The Big Data Symposium | #4

Describe your favorite experience as an intern this summer

My internship/research program came to its conclusion this previous week. It was a very rigorous six weeks and I learned an incredible amount. I’ll make sure to talk about the program’s deep impact and my reflections in my final blog post. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to touch upon my favorite experience from the summer program.

On the final week of the program, each of us got the chance to present our research at a research symposium. For the researchers, it had two components: a poster session and a traditional presentation.

My research involved a great deal of computer science, theoretical statistics and biology. But, I won’t go too much in-depth about this stuff and potentially bore my readers. The application of the project was creating a survival model for patients in the health system and their risks for heart failure. We analyzed our data-set by conducting survival analysis, which is a set of statistical methods where the outcome or response variable is time til an event. To explain it less abstrusely, the outcome we were interested in was heart failure and how long it took for a patient to develop heart failure. Essentially, this variable has two components: 1) Whether or not the person gets heart failure 2) The time until they do. I could go on and on about the statistics and theory behind what my team did but that is beyond the scope of a blog post. (If you are interested for any reason, please leave a comment)

Anyways, getting the opportunity to present my work and all its overarching messages to top professors in Biostatistics as well as my peers was an incredible experience. At first, I was a bit worried that I would eschew clarity from my research, but once I started answering questions from others I was instantly hooked. Often times in our classes, we present projects or work but maybe a handful of people are actually paying attention or are interested in what we are saying. But, at this symposium people were genuinely engaged and talking statistics and biology everywhere I turned. During the symposium, I also had the opportunity to look at other posters and learn about different research as well.

It was by far my favorite experience from the program because I was able to take a step back and  look at all the hard work my team and I had put into our project. This is something that I often forget to do when it comes to projects in my classes.

Tahmeed T

BS Candidate, Statistics '18, University of Michigan

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