UMBC Data Science Scholars

Meet the UMBC Data Science Scholars, Funded by the NSF grant (Award# 1915714 Undergraduate Data Science Education at Scale partnership between UC Berkeley, UMBC and Mills College). The students on this project work on thematic areas from related NSF projects including the NSF iHARP project and NSF information augmentation project.

These students serve as peer mentors to foundational data science students and are also part of a student cohort at the Center for Women in Technology as CWIT Affiliates and the Center for Social Science Scholarship (CS3).

Program led by : Dr. Vandana Janeja (Information Systems Department and MData lab)

Center Partnerships: Dr. Carolyn Seaman, Director CWIT; Dr. Christine Mallinson (Director CS3), Dr. Felipe Filomeno in (Associate Director CS3)

Mentoring partners: Dr. Karen Chen (IS), Dr. Dillon Mahmoudi (GES), Dr. Brian Soller (Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health), Dr. Christine Mallinson (LLC)

Fall 2022 Scholars in partnership with CWIT and CS3

Chi-Chi Onyekonwu

My name is Chi-Chi Onyekonwu. I am a senior Financial Economics and Mathematics double major with a Russian certificate. I enjoy working with data to answer questions that interest me. After

undergrad, I plan on working as a research assistant and then going for my doctorate. I am excited to work on better understanding data science with the Center for Data Science Scholarship.

 

 

 

Justin Thai

My name is Justin Thai. I am an Information Systems Major in my Senior year here at UMBC. I discovered my interest in data science while I was taking a technical writing course for my IS track, where I was introduced and humbled to the world of data and the significance it has. Seeking to dive into data further, I took IS296 and found it to be incredibly fulfilling and inspiring. From then on, how I perceived information changed. Numbers and figures meant more, I saw them as a part of a much bigger picture. I learned to formulate questions and how to extract answers. I find myself here, as a Data Science Scholar, to hone my understanding of data science and to learn much more along the way.

 

 

Nehal Naqvi

Nehal Naqvi is a 2nd Year Political Science and Statistics Major. He is also an Honors College Student and Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar.

 

 

 

 

Sam Geverdt

My name is Sam Geverdt. I am Sophmore and a Geography and Environmental Science major at UMBC. Ive been interested in data science since high school where I studied data on concussion rehabilitation in urban vs rural areas. Since then I have been interested in using data science to help us solve geospatial issues like natural disasters or food shortages. I realized the potential data science has in the geospatial world when I worked for FEMA for a year. We worked on multiple different natural disasters and in retrospect, all of them could have benefited greatly from an analytical data driven set of goals. With what I have learned about data analysis and application I hope to make the mitigation and saving of homes and people an even more achievable goal. Besides being in the labs, you can often find me in the commons or the weight room where I love to train with my friends!

 

Sunny Balani

 

 

My name is Sunny and I’m a senior Information System Major with a certificate in Cybersecurity along with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation here at UMBC. I am grateful for going the data scholars to learn more about data science and perhaps pursue it in the future.

 

 

Spring 2022 Scholars in partnership with CWIT and CS3

 

Abbey Cotton

Hi, I’m Abbey Cotton and this is my last semester at UMBC as a Public Health major with a minor in Computer Science. I’ve always loved playing with data and technology in order to create things and discover hidden patterns. As a public health student, data science provides me the opportunity to use that passion to improve people’s health and wellbeing. In the fall I was an intern at Retriever Essentials and worked to improve data collection by developing an inventory web app which focused on nutrition. The goal is for it to be actively used by volunteers this semester.

 

 

Isabella Laditi

 

My name is Isabella Laditi and I am a BTA Major in my freshman year. Prior to taking IS296 last semester I had no previous experience in programming. Data Science was my first experience with programming and it developed an interest in it for me. I want to continue learning and evolving in my programming skills.

 

 

 

David Wang

Hello! 你好! My name is David Wang, and I am a Biological Education (BIOE) major in my junior year at UMBC. I have had limited data science experience; I suppose taking one computer science class in high school was the extent. Realistically though, even though I hadn’t worked directly with data science, it’s actually all around us in the information age: in my post-game statistics after a League of Legends game, in the measurements health leaders are making to determine whether it is safe to stop social distancing, in the huge impacts of weather all over the country/world. Even after taking IS296, I don’t feel like I am a great coder–I typically take a lot longer compared to my classmates, but the thing that makes data science amazing is that coding is just a small part of a huge field filled with ways to understand and comprehend the world around us. I am always impressed by the applications that data science can provide, and I am excited to be a data science scholar this semester and work with climate data.

 

Khalyl Konkobo

The first time I heard about data science was in 12th grade from my math teacher. I used to love math and anything related to science in general, so my teacher thought actuarial science would be a really good fit for me. I almost instantly got attracted to the idea of using data in order to quantify the risk of an accident happening and using that information in order to price insurance products. Then I learned how data could be used to solve broader problems in a multitude of domains and it almost felt like a superpower to me. This semester I will be working on a research project with Dr Karen Chen and doing some peer mentoring. I really look forward to it!

 

 

Sam Geverdt

My name is Sam Geverdt. I am Sophmore and a Geography and Environmental Science major at UMBC. Ive been interested in data science since high school where I studied data on concussion rehabilitation in urban vs rural areas. Since then I have been interested in using data science to help us solve geospatial issues like natural disasters or food shortages. I realized the potential data science has in the geospatial world when I worked for FEMA for a year. We worked on multiple different natural disasters and in retrospect, all of them could have benefited greatly from an analytical data driven set of goals. With what I have learned about data analysis and application I hope to make the mitigation and saving of homes and people an even more achievable goal. Besides being in the labs, you can often find me in the commons or the weight room where I love to train with my friends!

 

Olisa Okolo

My name is Olisaemeka Okolo. I am an Information Systems major and Entrepreneurship minor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am presently a student researcher in the MData Lab and a member of the Harnessing the Data Revolution’s Data Science Corps.

I am a transfer student from Nigeria, where I was an economics major. I joined UMBC as a business technology and administration major before transitioning to an information systems major.
I fell in love with data science from the anime Psycho Pass where the concept of an artificially intelligent city piqued my interest. I love finding patterns in data and applying those patterns to solve problems and tell stories. Data science feels like a super power, and I am constantly excited to learn new skills.
When I’m on campus you can always find me in the weight room. I love strength training and I once competed in a local powerlifting meet.

 

 

Fall 2021 Scholars in partnership with CWIT and CS3

 

Fall 2021 Scholars Virtual meet and greet UMBC/UCBerkeley

 

 

Olisa Okolo

My name is Olisaemeka Okolo. I am an Information Systems major and Entrepreneurship minor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am presently a student researcher in the MData Lab and a member of the Harnessing the Data Revolution’s Data Science Corps.

I am a transfer student from Nigeria, where I was an economics major. I joined UMBC as a business technology and administration major before transitioning to an information systems major.
I fell in love with data science from the anime Psycho Pass where the concept of an artificially intelligent city piqued my interest. I love finding patterns in data and applying those patterns to solve problems and tell stories. Data science feels like a super power, and I am constantly excited to learn new skills.
When I’m on campus you can always find me in the weight room. I love strength training and I once competed in a local powerlifting meet.

Sindhoori Mukka

Hello! My name is Sindhoori Mukka, and I am currently a senior undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring in Information Systems with an Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor. During my final semester on campus, I am working with Dr.Kleinsmith on a Human-Computer Interaction research project involving data analytics and interpreting results to determine UI design guidelines. I am also currently interning at IMPAQ International where I get to work with developers, researchers, and project managers to complete day-to-day tasks. Moving forward, I would like to get into the field of data science, project management, and software development. In my free time, I work at a dance company as an Instructor guiding children through various dance styles and methodologies.

 

Harrison DeFord

Hello! My name is Harrison DeFord and I’m a senior studying for a B.S. in Environmental Science, with a focus in GIS and cartography. I’m an avid backpacker, so maps have always been of particular interest to me. Being able to use software to sort and analyze spatial data and then find intuitive and informative ways to display it on a map is something that I’ve really enjoyed practicing and gaining experience in through my classes at UMBC. My aim is to eventually be able to work in the spatial data analysis field, and I hope to be able to work in a position at the intersection of wildfire science and GIS.

 

 

 

Christophe Haddad

Hello, my name is Christophe Haddad, an American-Lebanese undergraduate studying Business Technology Administration and Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Currently I am a Machine Learning and Brain Analytics researcher at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, as well as an ISO 9001 Lead Auditor. Data science is our potential to find practical solutions to a range of problems threatening health, well-being, and the quality of life for everyone in our societies. As a Data Scientist, my role is to apply my abilities and passion to benefit our communities and the world at large. In addition to my professional duties, I enjoy skiing, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.

 

 

 

Spring 2021 Scholars in partnership with CWIT

Sadia Rahman

My name is Sadia Rahman and currently studying Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I’m presently a Big Data Student research in the department of information Systems with a passion for volunteering. For the past 3 years I have been involved with The REACH Initiative (currently the director), Center of Women in Technology (CWIT) as an affiliate and also a cyber affiliate, and lastly I am the present marketing director of the Information System Council of Major (ISCOM).

I love working with data, I find the ability to telling so many different stories with data an amazing skill. Being able to narrate an educational story to an audience through facts and visualization is almost a necessity in current day to get a message across. It is for this very reason I have become so enthralled with data science. It’s ever expanding and I feel as though I will never not be excited, consistently picking up new skills and tools. Data science is an amazing world and I am constantly in awe.

I was born in Bangladesh, grew up in Australia, studied in boarding school in UK for two year and finished off my a levels and o levels back in Bangladesh before finally moving to the states to commence my higher education.

Anya Hossaini

Hello ! My name is Anya Hossaini ( She| her| hers). I am a senior at UMBC studying computer science. I am part of the Transfer student network leader and a mentor to incoming transfers along with being in NRHH which is an honors program at UMBC for residential students. Other than that I am an affiliate within CWIT, the center for women in technology. When I’m on campus I love to play soccer, and spend time with friends. Data science is interesting to me because there’s always a new topic to learn.

 

Tilina Alzaben

Hello! My name is Tilina Alzaben, and I’m currently an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, studying statistics and computer science. Upon graduation, I’m hoping to either get into the field of machine learning or data science.

My passion for data analytics stems from the ability to transform raw numbers into meaning, creating stories and beautiful visualizations in order to find solutions to various problems.

On campus, I’m currently the Assistant Director of the REACH Initiative, and a member of the mathematics society, Pi Mu Epsilon. In my free time, I work as a coding instructor, guiding children through the fundamentals of computer programming.

Curtis Byrd

Hi my name is Curtis and I’m a computer science major and also pursuing the IS minor at UMBC, I became interested in data science because I love to explore new fields, and I was intrigued by the analytical power of the various tools I found while exploring the subject. When I was living on campus I was an avid member of the jiu-jitsu and cyber dawgs clubs.

Spring 2021 Scholars Virtual meet and greet UMBC/UCBerkeley