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“In God we trust, all others must bring data.” Today, any discussion about changes in technology, business, and society begins with data. In its exponentially increasing volume, velocity and variety, data is becoming a new natural resource. My first interaction with data science was in 8th grade when I learned how to make a webpage that determines your favorite color based on a short quiz. As I grew older, the recommendation system on Amazon fascinated me, the traffic prediction on Google Maps captivated me and I wondered how Facebook’s targeted advertising functions. I believe data science is the answer. It powers these applications by transforming raw data into valuable business information.To satiate my curiosity about the functioning of these web tools, I completed a certification in Search Engine Optimization, after which I went on to work with a company as an SEO consultant before joining my undergraduate course. I worked on improving the website’s search engine ranking by applying my knowledge in web analytics. I strengthened the website’s content through keyword analysis and keyword mapping and created data visualizations to identify traffic sources, conversation rate, and bounce rate. My work increased the ROI in the website’s paid search campaigns. My interest in data science and analytics burgeoned due to this experience. Studying programming subjects in school made me recognize the application of computers to retrieve, study and manipulate data. Taking up an engineering degree in computer science was my first step towards understanding real-world data-driven applications. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at PES Institute of technology in Bangalore, India. Here, I acquired comprehensive training in programming languages like C, C++ and Java, mathematics and data management. To dive deeper into the world of data science, I took up courses like Database Management Systems, Data Structures and Design and Analysis of Algorithms. I was awarded Distinction in three semesters of my course and achieved an overall First Class in my degree. As a part of my engineering curriculum, I selected my final year project in the field of data analysis and recommendation systems. I worked on a book recommendation system based on social media user profiling. We carried out text mining using a natural language processing python toolkit NLTK to analyze tweets of a user from his Twitter Account. Using R language and Twitter API, we extracted and manipulated user data to create a word cloud visualization of the words used by him. Based on this data, we recommended books that the user might be drawn to. User privacy was respected by only extracting public data. This project increased my interest in data ethics, data privacy and the societal impacts of data science. Studying the course Human Centered Data Science at your university will render me more insight in this aspect.In addition to the courses that I studied, I was very active outside of the classroom. I participated in a Language X coding competition where a mini application was implemented using an unknown programming language with basic syntax being our only resource. My team won first place in this competition. I also attended an Indo-Chile Big Data workshop in BITS Pilani, Goa, India that aimed at bringing experts from India and Chile to share their research on current developments in Big Data. This workshop made me appreciate Big Data and its applications. After attending a hackathon at SAP Labs, I was exposed to the world of data visualizations through web application development. With the help of guidance from experts, I worked on a few websites myself after which I felt the need to empower other individuals to utilize technology in creating real-world applications. This was my motivation to come up with an initiative “Boot Me Up” to provide training in web application development through HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL. The training provided functional knowledge and the ability to convert a concept into a finished product. I was excited to find some resemblance in the scope of work done by Mr. Brock Craft in Tinker London where he designed products and services that bridge the digital and physical world and taught individuals how to utilize new technologies in creative ways. Learning Human Centered Design and Engineering under him would expand my horizons in this field. My desire to learn more about data analytics and decision sciences motivated me to take up the role of a Trainee Decision Scientist at Mu Sigma Inc., one of the world’s largest provider of analytics and decision science solutions. Owing to my exceptional performance in the training assessment, I was selected for a pilot project where I worked on data analytics use cases relating to Marketing Mix, Customer Segmentation, and Sentiment Analysis. Here, I covered the analytical value chain spectrum of problem definition, execution, and consumption. My work included data cleaning, performing exploratory data analysis and data modeling to arrive at actionable insights.  Mu Sigma taught me the importance of following the interdisciplinary approach to make better data-driven business decisions with the help of technology. I would like to leverage this through the Data Science program at your esteemed university which is taught by an interdisciplinary faculty. I would like to study at the University of Washington because the course will lend me extensive knowledge in a broad range of subjects. The eScience Institute will make me proficient in devising adequate solutions for data science problems in any domain that extends my way, be it health science, informatics or social science.A Master’s degree will not only assist me in accomplishing my career goals but also keep me involved in a field I am so keenly interested in. After examining the list of courses at the university, I believe this course is tailor-made to my interests and my strengths. I am confident that graduate studies will help me in gaining a thorough understanding of Data Science and its applications. I sincerely hope that my admission to your institute for MS in Data Science will be considered in all possibility.

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