Erik Duisberg

Eric Knop

What is your previous academic experience?

Master of Science in Analytics & Data Science (est. graduation May 2020)

Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Bowdoin College

What are your professional goals?

At my core, I am a financial analyst. For me, entering UNH Analytics was my effort to deliver that same value to myself for one year: returning two steps ahead of what wins in markets. But I got more than that - it took about a month for me to internalize that this is the edge of something strategic, and lifelong.

What projects have you worked on?

My first major project at UNH was a review of a fantastic public dataset called "500 Cities” publicly available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/500cities/index.htm). The project challenged my team to use Principal Components Analysis ("PCA") and k-Means Clustering algorithms within the R programming language to analyze 2.4 million health measurements representing the 100 million people (about one-third of the US) within our 500 largest US cities. Together we figured out what questions to ask, what methods to use, what additional data was needed, and how to present our conclusions in visually interesting ways https://eduisberg.github.io/2019/10/31/500-Cities.html.

Our city clusters -- generated off completely different socioeconomic data sets we had independently compiled -- triangulated strikingly well with the CDC measurements: cities with similar socioeconomic characteristics "grouped themselves" into clusters that shared quantitative physical health characteristics. For me, it was my first real Machine Learning success, and it fundamentally blew away any doubts I might have had that I would be collaborating with computers from that moment on.

How has your time at UNH had an impact?

It's all about the people and the unique perspective they bring here. I first read about Professor Prashant Mittal in a UNH Magazine article, where he said "humility is the most important virtue for successful data scientists." (https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/2019/04/day-datacats-has-arrived). That, for me, catalyzed the unique link between the power of artificial intelligence and the community of human intelligence that exists here. I applied a week later. This program does not disappoint.

Connect with Erik on LinkedIn
Alumni Spotlights
Student Spotlights