Since the fall, Trang Duong '22 has worked as a researcher with Oxford University’s Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), which is modeling COVID-19 cases and transmission in her home country of Vietnam.
Trang, a math major who is also planning to minor in data science, had been doing her own research on COVID-19 in the summer and, looking for a more formal role, found a data scientist on LinkedIn who is part of the Oxford research unit.
"I messaged him to learn more about his work. After our chat, he offered me an interview with the head of mathematical modelling at OUCRU and I got an internship offer," she explains. And while the internship ended in January, Trang has been kept on as a research assistant.
"My main jobs are cleaning, analyzing, visualizing, and modelling the data so we can get interesting discoveries about the virus, like how long it takes for a person to become infectious after being exposed to the virus," says Trang. "I’m also making mathematical models so we can simulate the pandemic and predict the outcomes if we take certain measures, like wearing masks and quarantine."
Trang, who hopes to return to campus in the fall of 2021, didn't come to Bryn Mawr expecting to major in math or minor in data science.
"I planned to explore my interest in fashion, history, and philosophy. I wasn’t encouraged to pursue higher math in high school so I wasn’t planning on becoming a math major coming to college," she says. "But Bryn Mawr’s mathematics department is really encouraging and supportive. After taking a few math classes, the department gave me the confidence and passion to pursue a major in math."
After making the decision to major in math Trang became interested in data science as a possible career or graduate school field.
"I tried a couple of different things like investment banking or finance, but I couldn’t see myself doing that for a long time," she says. "After some researching, I found out about data science and tried it out. I realized that I really like telling stories with data, and exploring new mathematical methods."
The Math Department at Bryn Mawr is a vibrant and supportive community with a program that has been nationally recognized by the American Mathematical Society.
The Data Science Program is an interdisciplinary collaboration that includes a minor in data science and significant programming for all in the Bryn Mawr community.