Faculty Profile, People
Jeff Andrews helps students solve problems using statistics and computer science
September 14, 2016
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
PhD, Statistics, University of Guelph (2012)
MSc, University of Guelph (2009)
BSc, Acadia University (2008)
Sydney, Nova Scotia
“Students will be surprised by the breadth of computational techniques at their disposal.”
FOR UBC STATISTICIAN JEFF ANDREWS, data science isn’t just about numbers, computers and programming. It’s an all-encompassing language that can translate knowledge in almost every field of study and professional practice.
“We can harness data science techniques to better predict future outcomes for medical procedures, political and environmental policies, stock market fluctuations—really anything that we can quantify and analyse.”
In Data Science classes, Andrews leads students through methods to quantify all sorts of information, everything from text documents and images, to chemical properties, physical properties or consumer preferences. Students gain computer-programming skills and achieve insight into modern statistical methods.
“Data science exposes students with interests outside of the core quantitative sciences to methods that they will find useful in their main field of study,” he says.
“I think students will be surprised by the breadth of computational techniques at their disposal. We guide students to use these tools properly in order to draw useful conclusions and make accurate predictions.”
THE FUTURE OF DATA SCIENCE
While data science may be ‘trending’, Andrews says it isn’t a fad.
“Buzzwords like ‘big data’ fade over time, but the problems that give rise to buzzwords remain. Even when we overcome the biggest challenges of the field, new forms of data will crop up, with a whole new set of problems.
“We have no shortage of issues to address or data to analyse. For data scientists, the sign will still read ‘Help Wanted’ for the foreseeable future.”