To all of you who are not into science, and kinda think that science is boring – wait up! Phi Nguyen is about to change your mind.
If asked ‘What is data science?’, a few people will know the answer off the top of their heads. This is surprising since we’re constantly bombarded with phrases like big data, machine learning, and the ever-present algorithm. So, what is data science? It’s a complex interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, systems, and algorithms to process and extrapolate information from data.
‘Still too complicated? To be fair, it is a complex field. Let’s put it as simply as possible: data scientists analyze data and draw conclusions from it. That should make it clear that the modern world as we know it wouldn’t be possible without them.
So, it’s our pleasure to present you Phi Nguyen, a data scientist who isn’t afraid to shed the stereotypical image and be quirky and fun.
About Phi Nguyen
Phi is a data scientist currently working at Cisco Meraki in San Francisco. While his educational background is nothing short of impressive – he studied Operations Research at UC Berkeley, graduated with honors, and continued his education in Germany, where he got his master’s degree in Statistics at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, his quirkiness caught our attention.
Sure, he’s passionate about his work, buuuuuuut, he’s also a climber and a foodie, and loves attending concerts. Outside of work, you can typically find him at the climbing gym, eating tater tots, or attending concerts.
Want to know more about his profession? Well, it appears that Phi is most interested in projects involving the intersection between data science, econometrics, and data visualization. This is especially the case when they’re applied to the domains of urban, transport, and labor economics. His programming languages of choice include Python (pandas, numpy, sklearn), R (tidyverse, mlr, R Shiny), and SQL.
Phi Nguyen as a Data Scientist
Here’s a little preview of Phi Nguyen’s career so far. We don’t know all the deets, but bear with us.
So, Phi got his first proper job soon after finishing his studies at Berkeley. Now, I don’t know about your first job, but his was a data analytics RDP associate at Intuit, a financial software company headquartered in Mountain View, California. Impressive, right?
With his brain, it didn’t take him long to become a senior data analyst.
As a part of the new job, he led analytics and AB testing for Quickbooks.com. The task also required evaluation of performance for high-profile AB tests. This led to the introduction of a new product line on the website (Quickbooks Self-Employed).
After that, Phi moved to Germany to continue his studies, where he got his master’s degree. Showing exemplary skills, he didn’t find it hard to get a job as a data scientist at Priori Data in Berlin. There he developed several machine learning models and managed to improve model performance metric MAPE.
He stuck around in Europe for a while longer, landing a job as a researcher at Mercator Research Institute. He worked in Germany for another year, and his work matched perfectly with his interests in urban transport and economics. In the course of his employment, he developed econometric models that estimate the welfare loss of traffic congestion in Berlin.
His proposed congestion change would have reduced it by 0.2–0.5%. That may not sound like much but it would have resulted in an annual revenue gain of over 1.2 billion EUR.
With that stellar record, it’s no wonder that Cisco Meraki snatched him up in 2020. He currently works there as a data scientist and is probably cooking up some amazing new things.
Phi’s Personal Brand
If you glance at Phi’s website, it may seem like he doesn’t care much about branding. But that’s not quite the case. Phi isn’t a stodgy scientist or a typical nerd. He has shed those stereotypical images in favor of his own fun-loving, quirky, and easy-going personality.
There are all the essential elements – his basic bio, likes and dislikes, and even a playlist. All presented in that irreverent, casual, millennial tone. One quick look and you have an impression of someone who is a likable quirky millennial. But also of someone who’s into science and rock climbing. And what better way to showcase that than by using a .ME domain name?
He styles himself a data scientist, a dilettante, and a thinker. And when you look a bit deeper, you’ll see exactly why he chose those epithets. He’s a data scientist, sure; that’s his job. But his approach is casual and quirky, so it’s easy to see the dilettante vibe. Finally, he’s a thinker. Just by looking at his interests and his work history, you can see that he cares about the real issues we’re facing today.
Phi’s cheeky style shows that not all personal portfolios have to be serious and business-like in order to be professional.
This promising young .MEr is the sign of the coming (and present) times where there is space for both the personal and the professional side.
Nice work, Phi Nguyen. We cannot wait to see what you come up with next!