Introducing DSSG Fellow Thomas Disley

‘Hello World’ :)

I’m a graduate in International Affairs, with a concentration in Economic Development from The New School University in NYC. I’ve worked in the Middle-East, Latin America and Africa on a range of projects from technical capacity building to ethnographic research, and for the past 9 months have been working on an NGO called SMS Care, which I co-founded.

I’m also from Scotland, which is now going to be even harder to find on the map as we are no longer part of Europe.

My interest in Data Science is the latest step in a journey to develop tangible skills with which I’m able to make a positive impact in the world. As I set out from a BA in Philosophy, my journey has been, well, a little longer than others…

But why Data Sci?

Well, if you ask 10 people in a room to define Data Science, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. Of course, you could explain this in many different ways, but as it’s my blog post, I get to pick.

For me it’s evidence that this is an exciting place to be, that the boundaries haven’t been set as to where this discipline belongs, and that conversation is being had by people from many different worlds of knowledge.

For my world in International Development, there are just so many applications to transform how we work. This innovation is also coming at a crucial moment, with the help of data science implementers can finally deliver on evidence-based practice. As appetite for funding is shrinking, it is really important to innovate new ways of working and identify efficient solutions.

So I saw joining this fellowship as a way to develop knowledge that can enable be to become a contributor to this needed shift in how we practice. Specifically, this means improving my knowledge of geospatial technologies, python, as well as best-practice for managing a software design process.

With the support from the escience institute and the quality of other fellows so high… I’m really excited to learn as much as I can from the program and the people around me.

Here’s to a great summer - thanks for having me.