Meet Christopher! He will graduate with his MSDS in 2021. 

Pronouns: He, him

Q: Where is your hometown?

A: I was born in Burlington, VT, but I grew up (and my parents still live) in Lynchburg, VA.

Q: What was your undergraduate degree (major), school, and year of graduation? 

A: BS Economics/BA International Affairs, James Madison University, 2009

Q: Any post graduate degrees?

A: N/A

Q: If you worked full-time until recently, or are working now, please share your most recent/current employer and title?

A: Data Team Lead, Education Strategy Consulting

Q: What are you particularly interested in learning about data science?

A: I am most interested in learning about machine learning and advanced visualizations to share knowledge with the world. Right now many bad actors are using data science to surveil, endanger, and target people, and we don't really have any meaningful defense against these abuses of power. Hopefully people like us can learn how to create or develop accountability to make a better and safer world.

Q: How do you hope to use data science in a future career?

A: Someday it would be amazing to leverage data science to develop tools to quantify important sounds in our world, like voice defects to assist doctors and speech therapists, or music styles and associations for easy song selection and comparison to assist directors and others. There are so many aspects of sound that right now are left almost entirely to intuition and experience, but could be more easily described and separated by understanding the data. 

Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?

A: Charlottesville is the epicenter of the Alpha Gal Meat Allergy, and the world expert, Dr. Platts-Mills, is a doctor at the UVA hospital in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Unfortunately I have been bitten multiple times and I'm allergic to mammal meat, as well as dairy products. I'm a somewhat reluctant vegan most of the time due to this, but I still sneak some chicken and fish sometimes.