From biomedicine to applied data science
Katalin Ferenc wanted to combine her previous biomedical master’s degree with data science. In 2019 she started studying the Applied Data Science master’s programme at University of Gothenburg.
"Don’t be afraid to apply even though you’re not a programming professional. You will learn a lot in the programme” says Katalin Ferenc.
Katalin was born and raised in Hungary where she did her bachelor’s in biology. Her relationship with Sweden started back in 2014 when she did an internship at Karolinska Institutet. It was this experience that made her move to Stockholm two years later to study her first master’s degree within biomedicine.
“As a biological researcher you create a lot of data. In my first master’s thesis I learned to appreciate statistics. I worked and visited a few labs where I saw how much insight one can get from biological data if knows how to extract the knowledge. I got inspired to learn more about handling and analysing data.”
A programme designed to fit students from various backgrounds
She found the Applied Data Science master’s programme at University of Gothenburg – and it was a perfect match. The programme is designed to attract students with various backgrounds. Some programming skills are required, as well as mathematics, but a basic course in Python has been added, starting from the fall 2021, to bring the students to more of an equal level.
“The programme is quite unique in the sense that you don’t need an actual degree in computer science or mathematics to be accepted. It’s not so much about developing a new algorithm, but more about how to run it and interpret the results.”
Coming from outside the computer science field can be tough, but the programme will equip all students with the skills and knowledge needed to meet the challenges and opportunities of working in the Big Data era.
“You can really see yourself making progress. When I started, I barely understood a word of a biomedical data science paper for example. The vocabulary was like another language to me. But now when I read the same paper, I actually understand what it’s about!”
Katalin, what’s the most special thing about studying in Sweden?
“Hard question... I’m pretty biased, since I love it here. The biggest difference from Hungary is probably that here in Sweden, everyone is very open to feedback. Everything from course evaluation surveys to student representative meetings. People in Sweden always ask for feedback, it’s always a topic.”
What are your three best study tips?
1. Work in groups! You learn a lot from each other.
2. Use the resources – there are so many resources available through the university library. Appreciate it and use it!
3. Ask questions: If you don’t understand something, it’s very likely that there are other people that don’t understand it either.