As we decided to create a list of inspiring people to follow in data science, we asked for help from the data science community on LinkedIn and Twitter:
The response we received has been amazing: several members of the data science community shared the post and commented making nominations of those who inspired them along their journey.
We then opened a survey for the nominated data scientists to be featured in this article with some interesting facts about themselves.
The data scientists who contributed by answering the survey include data science conference speakers, contributors of top data science blogs, and Kaggle Grandmasters who have taken part in and won several Kaggle competitions.
We want to express a BIG Thank You to all them for sharing insights such as how they define their job in three words, their routines, and the books that helped them grow as data scientists.
Special thanks also to everybody who made nominations and helped by sharing our social media posts.
Please notice that this initiative is supported with advertising, you can find the full disclosure here.
Announcement: To all inspiring data scientists (on and off this list) who wish to get involved, we invite you to participate in the Data Science Interview Series.
Here is the list of 20+ Inspiring Data Scientists to Follow in 2020:
Dr Iain Brown
Education: Bachelor, Master, PhD
Areas of Expertise: Big Data, Machine Learning, Risk
Conferences you speak at: IntelliSys, Gartner, AI Summit, DataSummit
Blogs you contribute to: https://blogs.sas.com/content/author/iainbrown/
Your job in 3 words: Insight from data
Currently working on: Explainable AI for Risk
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Provost & Fawcett (2013), Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know about Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking
Areas of Expertise: DataScience, Analytics, Pricing
Conferences you speak at: Association of National Advertisers Data and Measurement Conference 2016
Blogs you contribute to: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christophermichaeldoyle/
Your job in 3 words: Creating valuable learnings
Currently working on: Developing a disruptive pricing strategy for Verizon
Hobby: Building robots in my workshop
Favorite animal: Poodle
Favorite food: maultaschen
Areas of Expertise: Gleaning insight from mountains of data, SQL, Tableau,
Social Media Marketing,
Statistical concepts to solve business challenges,
Advanced knowledge of data warehousing,
Target Audience Analysis,
Predictive modeling, forecasting, and data mining,
Develop data strategy, analysis, objectives and business requirements,
Build mathematical models to represent demand forecasting at various levels
Conferences you speak at: SAS, IBM, TDWI
Blogs you contribute to: KDnuggets, Data Science Central, Informs, Medium, Research Gate, Analytical-Solution, Analytics Bridge, Smart Data Collective, DZone, Analytics Insight, Computer Weekly, Information Week, Big Data Republic, Analytics Week, The Data Incubator, Analytics Vidhya
Your job in 3 words: Big Data Nerd
Currently working on: Working to make UFC the best college in the world!
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Women in Data by Shannon Cutt, Cornelia Lévy-Bencheton Released February 2015 Publisher(s): O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Favorite animal: Dog
Favorite food: Shrimp and grits
Morning routine: Sitting in front of a computer
Education: Bachelor, Master
Areas of Expertise: Natural Language Processing
Conferences you speak at: Kaggledays dubai and poland. Various pydata conferences. Invited talks in universities and meetups.
Kaggle competitions: Stumbleupon challenge, jigsaw toxic comment challenge. participated in over 150 competitons
Your job in 3 words: SOTA algorithms
Currently working on: Building the best Conversational AI
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Many good books but none in particular that I would like to mention.
Hobby: Coding, making YouTube videos, long drives
Favorite animal: Elephant
Favorite food: Chicken Nihari
Morning routine: Wake up. Code a bit and go to gym sometimes. Go to work. Come back and code some more. Repeat 🙂
Kirk D Borne
Education: Bachelor, Master, PhD
Areas of Expertise: Data Science, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Algorithms, AI, Data Management, Data Literacy, Data Strategy, Astrophysics
Conferences you speak at: ODSC, Data Natives Data Hack Summit, Data Summit, Big Data World, Clinical Analytics, Smart Electricity Summit, Big Data China, Oracle Code One, and hundreds more
Blogs you contribute to: http://rocketdatascience.org
Your job in 3 words: Data Science Luminary
Currently working on: Data Literacy and Data Strategy Training for All
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: These http://bit.ly/2TXs5vg and these http://bit.ly/2w30xvl
Favorite animal: Cat
Favorite food: Pizza
Morning routine: Twitter
Areas of Expertise: BigData/Data Science Analytics eLearning AI Ethics MachineLearning DigitalMarketing
Conferences you speak at: t_bootcamp Tech Meeting Izmir 11/ 017 ICT2018 EU NowAtWork19 Paris Vivatech-Atos 2019
Blogs you contribute to: http://ipfconline.fr/blog
Your job in 3 words: CEO
Currently working on: Protecting the Danube River from pollution by combining autonomous amphibious robots with AI and Edge Computing to obtain predictive analytics for the substainability of the ecosystem.
Hobby: Ping Pong
Favorite animal: Cat
Favorite food: Corsican cheese
Education: Bachelor, Master, PhD, Professor
Areas of Expertise: Machine Learning, AI, Natural Language Understanding
Conferences you speak at: Cebit, MWC, Data Innovation Summit, Rise of AI, and about 100 more
Blogs you contribute to: Many, eg https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overview-artificial-intelligence-ethics-regulations-guttmann
Kaggle competitions: My team competes, I can provide more info upon request
Your job in 3 words: Entrepreneur Leadership AI
Currently working on: 20 customers in manufacturing iot, healthcare and smart cities
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: AI – A modern Approach, Machine Learning
Favorite animal: Koala
Favorite food: Pho
Morning routine: Strong coffee
Areas of Expertise: Executive leadership, team building, recruiting, retention, and organizational models for implementing Machine Learning, Data Science, and AI
Conferences you speak at: Data Science Leaders Network; 4×24 Executive Leadership Conference on Big Data/Analytics; Instituto Colombiano para la Evaluación de la Educación (Colombian national conference on analytical methods)
Blogs you contribute to: Medium & LinkedIn channels/groups on data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning
Your job in 3 words: Machine Learning Evangelist
Currently working on: Main project is writing a book due out in Q3 2020: “AI: From Buzzword to Business Function. Integrating Today’s Most Promising Technology into the Enterprise”. For Nurx I am advancing machine learning initiatives to help reinvent healthcare. I also maintain advisory positions with several startups.
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: I studied with Efron, Hastie & Friedman, so “Elements of Statistical Learning” and “Introduction to the Bootstrap” were seminal. “Applied Predictive Modeling” and “Bayesian Reasoning and Machine Learning” were also very helpful.
Hobby: Running (ultramarathons)
Favorite animal: Cow (I was raised in small town Nebraska!)
Favorite food: I make much of my own food, relying heavily on chickpeas and lentils. Maybe it doesn’t sound super appetizing, but you can do a lot with chickpeas and lentils!!
Morning routine: Get going early with a smoothie and a cup of green tea, then knock out the day’s ultra training before getting into work
Areas of Expertise: Machine Learning, Data Science, Python, R, Data Analytics, Spark, Data Engineering
Conferences you speak at: DataHackSummit 2017, 2018, 2019
Blogs you contribute to: My own Medium and H2O’s blog
Kaggle competitions: ASHRAE, Bosch, Santander, Molecular Properties
Your job in 3 words: Everything Data Science
Currently working on: Recommendation Engines
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Books are outdated
Hobby: Sudoku, Puzzles, Poker, Crypto
Favorite animal: Elephant
Favorite food: Wife’s home-cooked meals
Morning routine: 15-mins yoga, 30-mins sudoku, breakfast and then begin work 🙂
Education: Master, MBA Candidate
Areas of Expertise: R; data strategy, data science; SQL; Artificial Intelligence; DataOps; analytics translator; international keynote speaker; data storage; analytics; big data; data preparation; data modelling; enterprise architecture; agile project management; CEO level discussions and advisory consulting; business strategy; business intelligence; statistics; Jupyter notebook; Python
Conferences you speak at: Microsoft Ignite; Microsoft Build; ODSC; Women in Data Science; AI World Congress; SQLBits; BOECK; BIMA; University of Michigan Data Science Institute (MIDAS) guest speaker; DataKind Data Ambassador; Cloudera podcast hostess; EM360 podcast hostess and guest; Data Skeptic podcast guest; RunAsRadio podcast guest; Teens in AI Mentor and Speaker; UCL Data Science keynote speaker; European SharePoint Conference ESPC keynote speaker; Data Platform Geeks India; University of Washington Postgraduate Course Board Advisor; University of Hertfordshire Business School guest speaker; SatRDay keynote speaker; SQLSaturday keynote and session speaker
Blogs you contribute to: jenstirrup.com
Your job in 3 words: Making Data Work
Currently working on: Data Strategy for a major organisation with 30K people.
Hobby: I am owned by two cute dogs
Favorite animal: My two dogs
Favorite food: Starbucks Chai Latte
Morning routine: Start work as early as possible after a long dog walk
Areas of Expertise: Statistics, Research, Growth Hacking, UX
Conferences you speak at: Digital economics forum 2020 (in May 2020), global data summit 2019, data natives
Blogs you contribute to: Humans of analytics
Your job in 3 words: Make products great
Currently working on: Making chatroulette great
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Multivariate analysis
Hobby: Music, psychology
Favorite animal: Tapir
Favorite food: Spaghetti napoli
Morning routine: Coffee, coffee, coffee
Areas of Expertise: Behavioural Data Science, Cybersecurity, Human-Computer and Human-Data Interaction
Conferences you speak at: AI UK, CogX, Data Science in Media, etc.
Blogs you contribute to: https://www.cyberbitsetc.org/; https://www.turing.ac.uk/research/research-programmes/finance-and-economics/behavioural-data-science; https://www.inclusionai.org/
Your job in 3 words: 3Ls: listen, learn, lead
Currently working on: Anthropomorphic learning models – hybrid models between behavioural science and machine learning
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Mostly non-data science books: Stephen Hawking “The Brief History of Time“; Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon “Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker“; Kevin Patrick Murphy “Machine Learning: A Probabilistic Perspective (Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning series)”
Hobby: Photography and amateur filmmaking
Favorite animal: cheetah
Favorite food: avocado
Morning routine: I am not a morning person:) but I do wake up early.
Areas of Expertise: Machine learning, deep learning, econometrics, statistics, bayesian modeling, being practical
Blogs you contribute to: Towards Data Science
Kaggle competitions: Heritage Health Prize (2nd place). Haven’t actively competed in years
Your job in 3 words: Make DS Useful
Currently working on: I am building the company Decision AI, which lets businesses connect multiple conventional (narrow) machine learning models into a larger simulator so they can test their decisions in the simulator and use optimized decisions in practice.
Hobby: Tennis, skiing, mountain biking
Favorite animal: Birds (I think flying would be really enjoyable)
Favorite food: Any type of Thai food
Morning routine: I wake up early (around 5:30) most mornings, catch up on email, and play with my kids when they wake up.
Areas of Expertise: NLP
Conferences you speak at: Please see list in LinkedIn profile.
Your job in 3 words: Agile Research and Development
Currently working on: Fraud detection.
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: the Bible: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, by Norvig
Hobby: The piano
Favorite animal: Cats
Favorite food: Brazilian food
Areas of Expertise: Time Series Analysis with Deep Learning
Blogs you contribute to: https://towardsdatascience.com/@admond1994 , https://www.kdnuggets.com/?s=admond+lee
Kaggle competitions: https://www.kaggle.com/c/shopee-iet-machine-learning-competition
Your job in 3 words: Fun, challenging, rewarding
Currently working on: Using big data analytics for smart manufacturing at scale
Hobby: Reading and sharing ideas with friends
Favorite animal: Dog
Favorite food: Basil chicken rice
Morning routine: Daily affirmation, cold shower, breathing exercise, journaling
Areas of Expertise: Data Science; Operations Research; Optimization ; Dynamic Pricing
Conferences you speak at: Data Innovation Summit; Big Data Conference; EduData, etc.
Your job in 3 words: Educate Managers on Data Science
Currently working on: Pricing Optimization blending ML with Optimization models / Causal Inference for Promotion Efficiency
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: The Book of Why
Favorite food: Peruvian
Morning routine: Coffee!
David Praise Chukwuma Kalu
Areas of Expertise: Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Deep Learning
Blogs you contribute to: http://datahacker.rs/
Kaggle competitions: Data Science Nigeria, Car Price Prediction, Titanic
Your job in 3 words: Data Science Blogger
Currently working on: Making a tutorial on pytorch
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Data Science Handbook
Hobby: Playing Drums, Keyboard, Singing, Teaching
Favorite animal: Dog
Favorite food: Jollof Rice and Chicken
Morning routine: Pray, read my bible and exercise.
Areas of Expertise: Software engineering, MLops, career
Conferences you speak at: Pydata Berlin, Highload
Blogs you contribute to: It shared, hackernoon, towardsdatascience
Kaggle competitions: Avito duplicate ads detection, outbrain click prediction
Your job in 3 words: Enable others do better
Currently working on: Many things
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: Mastering java for data science (my own :-))
Areas of Expertise: Applied Data Science, NLP, Computer Vision
Conferences you speak at: H2OWorld, KaggleDays, NUS-MSBA
Blogs you contribute to: medium, analyticsvidhya, kaggle
Kaggle competitions: Data Science for Good Challenges
Your job in 3 words: Customer Data Scientist
Currently working on: AI applications for Business Users
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: kaggle
Favorite animal: Dog
Favorite food: Pasta
Morning routine: Coding
Vijay Pravin Maharajan
Areas of Expertise: Data Science, Data Analytics, Data Visualization, Big Data
Conferences you speak at: 1. Big Data Strategy Dialog – Bonn, Germany (https://www.cintona.com/en/practices/big-data-strategy-dialog-13th-14th-may-2019/)
2. Big Data Analytics – Frankfurt, Germany (https://whitehallmedia.co.uk/)
3. Data Business Congress, San Jose, USA (https://web.cvent.com/event/10240ffb-fa61-43b2-9038-73c9838049ae/websitePage:4a9f1ae7-fd5e-40ea-a47b-8748de11f650)
4. Machine Learning Developers Summit, Hyderabad, India (https://www.mlds.analyticsindiasummit.com/speaker/vijay-pravin-maharajan/)
5. TEDx Speaker (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZsOvU-40K0&t=33s)
Blogs you contribute to: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vijaypravin/
Your job in 3 words: Eat.Data.Sleep – Repeat
Currently working on: – Working with Siemens Mobility division, on a 6-week rapid ‘Accelerator programs’ where we develop mobility products and deliver it to our stake holders across the globe.
– Getting the requirements and the needs from the clients or the stakeholders upfront and working on building a model.
– Tools used: Spotfire, Python, Polarion, MS Excel
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: O’Reily Data Science Resources
Hobby: Cricket, Collecting Stamps & Coins
Favorite animal: Lion
Favorite food: Briyani (Indian cuisine)
Morning routine: Wake up – Work out – Fitness / Yoga – Eat – Use LinkedIn on my way to Office
Areas of Expertise: graph analytics, database, data governance
Conferences you speak at: Strata (New York, Dublin, and San Jose), TDWI events, US2TS, Dataversity Chicago, many others.
Blogs you contribute to: medium.com
Your job in 3 words: Product leader database
Currently working on: Graph analytics
Books that helped you grow as a data scientist: data governance imperative
Favorite food: Potatoes with gravy