We are pleased to announce that Fred (Hongyang) Zhang has won the Department’s 2016-17 Data Science Award.
Fred recently completely his PhD under the supervision of Ruben Zamar. Fred has made important contributions to Data Science through his PhD dissertation research and far beyond. Fred spent an extended MITACS internship period at Metafor Software Inc., which became full-time employment. His Data Science work at Metafor is considered an industry secret and cannot be published in academic journals. This work, however, has been a key ingredient leading to the subsequent acquisition of Metafor Software Inc. by the industry giant, Splunk (in a multimillion dollars operation). Not surprisingly, Fred was then offered a position as Senior Data Scientist at Splunk.
Fred's immediate supervisor at Metafor Software Inc. praised Fred’s contributions to the Data Science department, both as an individual thinker and as a team member. Fred has shown great knowledge of traditional anomaly and outlier detection techniques. In addition, Fred has the ability to think outside the box, which is an important quality in Metafor’s start-up environment. Fred’s mastery of R, Python, Java, and C++, along with his willingness to try multiple approaches to solve problems, have proven to be a great combination that has helped Metafor/Splunk improve their algorithms and quickly come up with solutions to solve issues affecting their customers.
The Data Science Award is offered annually to an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated initiative and creativity in making outstanding contributions in the field of Data Science. To see past winners, please see: https://www.stat.ubc.ca/data-science-award.