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MADS grad to attend Oxford Machine Learning x Health Summer School

MADS grad to attend Oxford ML x Health Summer School. Ankita Shekhawat. Master of Applied Data Science '22.

Friday, 07/08/2022

2022 Master of Applied Data Science (MADS) graduate Ankita Shekhawat has been accepted as a participant at the University of Oxford's Machine Learning x Health Summer School. There, she’ll delve into machine learning applications for electronic health records, imaging, epidemiology and drug discovery. 

Shekhawat says the University of Michigan School of Information’s MADS program gave her the confidence to apply to Oxford’s ML x Health Summer School, plus the know-how to get accepted. 

“Working in the health care domain for the past seven years, I see a lot of potential to deploy new technologies as impactful solutions in patients’ care,” Shekhawat says. She is a senior statistician for Novartis, working remotely from her home in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. 

“Electronic health records are gold mines of patient data, but extracting useful information in a timely manner is key,” Shekhawat says. 

She knew she needed that key: Shekhawat says she had essentially zero exposure to data science methodology before enrolling in MADS. 

The fully online MADS program enabled Shekhawat to learn about and imagine different ways data science can improve patients’ care and quality of life.

“MADS has helped me understand foundational data science topics, starting with courses like Being a Data Scientist and Data Manipulation, up to more advanced topics like machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing,” Shekhawat says. 

While considering the opportunity to apply for Oxford’s ML x Health Summer School, the first thing Shekhawat did was check the program against the MADS curriculum and her own goals. 

“When I recognized familiar topics like math methods, deep learning and machine learning, I knew I would not have been able to apply for this program 20 months prior,” she says. 

The MADS courses I took have been instrumental toward netting this opportunity as well as new projects I’m now taking on at work.

At the summer school, which saw an “overwhelming” number of applicants from 100+ countries in 2021, Shekhawat looks forward to mingling with data science professionals from DeepMind, Oxford Research and Oxford Medicine. She’s eager to learn more about how to apply machine learning tools she gained in MADS in real-world health care scenarios.  

She also says she wouldn’t be surprised if she meets current or future MADS peers at Oxford. 

“I plan to talk about MADS to fellow students at Oxford, as this is a summer school dedicated to machine learning,” Shekhawat says. “MADS is designed to be completely online, it’s flexible structurally — it’s perfect for all of us who can’t come to Ann Arbor to attend data science courses, and I think it’d be of interest to folks present. And since MADS is a large global community, I would not be surprised if I meet a fellow MADS student there.” 

Martha Spall, UMSI writer



Learn more about UMSI’s Master of Applied Data Science program and how to apply.