Datacast Episode 11: Psychology and Neuroscience in Data Science with Francisco Carrera Arias

The 11th episode of Datacast is my conversation with Francisco Carrera Arias, a data scientist at MotionPoint. Give it a listen to learn about his background in neuroscience, his projects in Natural Language Processing, his opinion in the value of learning the business side as a data scientist, and many more.

Francisco Carrera Arias, B.S. is currently a data scientist/analyst for MotionPoint Corporation and a research assistant for the Clinical Systems Biology group at Nova Southeastern University. His current work entails performing a variety of data analyses to better inform business decisions as well as using discrete logic to analyze complex biological regulatory networks for the purposes of identifying and simulating treatment courses for chronic illnesses such as Gulf War Illness.


Show Notes

  • (2:10) Francisco recalled his experience getting a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University.

  • (3:42) Francisco gave a brief overview of the field of Behavioral Neuroscience.

  • (4:19) Francisco gave some recommendation for people who are interested in learning more about behavioral psychology and neuroscience.

  • (5:39) Francisco discussed his research thesis looking at “The effects of video gaming with a brain-computer interface on physiological stress and mood”.

  • (10:45) Francisco shared his opinion on the development of virtual reality technologies.

  • (12:37) Francisco talked about his experience working as a Research Assistant at the Clinical Systems Biology Lab at the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine while at college.

  • (16:00) Francisco mentioned potential applications of his research project towards clinical treatments.

  • (16:39) In addition to getting his degree in Psychology, Francisco also minored in Applied Statistics. He talked about some of the most useful courses that he took, including applied regression analysis.

  • (18:10) Francisco talked about his Hockey Analytics internship for the Florida Panthers during his senior year.

  • (21:01) Francisco reflected on his job search process post-graduation.

  • (22:58) Francisco shared a background overview about MotionPoint, his current employer, as well as the reasons that made him excited about working there.

  • (24:25) Francisco talked about a sentiment analysis project that he worked on, in which he extracted conversation themes and key words during sales calls, then used NLP techniques to find which sales reps produce more positive sentiment in prospective clients.

  • (26:06) Francisco went in depth on his modeling approach for that sentiment analysis project.

  • (28:50) Francisco mentioned his promotion from an intern role to a full time data analyst/scientist position.

  • (29:34) Francisco shared another data science challenge he’s tackling to score client accounts.

  • (32:17) Francisco discussed his involvement with DataCamp. In particular, he wrote two tutorials on Markov Chain Analysis in R and Fuzzy String Matching in Python.

  • (35:47) Francisco talked about the value of having a degree in psychology and neuroscience for a data science role, in particular, by having a certain perspective.

  • (39:51) Francisco gave advice for people with Math & Computer Science background to learn the business aspect of a data science role.

  • (41:35) Francisco talked about his enrollment to the Udacity Deep Learning Nanodegree program.

  • (42:45) Closing segment.

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