Student Reflections

The capstone project provided me with invaluable experience. It gave me the opportunity to showcase the skills I acquired during my MS career, channeling those skills into solving challenging, real-world problems. It’s one thing to know how to do math, coding, and analysis, however it’s a different story when you have to get comfortable with the idea of using these skills to produce RELEVANT results. The capstone project helped me to understand which skills are useful in industry, and gave us students the ability to weave a story from data – one that not only seems important, but IS important! Capstone projects foster creativity and independent thinking, both of which are important traits of good Data Scientists. During the capstone, I was guided by seasoned mentors. Additionally the project portfolio was vast and covered a wide variety of domains, helping me to understand what my niche is. The capstone course gave me the chance to build connections with those in the industry, and taught me how to collaborate – a skill I find essential working in the industry. It was extremely rewarding and motivating to see our work being appreciated as a potential solution to a real issue.” – SivaDurga Thotapalli, 2018 MS Data Science graduate, Data Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim

“As a budding Data Scientist, I learnt a lot about working on real-world projects through this experience, and the knowledge I acquired will help me a great deal when I start working in the industry.” – Fall 2019 MS Data Science graduate

“In my technical job interview for a full-time position, I was told one of the biggest selling points in my candidacy was my experience working with real-time data in my capstone. Thank you all for the support!” – Spring 2019 MS Data Science graduate

“I really learned a lot and had a great experience working with
VisualDx on their capstone project. I know what I learned from this class will help me as I begin my job this summer.” – 2017 BS Data Science graduate

“This course provides data science students special opportunities to work on real‐world problems. By collaborating with professionals from different industries, students grow their abilities and skills in applying course‐based knowledge into these industry projects, which is extremely valuable for students without research experience in their college life. This is one of the best chance to learn how to become a working data scientist” – Sixu Meng, 2019 BS Data Science

“I recently got an offer as a data scientist intern at Adobe, and during the interview process, the capstone project really helped me stand out among the candidates. Really grateful for this experience with Debra (sponsor) and her amazing project idea. Please keep the capstone projects going!” – Spring 2020 BS Data Science graduate

“The capstone project allowed me to work on a real-world data science problem and design an end-to-end data-driven business solution. The course not only enabled me to apply my knowledge to industry projects and develop new skills, but also helped me in honing the ability to deliver ideas articulately to technical as well as non-technical audiences. It was an enriching and valuable experience which provided me a platform to learn and grow.” – Srishti Singh (Fall 2020 MS Data Science graduate), currently Data Solutions Analyst at Quicken

“The capstone course was a pivotal part of my graduate studies in data science. The course not only provided me with an opportunity to apply my analytics skills to solve real world problems, but also created an environment that closely resembled the corporate world. This helped me develop skills such as leadership, project management, requirement gathering and soft skills that were pivotal in securing a job after graduation. Professors Anand, Fernandez and the sponsors were always approachable and helped the students navigate through hurdles. I am sure prospective students would likewise benefit from the course very much.” – Raunak Mahalik, Fall 2020 MS Data Science graduate, Data Solutions Analyst, Rocket Mortgage

Sponsor Reflections

Overall the experience with UR on the data science capstone project was a very positive experience. The students were smart, easy to work with, and we felt that the communication was open, frequent and frictionless. They accepted feedback and improved their analysis based on it. We were impressed that the team was able to ingest such a large data volume and operate on it in a way that allowed them to iterate quickly and to get insightful results. I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. – Ebner Fritz, Software Engineering Manager, Xerox

The Data Sciences Capstone project with the University of Rochester was an overall excellent experience. The students were very self-sufficient throughout the project. The results the students produced impressed my team of engineers. I received very positive feedback from other parts of the company when sharing the results of the project. The outcome reinforced the value of data science experts within my organization. I look forward to sponsoring another Capstone in an upcoming semester! – Kevin Mille, Director of Product Support, KLA

Jake Peterson, Group Account Director, Flynn

My experience with the University of Rochester Data Science team was unquestionably positive. The project involved generating a useful and accurate data set from 50 year old graphical data spanning over 90 years of physical observation of level and flow on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. This allowed verification of a regionally relevant water regulation correlation that had previously only used two years of data. I was impressed with the students’ creative approach to extracting data from old graphs. The students were able to bound the error of the current correlation and to propose an alternate correlation with small improvement in overall accuracy. The objective of the project was completely met and I could not be happier with the experience. – Bernie Gigas, PE; Lake Ontario South Shore Engineering, PLLC