Student Quotes


Through the program, I not only developed my technical skills with regards to programming and data visualization, but I also learned a lot more about finance and the intersections of finance and data science. This program really incited my love for programming and problem-solving with data, and has made me even more interested in studying statistical science and data science at Duke. Finally, I learned how to effectively collaborate and communicate with a team in a virtual environment.

Helen Chen, Statistics ‘23
AI in the Investment Office

I didn’t really know how data science research applied to social science, but Data+ showed me that it can be a really successful avenue for discovery and change.

Nick Datto, Neuroscience, Computer Science, and Cultural Anthropology ‘23
Race and Housing in Durham over the Course of the 20th Century

I have gained so much knowledge and confidence! And it is not limited to the area of technology, although I have learned to code in R, navigate PACE, and so much more. I have better discovered the benefit of working with a team and received motivation and mentors by seeing female-identifying students, like myself, succeed. Hearing their success stories via panels or team meetings has given me so much more confidence as a young woman wanting to pursue a career in STEM.

Sydney Hunt, Engineering ‘23
Predicting Blindness in Duke’s Glaucoma Patient Population

I learned a lot about data science and using code to manipulate data. I learned how to properly use a terminal, deep learning/machine learning, pandas, and many other skills. Also, I gained collaboration skills when it comes to developing code.

Pavani Jairam, Physics ‘23
Finding Space Junk with the World’s Biggest Telescopes

I had expected it to be very analytical, but I was surprised at the creativity that was also required. I enjoyed this aspect a lot.

Amber Potter, Computer Science ‘23
Predicting Baseball Players’ Athletic Performance Utilizing Baseline Assessments of Vision

I definitely gained a lot of experience in R and in Tableau, but I also learned a ton about the fields of data science and public health. We had several interviews with community partners that helped me learn a lot about the different types of careers in data science, environmental advocacy, and environmental health.

Leah Roffman, Environmental Science ‘23
Piloting an Environmental Public Health Tracking Tool for North Carolina

Beyond solid technical machine learning skills, I’ve received a greater appreciation for data science as a tool to understand everything–from aircraft maintenance to the humanities. Before, I’d never expected that conducting humanities research would teach me how to wield and utilize the most cutting-edge research in machine learning and natural language processing. My team is using new package libraries and research papers written by lead researchers this year to conduct our analysis of ancient texts. In Data+, New meets Old.

Albert Sun, Computer Science and Public Policy ‘23
For love of greed: tracing the early history of consumer culture


I’ve learned to work through the entire process of a data science project, from assembling data sources all the way through presenting our findings. I’ve also developed insight into working in a team with people of different backgrounds and interests, which enabled us to contribute to the project in different ways. I’ve taken various lessons and hard skills that will carry with me into my future academic and professional endeavors.

Benjamin Chen, Computer Science, Economics ‘22
Protecting American Investors? Financial Advice from before the New Deal to the Birth of the Internet

I have gained a significant amount of knowledge of the cybersecurity industry and attack methods due to the nature of the background research I had to do for my project. In addition, I was able to apply my knowledge of statistical analysis to real data and learn new techniques to arrange data such as time series analysis.

Matthew Feder, Computer Science ‘22
Applying Security Orchestration, Automation & Response (SOAR) to security threat hunting with Duke’s ITSO

I learned there’s much more to it then looking at data. It’s also a way of thinking and organizing what you have analyzed to help others who aren’t able to look at data in such a way to understand it. It’s also a bit of storytelling in a way.

Jessica Ho, Math and Neuroscience ‘22
Predicting Baseball Players’ Athletic Performance Utilizing Baseline Assessments of Vision

My coding skills and machine learning knowledge had a huge leap. I learned how to better work in a team as well.

Noah Lanier, Psychology ‘22
Human Activity Recognition using Physiological Data from Wearables

What I have discovered is that a majority of data research is about communication. How you interact with your teammates and superiors is just as important, if not more important, than being a genius in your field.

Andrew Scofield, Computer Science ’22, Birmingham-Southern College
For love of greed: tracing the early history of consumer culture

Data+ absolutely changed my perception of data science research. Learning data science has been more intuitive than expected. There are also resources all over the Internet in addition to team members that are able to provide assistance when one is facing difficulty with an aspect of a project. Data science is also able to be applied to many more scenarios than I expected; I look forward to continuing data science research in the future.

Malik Scott, Global Health ‘22
Predicting Baseball Players’ Athletic Performance Utilizing Baseline Assessments of Vision


It was difficult at first to jump into Data+, but doing this has benefited me a few ways. Having to learn Python on my own, in a very short amount of time, with almost no prior coding experience (I didn’t even know what a package was) and quickly turning around and using those skills taught me that I am capable of flexibility and learning on the job. Coding also requires an immense amount of problem solving and independence. Although my mentors are fantastic, it’s up to me to figure out where I want to take the project and how I want to do it. Data+ has been a really invaluable exercise in teamwork.

Ellen Mines, Biology and Philosophy ‘21
Computational Tools to Improve Healthy and Pleasurable Eating in Young Children

Since I’ve never participated in research before, especially not research this independently oriented, the main thing I feel I’ve gained from this experience is confidence. I feel like I have a much better understanding of my own capabilities, and I honestly feel much less intimidated by the idea of pursuing research, not just in Data Science.

Donald Pepka, Math, Political Science, and Creative Writing ‘21
For love of greed: tracing the early history of consumer culture

My group has been focused on cybersecurity and automation methods to prevent and seek out attackers to keep Duke websites and accounts from being compromised. I have learned a lot about cybersecurity, a field that I otherwise might not have pursued. It has been a very interesting and enlightening experience so far and I am excited to continue learning from the Duke OIT staff.

John Taylor, Computer Science ‘21
Applying Security Orchestration, Automation & Response (SOAR) to security threat hunting with Duke’s ITSO

I learned a number of hard skills in terms of coding languages as well as some soft skills along the lines of working with a team and coordinating with a client.

Benjamin Williams, ECE ‘21
ABOUT-US – A BOundary Update Tool for Utility Services

2020 and Earlier

I’ve learned how interdisciplinary data science is, and how a team of people with many different academic trajectories can work together on the same project, something that I don’t think happens very often in other areas.


I’ve gained a lot of valuable insight into the career fields of environmental health and epidemiology. I’ve also learned a lot about project workflow and how to work through the different phases of a long term project with a team. In addition, my skills in R coding and Tableau have improved a ton.


I learned about team communication and organizational skills, time management, and I think I have a greater appreciation for how socio-cultural analysis from a humanities perspective can work in tandem with STEM based modes of collecting information/data.

Lucia Jones, Environmental Studies Brown University, ’20
When Black Stories Go Global: Analyzing the Translation of African-American Literature and Film

Working remotely has made coordination much more difficult. However, we really have been embracing GitHub and box to overcome these challenges. I have learned a lot about RNNs and the applications of GRUs and LSTM’s and how to implement such layers, in addition to learning how to use pytorch as previously I only used tensor flow.

Nathan Warren, MIDS, ’20
Human Activity Recognition using Physiological Data from Wearables

I gained concrete skills in R and Tableau, the ability to collaborate in a virtual environment, and a better understanding of what data science actually means. I also got a glimpse into the public health field and got to learn what many different public health careers might actually entail.

Anna Zolotor, Undeclared, ’20
Piloting an Environmental Public Health Tracking Tool for North Carolina