YPPDO Seminar: Chris Davis, CarMax, “Yale Physics to Used Cars: Transitioning to a Data Science Career”

Event time: 
Friday, April 14, 2023 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Wright Lab - Connector, WLC-245 (Conference Room) See map
270 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Making the transition from nuclear and particle physics to data science is a scary yet rewarding journey. In this talk, I’ll share my personal experiences of transitioning outside of academia and working as a data scientist in the private sector. I’ll describe some specific projects I’ve worked on and explain what technical and soft skills a physics background has that are uniquely suited for doing this work, and additionally what I had to learn after my PhD.
Finally, I’ll share some personal anecdotes and insights into the emotional side of making a career transition. I’ll discuss my path and timeline during my PhD towards picking a post-graduate path, a mental framework for making a career decision, and the stresses and associated healthy coping mechanisms that have helped me move forward in my new career.
Speaker Bio: I was a PhD student at Yale Physics from 2013-2019, working in the Wright Lab searching for double-beta decay on the CUORE Experiment. While at Yale, I was active as a teaching fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning and took significant roles in both Yale Physics and Yale Society of Women Engineers STEM outreach events.
While completing my PhD in 2019, I took part in the Insight Data Science Fellowship Program, completed my dissertation and defended, then started work at CarMax the very next week. There, I’ve worked on the data science team that buys cars from auctions. During the pandemic, I also temporarily switched teams to an inventory team to completely restructure how our car inventory is handled as the used car business went through unprecedented changes.
Host: Reina Maruyama