Data Science in Detail: Ameer Salamin
Ameer Salamin is working towards a master’s degree in data science from the Florida State University Interdisciplinary Data Science Master’s Degree Program, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.
What year are you in school, and when do you expect to graduate?
I'm in my last semester here at Florida State University, pursuing a master’s degree in data science on the computer science track. I expect to graduate in May 2023, and I’m very excited.
Where are you from, and what made you choose FSU?
I'm from Clearwater, Florida. I chose FSU for many reasons, but especially for its strong academic track record. Additionally, because of its status as an R1 research university, I knew I would be getting the most academically out of my graduate school experience here.
What inspired you to choose your major and specific area of research?
Data science is permeating every industry. My background is in finance, and there is heavy push to digitize and drive technical innovation within banking. I was first introduced to the emerging world of data science while working at Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Though I didn’t work on any data science teams, both companies emphasized the impact of data science, AI, and similar technologies on aspects of our roles specifically and the business in general. From fraud detection, risk management, and even client personalization, both firms underlined the growing contribution and critical role AI and data science played in the finance world. Ultimately, I decided the best career move was to stay ahead of the curve by obtaining a master's degree in data science.
What has been your favorite thing about the IDS Program so far?
Choosing one favorite thing about the IDS program is so difficult. First, the program is versatile and highly customizable. With multiple tracks to choose from, every student can find their ideal field to specialize in. I chose courses that were interesting to me, and I learned so much. Second, the coursework offered is phenomenal. The coursework heavily emphasized the foundations of data science such as math and programming. All topics covered were highly relevant and prepared students for success in their next role in industry or academia. Having gone through the IDS program, I can confidently say that I’m prepared for a career in data science.
What on-campus resources have helped you achieve success?
I would definitely say the Robert Manning Strozier Library and Paul Dirac Science Library have helped me achieve success. The resources offered at both locations are nearly endless. I spent the majority of my time on campus in one or the other. Also, the FSU Career Center was an extremely helpful resource. The mock interviews with different employers were the perfect way to prep for the interviews I had this semester. The résumé review with the career liaisons also helped tremendously.
Are there any faculty or staff who have helped or inspired you? Why/how so?
I cannot thank Jennifer Clark, the IDS program administrative director, enough for all the help and guidance she's provided me with throughout my time in the IDS program. Without her, the program would not be as amazing as it is. She’s an invaluable resource and does so much for the students. She deserves every bit of recognition and some more. Again, thank you Jen for all of your help along the way.
Following your graduation, what are your plans?
I've accepted an offer for a decision scientist position at Best Buy, and I will be starting in mid-May at the corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I'm already looking forward to the work I'll be doing as part of the marketing analytics division within the company. There will be plenty to learn, room for growth, and the work itself is very interesting to me.