Jonas Cuadrado

Data Scientist, Feedzai

From:   Atlanta, GA
Course:   Data Science
Before Springboard:   Ph.D., Physics
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I loved talking to my mentor. He always gave me meaningful insights about how corporations work, the hiring process, or just useful resources on how to move forward.

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What were you doing before Springboard?

I was a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech. My major was in physics, but I was already taking CS classes for my minor. That encouraged me to learn data science formally. Data science is a perfect mix of the disciplines I studied in the past: from math, the statistical theory and applicability limits of the algorithms; from physics, understanding a system based on the data we have from it; and from engineering, we are trying to find efficient solutions to problems using limited resources.

Why did you choose to learn with Springboard?

Because of its flexibility, the mentor program, and how it's tailored to prepare the students to the real world.

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You are really taken care of, have all the support you require and the flexibility you need. And you learn all that is needed to go out there and do great things.

What was your learning experience like?

Fantastic. The curriculum was very helpful, allowed me to dive deep in the problems I was more interested in, but also forced me to take the steps to be successful. Being flexible was really important, as it allowed me to spend time on other events without distractions. I loved talking to my mentor. He always gave me meaningful insights about how corporations work, the hiring process, or just useful resources on how to move forward. I believe we were a great match, he understood me very well.

What was the most challenging part?

I think it was REALLY smooth, I don't remember any specific struggle. Sometimes it was hard to consider the projects completed as there's always room for more.

What was your capstone project?

I created a recommendation systems for hotels. I like to travel a lot, and knowing that Netflix or Pandora use AI to recommend what to look for next, I wanted to do something similar for hotels. Using academic models to beat the cold start problem, I created a user-based and item-based recommendation system and built an app on Django to support it. I finally hosted it on AWS.

See its result on www.jonascuadrado.com (a test user and password are: (3, password) or you can use any number under 1000)

What are you up to now?

Currently I'm a data scientist at Feedzai. We create solutions for banks and merchants to detect fraud in real time.

What advice do you have for those considering online learning?

Nowadays, many online courses and bootcamps offer similar conditions, but my experience at Springboard could not be beaten. You are really taken care of, have all the support you require and the flexibility you need. And you learn all that is needed to go out there and do great things.

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