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When it comes to interns, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to find some of the best and brightest from around the world. Although they are temporary, they become a part of the epic story of Tresata and make lasting impressions in their own unique ways. Our “Intern Update” series introduces these characters and recaps a bit of what they’ve been up to this summer…

We expanded our summer internship program this year to make way for three exceptionally bright students working under our new visiting Data Scientist, Dr. Tim Chartier. The ultimate goal of their project(s) was to put Tresata software to the test in a brand spanking-new vertical: Sports Analytics and see what interesting problems we could tackle in that arena (pun intended). Grant, Dana and Michael B. were attached at the hip all summer (hence the Tresata Trio nickname), so we felt it only made sense to combine their blog posts into one (and a totally awesome, albeit lengthy one at that).

Question to the Trio: What has been your main project/focus this summer? 

We (known collectively by us and some others as ThreeSata, Tresata Trio, etc.) have been working with basketball sports data, doing projects for the Hornets, but mostly trying to use online available information (play by plays and team statistics) to help us understand more about how teams perform – both within the team, such as how a team performs under different lineups and paces, and with other teams, such as how they may fare in a tournament. We have been creating programs to analyze these massive data sets for us.

The current project we are working in employs Orion to try to see similarities between college basketball teams. This will hopefully be able to help coaches learn not only about their own teams, but also with their opponents.  Recently, we’ve been exploring whether or not we can predict the outcome of a basketball game given how similar match-ups in the past went. Orion is helping us visualize these similarities and hopefully make useful connections.

What technologies are you using in your work?

Much of the code we have written has been in Python. That being said, we will have Tableau and Orion have been two additional tools that have been valuable in our work. We have tried to visualize some of our data in Orion.

grant

Name: Grant

School: Davidson

Year: 2017 

What motivated you to work at Tresata this summer?

Going into the summer, I was focused on finding an internship where I could develop some programming skills while learning and gaining experience in the field of data analytics. When Dr. Chartier approached me about working at Tresata, I saw this would be a perfect opportunity. When researching the company I immediately saw the unique culture that existed here: a culture that had an ambitious, entrepreneurial spirit and an incredibly tight-knit community. On top of that, the fact that I would be able to do research in sports analytics while gaining the experience of an internship was an intriguing combination.

Besides your projects, what has been your favorite part of your internship this summer?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say ping-pong was my favorite part of the internship. The ability to just relax and let off some steam when you’re stuck on a problem was invaluable. Plus, it was just really fun to consistently beat up on my fellow intern Michael Deng everyday. I came in with a pretty polished ping-pong game, so it hasn’t improved too much per se. *brushes shoulder off. That being said, I look forward to taking down the CEO on my quest to win the Tresata Ping-Pong tournament.

Do you think this internship was a valuable learning experience? How has it equipped you for future work/study?

Absolutely. The training alone taught me many useful skills that I will undoubtedly utilize in future endeavors, and that was just the first two weeks. Learning how to scrape copious amounts of data from different websites and working in the Hadoop Ecosystem, for example, have been two invaluable skills that Tresata and its employees have taught me.

Every single employee would always stop whatever he or she was doing in order to help me, and I can’t thank everyone enough for that.

On a scale of 1-10 how much have your ping-pong skill improved?

See two questions back.

How would you summarize your time here?

A remarkable experience where I learned invaluable skills, but perhaps more importantly, I learned just how much camaraderie of a company can enhance your work.

Any parting words you’d like to share with the team?

Thank you to everyone who put up with all our problems, and continually helped us without any complaints. We truly appreciate all you helped us accomplish. I apologize for running up the score in the intern vs. employee Ultimate Frisbee game…that was pretty rude. Also a special thanks to Dr. Chartier for everything this summer!

dana

Name: Dana

School: Carleton

Year: 2016

What motivated you to work at Tresata this summer?

As a math lover, I’m interested in careers using analytical skills, and am trying to explore different options. I was especially looking forward to doing applied math projects with Dr. Chartier this summer, to help me get experience in research and applied math. Really I was trying to figure out if I would like to continue in math with applied or pure mathematics, and trying a summer working with data and data science seemed like a good way to decide which way I will go in the future.

Besides the work, what has been your favorite part of your internship this summer? 

I really enjoyed working with the Trio the most – I got to know a couple of great guys and it’s given me a new outlook on group work. Usually I enjoy working alone, but working with Grant and Michael has been absolutely wonderful. 

Do you think this internship was a valuable learning experience? How has it equipped you for future work/study?

It was a very valuable learning experience – I know what working with big data analytics in applied math looks like, and now have a clearer vision of my future going into graduate school – I will likely start a mathematics PhD program next fall. I have learned so much about data, coding, and group work in this internship.

 On a scale of 1-10 how much have your ping-pong skill improved?

I haven’t actually played much, so I haven’t improved much… maybe 2.

How would you summarize your time here?

It was great working here, and I especially liked working with Dr. Chartier this summer. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience.

Parting words you’d like to share with the team?

Thank you all so much for the internship experience!

mbarnett

Name: Michael B.

School: 2018

Year: Amherst 

What motivated you to work at Tresata this summer?

I’m only a rising sophomore, so I was looking for any kind of job experience.  I ended up being connected with Tim Chartier through Davidson College, and his work here sounded really interesting, so I was excited to work on this one (out of his many) projects.

Besides the work, what has been your favorite part of your internship this summer? 

I’ve had a really lovely time exploring downtown Charlotte and trying the variety of food options (the crepe place is fantastic)!

Do you think this internship was a valuable learning experience? How has it equipped you for future work/study?

This has been a fantastic learning experience for me.  I’ve furthered my knowledge of Python, and my understanding of how programming is used in a professional setting.  I’ve also learned a lot about what it is like to work at a small tech company, which, I have learned, is really awesome!  I plan to go into some sort of math- or computer science-related field, so this internship has given me valuable experience in those areas, in addition to cementing in my mind that those are indeed the fields I would like to work in when I graduate from college.

On a scale of 1-10 how much have your ping-pong skill improved? 

Only a 2, but my ignoring-the-construction-outside skills definitely improved by a 10.

How would you summarize your time here?

I’ve had an amazing time here at Tresata.  I wake up in the mornings looking forward to what I’m going to do that day, and I feel like I have learned so much, not only in terms of computer science and data analysis, but also in how small tech companies function.  I’ve met all sorts of interesting people along the way, and have especially enjoyed working with Grant and Dana.  I don’t think I could imagine a better way to spend my summer! 

Any parting words you’d like to share with the team?

I’ve had a wonderful time, and I can’t thank all of you enough for providing this opportunity!

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