Matthew Thomas graduated from the online M.S. in Data Science program in December 2020. He and his cohort join the class of 2021 to walk the Lawn. Thomas was his cohort's recipient of the Wood Family Outstanding Student in Data Science Award.

Thomas's professors and classmates noted his consistent willingness to help out other students. He tutored, welcomed new students into the program, ran webinars for news students, and helped grow the program in a variety of ways. 

"He goes above and beyond with everything," said Chauncey Smith, Online M.S. in Data Science Student Success Coach. "Matthew is always available to help out other students in different cohorts with tutoring. He's always willing to help out to talk to a new student and is all-around a great student."

For his capstone project, he worked with classmates Ben Rogers, Spencer Marusco, and Chad Sopata to build a model to forecast the 2020 presidential election

"One thing that really stands out to me about Matt is the leadership role he took on for his capstone project for building a predictive model of the 2020 election," said Jonathan Kropko, Assistant Professor at the School of Data Science. "Matt really studied the existing models and the media landscape surrounding the models. He had a key role in building a model that outperformed many of the forecasting models, and their model did better than the one used by The Economist."

Thomas's dedication and effort continued to shine through in his internship. 

"Matthew completed an internship where he was so incredibly impressive that the organization kept him on beyond the initially expected time frame," commented Reggie Leonard, Associate Director for Career Connections and Community Engagement. "The organization made sure to reach out to the university (career services) to make us aware of how much they valued his presence and contributions. In this role, he served as a leader for undergraduate students, and used his skills in the service of others."

Online M.S. in Data Science Program Director and Associate Professor of Data Science, Adam Tashman, applauded Thomas for the way he approaches data science.

"Matt is super meticulous. He always asks good questions before moving ahead," said Tashman. "He is very personable, and I enjoyed working with him."