ChE grad student leads efforts to start new Data Science Club
With data science evolving as an up-and-coming and in-demand career path for skilled professionals, Ameya Jumde thought it made sense to establish a data science presence at Purdue.
Jumde, of Cupertino, CA, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue in May 2021 and is continuing as a student in the chemical engineering professional master’s program (PMP) with a focus on data science. During a Zoom call between Jumde and Sangtae “Sang” Kim, Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, an idea was hatched.
“He gave me the idea to start an organization at Purdue that is focused on data science in chemical engineering,” Jumde said. “I think it is important to have an organization focused on data science because it is a rapidly growing industry, and it is important for engineers to be aware of the role data science plays and acquire the necessary skills to stay relevant in the work force. Specifically, in chemical engineering, we acquire vast amounts of data from chemical plants, and it is important we know how to sift through the data to extract valuable data to inform our decision making.”
The new Data Science Club is still in its infancy, but Jumde has worked diligently to get it off the ground. During the summer of 2021, he completed the club bylaws and recruited about a dozen students from the PMP class. After receiving several positive responses, he secured Brett Savoie, Charles Davidson Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, as the club’s faculty advisor.
“This group is being established at the ideal time,” Savoie said. “New methods are being constantly developed in this space, and having a group that can host tutorials, hackathons, and seminars dedicated to data science will be a boon to the school.”
Kim recently hosted an organizational dinner, where the group discussed officer roles and the process of holding an election, which is the club’s next step.
“The Davidson School of Chemical Engineering is pleased to support Ameya in the efforts to create a data science club,” said Kim. “Thanks to the generosity of the school’s alumni, we can provide funds to support the invited speakers program and help the club make connections to chemical engineers who are leading the way to innovative applications of data science to chemical engineering. The club is an excellent complement to the newly launched data science track in our Professional Master’s Program.”
The club, currently only comprised of PMP students, will eventually be open to both undergraduate and graduate students in other programs. “After the officer roles and club activities are defined, we will be more proactive in inviting other students,” Jumde said.
“Some students already have experience in industry and have worked with large data sets. They gave their input as to what activities the club could engage in based on their previous work,” Jumde said.