Ge Chen

Machine Learning’s “Infinite Creativity” Fascinates MSADA Commencement Award Winner

Ge Chen
Data Scientist at Sentinel Data Analytics Corporation
MS in Applied Data Analytics (MET’21)

What do you find most fascinating about the discipline of applied data analytics? Do you have a particular focus within the broader field?
I’m very interested in machine learning, especially in deep learning. The greatest thing about machine learning is that it promotes infinite creativity. The problems tackled by machine learning can seem intuitively beyond machines. For example, playing games, translating languages and creating art have long been considered human activities. However, with tweaks from some of the most innovative minds in the world, computers can do all those things and even outperform humans. This is like magic, isn’t it?

Did you always intend on going back to school, or did the need arise at a particular moment?
The only thing that prevented me from going back to school was lack of money. Honestly, if I have time, I’d like to pursue a PhD degree in data analytics/machine learning in the future. I am eager to learn about what is happening on the frontier of machine learning, and do my best to contribute to the field.

Congratulations on your high achievement in the Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics (MSADA) program and your Award for Excellence in your studies! Looking back, what do you consider to be the main ingredients of your success?
Thank you! I am so proud to have been a BU MET student, and recognized! I always believe that interest is the best teacher (my professors at BU, you are the best, too!). In past years, I had been learning and working in the field of medicine and healthcare and attended many conferences on medicine and physiology. Around 2015, I suddenly found that people at those conferences started to talk about “computer vision,” “computer-aided diagnoses” and “neural networks.” I was curious about the trend and attempted to get involved in some physiology-computer science interdisciplinary projects. The experience opened a window into a fascinating new world for me. My love and passion for data science were provoked and have not lessened since then.

How were you able to successfully balance your studies with your commitments outside the classroom?
I made a lot of friends during my studies at BU. When things got difficult and I was stressed, especially during the epidemic, my friends helped me out. Collaborating on projects, sharing thoughts, and making jokes among a group of close friends are some of the most precious memories for me at BU. Also, exercising helps me relax and keeps me focused. If hanging around with friends (virtually most of the time, due to COVID-19) is not the best thing in the world, how about exercising with friends?

Was your success in the program driven by a particular outcome—such as professional advancement, educational achievement, personal satisfaction, or something else?
I strongly believe that academic success at BU has been a great help in starting my new career in data science. To be an outstanding data scientist is my life-long commitment. This belief drove me to do my utmost to achieve academic excellence.

Is there a particular course or project that enhanced your experience in the MSADA program?
All the courses were helpful and meaningful to me. But I’d like to highlight the Big Data Analytics (MET CS 777) class I took in my last semester at BU. As a student with zero experience in Spark and cloud computing, the MET CS 777 class was difficult. I had to spend time teaching myself Spark, SQL, and JSON to complete this course. Fortunately, Professor Kia Teymourian and the TAs were so patient and helpful. They helped me counter the difficulties and answered every question that I brought up. At the end of the semester, I proudly found I had learned much more than I expected at the beginning.

How do you plan to apply the skills and competencies you gained during your studies moving forward? What is next in store for you?
I am planning to work as a data scientist. Moreover, I may not forsake my previous education in medical science. I’d like to dedicate myself to the exploration of data science-augmented solutions to problems in the field of medicine. The possibilities are unlimited. I’m eager to learn and explore what I’ll be capable of doing in the cyber world.

You were recognized by faculty and peers for your hard work and dedication to the MSADA program. What “words of advice” or encouragement have served as a guiding principle, or simply inspiration, for you?
The wonderful world outside academe lies ahead. Please kindly say “bon voyage” to me.

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