating density of stock returns, which is a collaboration with other subteams. We meet up twice a week for work sessions — it is great to work with other subteams as we all have different expertise and can learn from each other. Project team is indeed a big time commitment, but I didn’t find it hard to balance between project work and schoolwork. My teammates are also in a lot of the classes I am taking, and help or even a study partner is always just a text away.

As a confused and lost freshman, I was really glad that I joined CDS, which is a close-knit community and makes a huge campus like Cornell feel that much smaller. Currently as an upperclassman of the team, I am still extremely grateful for all the senior members who are generous with their knowledge, all the advice – on classes, internships, or just life in general – that I have received, and all the fun I have had from working on projects as well as from simply spending quality time with my teammates.

~Winnie, Computer Science