I Vivek Kai-wen

Data Science Program Ambassador

portrait
Originally from Singapore
Currently living in Singapore

Prior to the Barcelona GSE Master’s, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where I did majors in Economics and History. There, I had been exposed to some Statistics and Data Analytics and this exposure motivated me to improve on these skills through the Master. 

I will soon be working on public policy in the Singapore civil service.

Interview

I came into this programme with a basic understanding of Data Science and its capabilities, but I was still doubtful about my ability to excel in it. The comprehensive design of the programme gave me not only the tools, but also the confidence to engage in Data Science more deeply going forward. 

When we think of Data Science, we would usually think of building complex models and making predictions. While it is not difficult to jump right into this building process, one would benefit from first understanding the foundations. The programme’s strong focus on introducing the mathematical tools in areas like statistics and optimization was absolutely crucial to my understanding of Data Science methods and empowered me to choose the right set of tools each time. This strong theoretical understanding of every building block in the process eventually gave me great confidence in my analyses. 

I believe that these strong foundations have also laid the groundwork for a longer term engagement in Data Science. As Data Science is becoming increasingly popular and growing rapidly, so too are the tools available. Therefore, one has to constantly learn new methods and adapt to the new environment. With strong foundations, one can grow this repository of tools on a firm footing. The programme itself, with a wide range of courses and opportunities, encouraged me to put this into practice and enrich myself with new tools and new insights from existing tools. On the whole, going through the programme has enabled me to feel comfortable with the uncertainty of future developments in Data Science and has equipped me with the skills to adapt and grow.