I’ve lived in the UK since 2006 when I first came over for graduate school. Every year the immigration rules became more stringent, sometimes in surprising ways. For example, when I realised that the rules had changed when I wasn’t looking and would no longer be eligible for a tier one work visa after my PhD. This was because I’d spent my entire final year focused on my PhD (or severely depressed and unable to focus on anything, as is so common in academia) instead of part-time working and earning the minimum income threshold for tier one applicants. Now on the cusp of becoming a citizen, this journey has been the most dehumanizing, dispiriting, and wearying experiences of my life, touching deeply and painfully on my personal identity. I’ve hesitated to share my story because though I experienced it as great hardship in my life, I am still one of the lucky ones. I approached the process with the most possible privilege one can have. Though it was difficult for me, realistically my experience was by far one of the most painless of all the migrants of my acquaintance, and far, far easier than the journey that many others experience.
For the uninitiated, data scientists can seem like mystic oracles bringing esoteric wisdom from the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Unfortunately this opacity is leading to increasing skepticism of the field’s effectiveness, with less than 9% of businesses actually able to quantify the impact of their data science investment according to a 2018 survey by Domino Data Lab, and 85% of businesses’ big data projects failing according to 2018 Gartner research. Data science has enormous potential when done right, but the costs of failure are extremely high.
I went to two technical conferences recently which couldn’t have been more different in their approach to diversity and the quality of the material presented.
“I think it’s good to hire for a balance in the team rather than individual skills. I like to have a balance of men and women in the team because I think women are naturally better at some of those skills which men don’t have and it rounds out the team’s capabilities.”
Unexpectedly, I found myself walking through literary London, right past the blue plaque commemorating the Bloomsbury Group. On a foggy day, it’s like being back in the early 20th century; you can practically hear them scribbling away behind the white walls of the Edwardian homes on Gordon Square. Not far away on Woburn Walk is William Butler Yates’s old house, and just around the corner in Cartwright Gardens is where Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley made their home.
“We just heard that a car has mounted the pavement and collided with several pedestrians near the Natural History Museum. You may wish to text your loved ones and let them know you’re okay.”