Career Goals

Over the years, I’ve discovered that my ideal career is composed of four interrelated pillars, all with respect to data science. In a roughly “cumulative” order, the pillars are application, research, development, and teaching.

Application

I’m passionate about addressing real problems with data science.

Currently, my main focus is on mentoring MDS students for their capstone projects – a 2-month-long project that students complete in collaboration with various organizations.

For the future, I intend to also have long-term collaborations with various organizations, to help them achieve missions that resonate with me.

Research

I’m passionate about discovering better ways to do data science, with application in mind.

Currently, my main focus is on reframing statistics from the perspective of applications. For example, why the typical “assumptions” of linear regression are not actually needed, and (rather) what we gain when the reality more closely reflects these assumptions.

Another focus is on bringing to light the importance of finding indicators of extreme events by measuring tail index reduction in the regression context, and not just the typical variance-reduction measurements such as the coefficient of determination. One approach of doing this is through quantile regression using vine copulas.

Development

I’m passionate about turning new research into programs and tools that are accessible to the public.

Currently, my main focus is on developing the Master of Data Science (MDS) program at The University of British Columbia (Vancouver). I’m involved with bettering the teaching and the content of the program, especially focussing on the statistical perspective, often integrated with machine learning. I’m also working on turning our material and lesson plans into a public-facing resource.

Another focus is on developing software, currently as packages for the R programming language. Examples include a package to assist in manipulating copulas, and a package for extreme quantile regression.

For the future, I intend to also collaborate with software development teams. I also intend to start an organization whose mission reflects the four pillars I define on this page.

Teaching

I’m passionate about spreading data literacy to the world.

Currently, my main focus is on teaching in the MDS program.

For the future, I intend to also hold data science workshops at research centers and other organizations. I intend to volunteer for data science outreach programs.

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Vincenzo Coia
Lecturer of Data Science

I’m a data scientist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.