Careers in Data Science


Data science/data analytics is the process of examining big data to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other information that can be used to make better decisions across multiple industries. Unlocking value from a tsunami of data — be it human or machine-generated — is the challenge facing organizations. Join us on the data science panel and hear from diverse industry practitioners on how they have utilized data analytics in their various roles at work, and why data science professionals are in demand.


Drew Fustin (PhD'12, Physics) is a reformed physicist with a heart for the Chicago tech scene. He currently serves as the Lead Data Scientist at SpotHero, where his responsibilities range from building a marketing attribution model and optimizing ad spend to creating a rate recommendation engine for parking garages to forecasting future company revenues. His prior experience includes a stint with GrubHub as the Insights Analyst, turning food facts into media content for the PR department and transforming data into actionable initiatives within the organization. In the startup space, he was a Data Scientist with Digital H2O, providing water intelligence for the oil/gas industry. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago, where he studied dark matter by looking for tiny bubbles in a chamber over a mile underground in a Canadian nickel mine. As you do.

Yi-Chen Tu, Director, Data Science at Capital One  (MS'05, Statistics, University of Michigan and MS'05, Industrial Operations and Engineering) is a highly skilled data science professional with ten years of experience in a Fortune 200 financial services company. Proven ability to transform data into analytical framework to optimize business decisions. History of team building, developing staff for further advancement, and fostering relationships with cross functional teams to achieve focused results. Creative strategist with parallel ability to execute.

Derrick Higgins (PhD'02, Linguistics) is currently a Lead Data Scientist at Civis Analytics, a Chicago startup focused on solving organizational problems by analyzing individual-level data.  His current research is in the area of computational social science: leveraging text, image and network data to infer attributes of individuals and social groups that can be used to predict behavior and optimize outreach efforts.  Before joining Civis in 2014, he was the director of the Natural Language Processing and Speech research group at the Educational Testing Service, where he developed technologies to automatically analyze open-ended student responses like essays, diagrams, and spoken monologues.  These systems are currently in use for well-known tests such as the GRE and TOEFL.  Derrick completed his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Chicago in 2002.

Aparna Pandey, Senior Data Scientist at Uptake (M.S. Statistics at Colorado State University; M.A.Sc. Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of British Columbia). Aparna is a seasoned data science & wireless telecommunications professional with over 15 years of experience in developing innovative solutions and applying statistical approaches to a variety of wireless networks and technologies, and a Motorola Solutions' Distinguished Innovator with 25+ issued patents. Currently, applying data science to the Construction & Mining vertical at Uptake to support predictive maintenance of mission critical equipment.


Roger Moore (MBA'92), Senior Director in the Chicago Office of Gartner. At Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory firm, Roger assists clients in the application of data and analytics to drive new insights and better decisions. Roger also currently is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Chicago. He teaches Leadership & Management in the Masters of Science in Analytics Program. Roger has also worked at Sagence, Booz & Co, PwC, Diamond Management & Technology Partners and the Boston Consulting Group. Roger is active in the data, analytics and technology communities in the Chicago area. He attends many MeetUps, roundtables and industry events. Roger founded and chairs the Chicago Booth Big Data & Analytics Roundtable and is a board member of the Chicago City Data User Group. Roger has experience speaking in many venues, including providing the opening address at the Predictive Analytics & Business Insights 2015 Conference in Chicago. He has also spoken at the Executives Club of Chicago Leadership Circle, the Chicago Booth Innovation Roundtable, DePaul Predictive Analytics Club and at the UIC Center for Research in Information Management Speaker Series.