FRIDAY DATA CHATS (a part of Data Dialogues)

Every other week, MIDS hosts a Duke alumni speaker as part of the Data Dialogue Series. Please join us as we hear from Duke and MIDS alumni working in the field of data science. This is a casual format where speakers will chat about their current role and projects and ready to answer questions about their time at Duke, securing an internship, finding a job, negotiating, working remotely, and much more. Many of our speakers invite colleagues to join the discussion as well.


JANUARY 28, 2022
David Sparks (Duke Alumni)
Director of Basketball Analytics @ Boston Celtics (Sports)
12:00 – 1:00 pm
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David is the current director of basketball analytics for the Boston Celtics. The director helps lead in telling the story in the most accurate way, using advanced analysis, with an important focus on matching that storytelling to the medium. From the beginning of his time at Duke, David was introduced to statistical computing and various methods. He would reinforce his learning by finding applications in sports. As he developed those skills, he got the opportunity to work for the Celtics remotely as a statistical intern. By the time David finished his PhD, his relationship with the team had progressed to the point that he was offered a full-time position.

The Boston Celtics, based in Boston, MA, are a professional basketball team that plays in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. One of the NBA’s original franchises, the Celtics hold more titles than any other team in the league with 17 World Championship banners hanging in the rafters at the team’s arena, the TD Garden.


FEBRUARY 11, 2022
Viggy Kumaresan (MIDS Alumni)
Data Scientist @ Verily: Google Life Sciences (Biotechnology)
12:00 – 1:00 pm
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Viggy is a data scientist at Verily the same company he completed his internship. He works as cross-functionally with Verily’s clinical, software, product, and science teams to create models of population-level and individual-level health.

Launched in 2015, Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on life sciences and healthcare. Verily’s mission is to make the world’s health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives. We develop tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and create interventions to prevent and manage disease. Verily partners with leading life sciences, medical device, and government organizations, using deep hardware, software, scientific, and healthcare expertise to enable faster development, meaningful advances, and deployment at scale.


FEBRUARY 25, 2022
Jason Chang (MIDS Alumni)
Software Engineer @ Circle (Financial Services)
12:00 – 1:00 pm
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Jason has been working as a software engineer at Circle for the past year. He is a backend engineer on platform accounts – building the future of the digital dollar. His goal is to build scalable microservices that are responsible for reliable and secure APIs that transfer value & assets across all blockchain protocols (think Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example) as well as traditional banking protocols (think credit cards, bank transfers etc).

Circle is a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of digital currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce, and financial applications worldwide. Circle is also the principal operator of USD Coin (USDC), which has become the fastest growing, regulated and fully reserved dollar digital currency. USDC now stands at more than 41 billion and has supported about $1.4 trillion in transactions over the past year.


MARCH 25, 2022
William Huang (MIDS Alumni)
Data Scientist, Assistant Vice President @ Credit Suisse (Banking)
Guillem Amat Castello (MIDS Alumni)
Quantitative Research Analyst @ PIMCO (Investment Management)
12:00 – 1:00 pm
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William completed his capstone project with Credit Suisse and after graduation, accepted an offer with the company in their Data Analytics & Products Lab. His main responsibility is developing, maintaining, and extracting knowledge from strategic internal and external data sets and studying fundamental and high impact business questions that directly affect the direction of the company and the industry at large.

Credit Suisse is a leading global wealth manager with strong investment banking capabilities. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, our operation has a global reach and extends to about 50 countries worldwide across mature and emerging markets with more than 45,000 employees from over 150 different nations. We partner across countries, divisions, and regions to deliver holistic financial solutions to our clients, including innovative products and specially tailored advice, aligned to our high ethical standards. We strive for quality and excellence in our work and professional relationships, recognizing and rewarding extraordinary performance among our employees and providing opportunities for internal mobility, dedicated training, and leadership.

Guillem is a Quantitative Research Analysts that focus primarily on client portfolio and asset management issues from a quantitative perspective. His team’s mandate is broad in nature and covers a wide array of topics in portfolio diagnostics, portfolio optimization, macro insights, asset class insights, and client directed research and thought leadership. The group collaborates with multiple parts of the firm, including Portfolio Management, Product Management, and Account Management.

PIMCO is a global leader in active fixed income. With our launch in 1971 in Newport Beach, California, PIMCO introduced investors to a total return approach to fixed income investing. In the 50+ years since, we have worked relentlessly to help millions of investors pursue their objectives – regardless of shifting marketing conditions. As active investors, our goal is not just to find opportunities, but to create them. To this end, we remain firmly committed to the pursuit of our mission: delivering superior investment returns, solutions, and service to our clients.

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