Two weeks ago, I found out I was ranked at top 2% of all applicants and was selected to join the Data Science Fellowship Program with The Data Incubator (TDI), I was so thrilled. I applied it once around Aug. last year, and only went through the semi-finalist and did not get a chance to go further. I reapplied it again around April this year and found out I was in their semi-finalist again right before Ben and I flew to South Africa to meet our good friends for a rock climbing trip.
Let me give you a bit info about TDI data science fellowship program first. It is “an intensive eight-week bootcamp that prepares the best science and engineering PhDs and Masters to work as data scientists and quants. It identifies Fellows who already have the 90% difficult-to-learn skills and equips them with the last 10%”. The applicant went through three ‘selections’. You apply through their website (here), and the qualified semifinalists are identified by TDI. Then all the semifinalists are in computer programming, math & statistics, and modeling skill test. For this stage, TDI further identifies finalists through semifinalists’ programming, problem-solving skills for real-world problems. As a finalist, you will be interviewed for the data science communication skills with other finalists, and TDI team will decide if you get in the program a week after the interview. About 25% of applicants (~2000 applicants) are selected as semifinalists and 3% are selected as fellows and scholars. See the figure I made bellow (this is only according to the best knowledge I have for the program).
Back to my story ;-). Since we were actually at Rockland, South Africa to start our exciting bouldering journey. I was pretty disappointed about giving up 2 or 3 days out of 8 days of our vacation for the programming, problem-solving test. In addition to that, I have to propose and build an independent data science project. I thought about just postponing or canceling my semifinalist opportunity, and enjoyed the vacation because our wifi was so spotty at the rural South Africa anyway. But I’m glad I did not just give it up. It literally took me 7 or 8 hours in our guest house there to download a 220M dataset from TDI for the test. I was thinking about using my Amazon cloud computer for my independent project, but the internet wasn’t very helpful.
I basically only used the wifi and uploaded my files and answers while everyone left the guest house for their rock climbings, and the best spot for wifi was in our bathroom, lol~~~ uploading a 15M file took me about four hours with multiple fails. LOL…
Luckily, things worked out, and I can’t wait to join TDI’s summer fellow cohort. I’m super excited about learning more advanced machine learning, distributed computing (Spark, Hadoop and MapeReduce) with the smart data brains fellows.
Wish me luck!!!
Some pictures of Ben, Pete, me and our other friends’ rock climbing pictures here, and let’s rock through our 2017.
Photo Credits: Ben ;-).
Pete got me(the tiny green bug on the rock ;-)) climbing up a wall at Cape Town local climb.
This basically our best vacation so far, and I am glad I made it through TDI and was able to enjoy the climbing after the test. Our friends Pete and Corlie arranged the whole trip and we’re glad we made all the way to the amazingly beautiful South Africa.