Bootcamp Diary VII: Gergana

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I am Gergana from Bulgaria, and my journey has taken me from journalism in the U.S. to health policy work in Denmark and now Spain, a dynamic place for healthpreneurs.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE WEEK?

The highlight of my week was that we are now in full-on Machine Learning mode after weeks of focusing singlehandedly on R and Python syntax and coding, as well as a spine-chilling module of Math & Stats. One thing I find very interesting is the recurrent ‘side comments’ by Ivan during our ML sessions, which zoom out of the classroom and tie back the technical and theoretical learnings to real-world applications. They help me understand better the practical aspects of how ML and data science can be deployed to reduce administrative inefficiencies and bottlenecks in healthcare and to amplify human capacity in the practice of medicine.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR WEEK?

The advanced mathematical expressions used in some of our classes to explain the underlying structure and logic of data push me out of my comfort zone.

HAS ANYTHING FUNNY OR COMICAL HAPPENED DURING THE BOOTCAMP THIS WEEK?

This past Thursday we performed a k-means clustering analysis in Python using a data set on Pokémon. Talk about #ThrowbackThursday! The Pokémon game is one of the best-known mainstream ML applications, so it makes perfect sense that Pablo (our Python instructor) would choose it as teaching material, and it brought some levity to an otherwise severe coding class.

WHAT IS THE MOST PRACTICAL SKILL THAT YOU´VE LEARNED THUS FAR IN THE BOOTCAMP?

The skills imparted in the bootcamp – to learn how to handle, make sense of, and extract insights from data – are giving me a solid foundation in a field in which I was a complete novice just two months ago. The passion and dedication of the professors has been contagious and motivated me to continue this learning journey in these subjects after the bootcamp is over.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU´RE NOT IN CLASS?

I love sports and exercise, and one of my favorite ways to recharge is by working out. In my year and a half of living in Madrid, I have tried four different sports clubs, of which Arsenal Femenino – a Spanish company in Madrid and Barcelona – is by far my favorite. The bootcamp does not leave us much free time, but I also like seeing music performances at Teatros del Canal, which often feature some innovative contemporary artists.

 

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