Collin Prather is an undergraduate mathematics student at Cornerstone University. During the summer of 2017, I interned with an
international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse, and had my first exposure to data analytics in the form of counter-terrorism and
humanitarian aid. This exposure opened my eyes to modern analytical tools like Tableau and the power and value there is in data.
This internship experience left me hungry for more, and I began to google things like “Data Science Grand Rapids” and quickly found the Big Data Ignite 2017 Conference — I immediately purchased my ticket. I had a fantastic experience, and left knowing that a career in Big Data was the career for me.
I’ve oriented my academic and personal studies in this direction, learning Python, Tableau, and reading anything I can on
statistical learning and algorithms. My background in traditional mathematics developed the analytical skills necessary for a transition into Data Science. A large part of this transition has revolved around the research and implementation of foundational algorithms like linear and logistic regression from scratch. As a raving fan of Big Data Ignite, with a vested interest in establishing Michigan as a data-driven economy, I’d be thrilled to give-back to the BDI community.