It was a political science paper that led Logan Mallory ’20 to data analytics. Originally a psychology major, the Bethesda, Maryland, native had switched to the poli-sci department as a first-year student. Two classes in, he knew this wasn’t his passion either. But what was? He found his answer in a political science final project that asked him to identify and analyze a data set. Here was the work Mallory loved. The following fall, Denison introduced the data analytics major to the curriculum.
Yours will be one of the first classes to graduate with a data analytics major. How would you describe it? Data analytics teaches you to identify hidden patterns in data beyond standard averages. For instance, the intro lab focuses on everything from predicting basketball game wins to finding a correlation between blood-cell size and a certain diagnosis. But it’s not all quantitative. We learn about ethics and privacy too. There’s also an emphasis on communicating findings to people outside the field. Basically, it gives you useful skills to live and work in a world that is increasingly data-oriented.
How have you been able to apply these skills beyond the classroom? January of my sophomore year, I interned for a wealth management firm and used data analytics and computer science to help quantify risk in different portfolios. Last summer, I was a derivatives market risk intern for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I studied the Exchange’s volatility based on market news and events. The major prepared me to feel confident working with large amounts of big data. The interdisciplinary aspect of our classes also helped me translate my findings during my final presentation to the board’s risk committee