This summer, I volunteered to be a mentor for a data science intern. It reminds me of my own internship 2 years ago, when I learned so much from my mentor (see my previous posts). Being a mentor not only allows me to view a summer internship from the other side of the table, but also presents new challenges and learning opportunities for myself. In this post, I will share some tips for first-time mentors from my experience as a first-time mentor.
Now that we have done most of the hard work: numerous experiments, survey, coding, refactoring, pipelining, analysis, visualization, charts, numbers, written documents and so on, we are going to give a final presentation. “That’s easy,” one may think, “Just paste my results into PowerPoint slides and click through it.”
Having seen quite a lot of presentations at conferences, group meetings, and tech demos, and having given many presentations myself in different scenarios, one thing I can say for sure about presentations is that “It is not easy” at all. It is as demanding as most of the hard work we have done, and requires similar learning and practice as coding, analysis, and writing. In this post, I will summarize what I learned from my mentors, teachers, peers, as well as my own mistakes about presentations.
Last February, I defended my PhD thesis and graduated from more than 2 decades of school life. Now, it’s been a full year of post-school life. There are no more exams and curriculum to quantify my GPA. In this post-school life, I start to realize that I have to be the one setting my own goal, designing my own curriculum, and evaluating my progress introspectively. In this post, I am sharing some lessons that I find useful in DIY curriculum.
In the past month, I posted this question to my friends, peers, online tech forum, and got responses from more than 30 data scientists in various industries and different academic background and career path. The responses show a wide spectrum of data scientists’ involvement in production, and reveal some shared concerns about career development among data scientists.
I officially graduated from Columbia last Tuesday after my PhD thesis defense, and started to work full time immediately in the following week. This is the first week of my transition from academia to industry, and I already experience some culture shock in time management and prioritizing. Learning on the job is not only about the technical details, but also about the pattern of thinking.