Kim Scott, PhD

Kim Scott, PhD

How Data Science Brought Me Back to Earth: A Tale of One Astronomer

July 9, 2015

We've all heard it before: "75% of people with a PhD in astronomy will leave the field". As a young researcher, this number used to frighten me, especially with many of my colleagues who spoke negatively about astronomers who left academia. Then came the day when I realized that I was one of the 75% who wanted to do something else!

In this discussion session, I will talk about my path to a career in data science, starting with my undergraduate experiences that lead me to graduate school in astronomy, and my time as a postdoc. I will talk about why I decided to leave astronomy, how I decided on a career in data science, and how my past experiences prepared me for a successful career outside of academia.

About Kim

Kimberly S. Scott is a data scientist at Elder Research, a consulting firm that specializes in analytics. Kim works with commercial and retail clients to help them address their business needs by analyzing their vast amounts of data and building predictive models. She graduated from the University of Evansville with a BS in Physics and Mathematics, and went on to earn a PhD in Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to joining Elder Research, Kim studied the formation and evolution of galaxies by mining large astronomical data. Some of her successes include developing customized data processing software using advanced analytics for the AzTEC camera (now operating on a telescope in Mexico), creating algorithms to identify more than 1000 galaxies, and testing novel calibration techniques to reduce overhead and increase efficiencies for data collection with the ALMA observatory in Chile. Contact Kim at Elder Research.

Video Presentation