AI BLOG | May 15, 2018

Why Data Science Can Benefit Your Career: Interview with Head of Data Science

Tokyo Techies Lecturer

Phong is a data science expert with experience working at a Japanese technology company. Currently he leads data science education at Tokyo Techies. With almost a decade of experience in data analytics, Phong specializes in machine learning (the ability for machines to learn processes) and artificial intelligence.

Personal Background

Q1: When did your interest in technology start?

A1: I started programming on a computer that my father bought for me when I was four years old. As a university student, I studied business administration in Singapore. After I graduated university I worked as a marketing executive for one year. In my company there were many technology related problems that the IT department couldn’t solve. As a result, my colleagues frequently came to me with technical problems.After one year as a marketing executive, I had a longing to go back to the technical field. That’s when I decided to attain my Master’s in Machine learning. I have experience working in a research and development department specializing in artificial intelligence. I worked with various topics including robotics, indoor positioning and intelligent transportation systems.

Importance of Data Science

Q2: What is Data Science? Why is it useful for the future?

A2: In modern society, we have a vast amount of data. Data can be collected everywhere in every aspect of our lives. The recent boom in data science can be attributed to the massive amount of data that we have now. In the current workforce, if someone cannot manage, analyze and organize this vast amount of data, they would lose to competition. Similar to how we needed to know math and literature in the past, now we need to know how to compute and understand data as a basis to thrive in science and business related fields.Recent top picked jobs are also in the fields of data science and machine learning. Even though there is a critical importance in learning data science, schools do not offer data science courses. Some subjects that students can take in school related to data science are statistics and programming in Python, Java and R (statistical programming).

Q3: What are fascinating advancements in data science?

A3: In the healthcare industry, data science is used to find new formula for medicine and find new ways to diagnose diseases. Data is collected from millions of patient’s diseases to find a connection to cures. The most current example is the use of data science by the German soccer team to win the 2014 World Cup. The team analyzed weaknesses and strengths in analytics to come up with the correct strategies. Palantir, a company that strives to make global impact, collected data to lead Hurricane Sandy victims to supportive organizations. Google Voice, Siri and Cortana (voice recognition services) were all made possible through the ability of the programs to pick up sounds through their extensive library of data.

Data Science at Tokyo Techies

Q4: What kind of data science research projects have you led at TT? What did the student(s) get out of the experience?

A4: At Tokyo Techies, we have had students complete a variety of Data Science projects. One project discovered the use of eye gaze data to analyze SAT reading patterns of exam takers. The data was used to formulate methods that raised student’s scores. The research was later accepted in one of the top 10 educational conferences, Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) 2018. In another one of our projects, students scripted 1347 university data sets from the internet to find patterns in location, type, setting, gender ratio, test scores and acceptance rate for different universities. This data was used to give students information about their chances of being accepted to a certain university.Another project that is in the works is an app that classifies the type of dance that correlates to a song. Data on the music’s beat are taken to match a specific dance. Students executed these projects efficiently by applying the knowledge they learned in our data science classes. By working on these projects, students improve their technical (data science, programming and robotics), project management, and research skills.With data science becoming increasingly relevant across industries and professions, people who understand how to work with data have an edge. I love working with new students and showing them how powerful data can be, whether for their career goals, or their personal projects!To learn more about data science classes at Tokyo Techies please visit

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