From Dark Matter Researcher to Healthcare Data Scientist
Freida Rivera used to have her eyes on the sky as a dark matter researcher. This International Day for Women and Girls in Science, see how Freida’s passion for data science grew in the cosmos and why she now applies it to building solutions that improve health outcomes while reducing the total cost of care.
This is the thirteenth in a series of interviews with the Certilytics employees behind our market-leading healthcare predictive analytics solutions.
Q: Hi Freida! How long have you been with Certilytics?
A: I joined in September of last year, so a little over four months!
Q: Welcome aboard! Can you tell us about your data science background?
A: Prior to Certilytics, I was a Ph.D. candidate studying cosmology. My research incorporated particle physics as well as astrophysics. Specifically, I worked on dark matter projects to expand upon the current standard model of the universe. Statistics and data science are required for understanding dark matter, since it’s not visible and can only be observed through its gravitational effects.
One approach in trying to understand dark matter is to look at the ways galaxies evolve or move over time. This work required me to analyze observational data from telescopes that survey nearly two million objects.
Q: What’s your role at Certilytics?
A: I carry out research for the data science team. We experiment with new techniques and technologies to improve existing products as well as develop new ones.
Q: What’s your favorite thing so far about working for Certilytics?
A: While I have only been here a short while, my favorite thing is the supportive group dynamic that the company has implemented and maintained.
Q: It’s International Day for Women and Girls in Science. What advice would you give to women just entering the data science field?
A: In the beginning, there were times when I felt overwhelmed. But I could always go back to the basics and practice, practice, practice.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
A: Outside of work I enjoy being outdoors, and spending time with my two dogs (Helios and Lilah) as well as my two cats (Buddy, and Winnie). My biggest hobby is trying new foods, activities, places.
Q: What’s something people may not know about you?
A: I’ve lived on both coasts, have done acroyoga, and am currently obsessed with Asian TV shows.