Alec Ashforth

Alec Ashforth

Economics, Mathematics

About My Data+ Experience

“I have gained 5000 dollars. Jokes aside, I would say that I have gained 2 specific skills from Data+: R programming and data management. Before Data+, I knew nothing about the programming language R. Now, I feel like I could start my own R project. Secondly, I learned more about managing large amounts of data through Data+. It has been a pain to change individual cells in Excel simply because information was inputted incorrectly or formatted in a way in which my R code can’t read. Going through these challenges in Data+ will help me face these same problems in the future. Lastly, my specific project, Co-Curricular Technology Pathways E-Advisor, has given me more knowledge as to what clubs, resources, and academic programs are available at Duke of which many students aren’t aware.

I noticed that Data Science is much more collaborative than I thought it would be. I always imagined that jobs requiring code would be completed by “lone wolves.” Data+ showed me that data projects require much more coordination with members of your group. The data must be managed correctly so that everyone’s hard work isn’t lost in a freak accident. Group members working on the website must coordinate with people collecting data so that neither group prevents the other from working.”

Related Projects

Alec Ashforth (Economics/Math), Brooke Keene (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Vincent Liu (Electrical & Computer Engineering), and Dezmanique Martin (Computer Science) spent ten weeks helping Duke’s Office of Information Technology explore the development of an “e-advisor” app that recommends co-curricular opportunities to students based on a variety of factors. The team used collaborative and content-based filtering to create a recommender-system...
Cassandra Turk (Economics) and Alec Ashforth (Economics, Math) spent ten weeks building tools to help minimize the risk of trading electricity on the wholesale energy market. The team combined data from many sources and employed a variety of outlier-detection methods and other statistical tools in order to create a large dataset of extreme...