For students in NC State’s Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2022, the new semester brings new opportunities. They’re learning about optimization, simulation, financial analytics, and other advanced topics. They’re interviewing for jobs. And when they’re not in class or meeting with prospective employers, they’re applying predictive analytics techniques to real-world business problems for their eight-month practicum projects.
This month, we’d like you to meet the Verizon practicum team. As one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information, and entertainment products and services, Verizon generated revenues of $128 billion in 2020. The MSA team is using logistic regression and machine learning models to improve Verizon’s credit risk model. Boston-based Dominick Carbone, an alumnus from the Class of 2020, serves as a liaison between Verizon and the practicum team.
“We all have very different strengths and experiences,” said Lev El-Askari, team lead. “This helps us approach a problem from multiple angles and find the best solutions. What makes this team great is that we always value each other’s opinions. We are friends outside of the practicum and love to joke around.”
Where he calls home: Nevada City, CA
Before the MSA program: I earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Willamette University in 2020, then spent a year working as a research assistant on two large intervention studies to improve sleep and resilience in the United States Military.
Favorite data science tool/technique/topic thus far: Logistic regression.
Favorite thing to do outside of class: Cooking and hiking
Where he calls home: Charlotte, NC
Before the MSA program: I graduated from NC State in 2019 with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering. I then worked for two years as a control systems engineer for an industrial automation company, where I completed projects for pharmaceutical clients such as Biogen and Pfizer.
Favorite data science tool/technique/topic thus far: Machine learning.
Favorite thing to do outside of class: Disc Golf and hikes with my dog
Where he calls home: Chapel Hill, NC
Before the MSA program: After completing my undergraduate degree in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014, I spent seven years working in various roles within IT at UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine — most recently as a technology support analyst.
Favorite data science tool/technique/topic thus far: Machine learning algorithms have been my favorite modeling techniques. Their highly complicated inner workings are fascinating to me, such that they present themselves as black boxes that take in your data and can output highly accurate predictions – but only if you tune them properly!
Favorite thing to do outside of class: Finding fun events and activities to do outdoors in all seasons! Particular favorites include hiking, skiing, and kayaking. I also love planning group trips. Lastly, bubble tea runs with classmates!
Where she calls home: Wherever my parents decide to set up camp! Right now that is New Delhi, India.
Before the MSA program: I earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and mathematics from Mount Holyoke College in 2018. I then worked as a marketing specialist for SimpliSafe, where I helped lead the company to become the 4th largest podcast advertiser in the United States.
Favorite data science tool/technique/topic thus far: I’ve really enjoyed learning about logistic regression. I love that it can be applied to so many different fields and is so easy to explain to anyone regardless of their experience with data science. It’s such a tried-and-true method!
Favorite thing to do outside of class: I love trying new restaurants in my free time. My second career choice has always been to be a food critic. I also love taking impromptu trips to new places.