The article by Stefanie Glen in the November 30 DSC Newsletter is spot on! I am a 77-year old Data Scientist, and I have done my best work since I “retired” in 2009. Since then, I published 3 books on Data Science topics with Academic Press, and a 4th book is in press at Cambridge University Press. I began teaching Data Science at the University of California at Irvine in 2012. All of my students are international (in an international program at UCI), and almost all of them are at the graduate level, some with MS degrees, some with PhDs, and several with MDs. All of them want to learn how to do Data Science in their area. It is never too late to learn!
I am still consulting on small projects: (1) predicting cancer from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in mouth saliva for a small Alabama company; (2) predicting colon cancer from clinical data at the UCI Medical Center; (3) predicting part failures from analysis of vibrometer output data, and; (4) predicting student retention and performance at a small theological seminary in Oregon.
I teach my students that there is really only 3 things you need to learn during your first college degree, whatever is your major area: (1) Learn how to learn new things quickly and efficiently; (2) Learn how to communicate to others what you have learned in written form, and; (3) learn how to communicate to others what you have learned in oral form. If you can do those three things well, you will have great success in whatever you do. I take students through exercises to help them to achieve the first two goals, and the 3rd goal is up to them.
Probably, I will keep doing this until I croak.
Robert (Bob) Nisbet, PhD
Instructor, University of California, Irvine
Consulting Data Scientist