Geoff Webb wouldn’t be the accomplished data scientist he is today, had he followed certain intuitions. Now a Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Monash Centre for Data Science, Geoff was introduced to computer science at an early age through a mandatory computing class.
“I didn’t want to do it, I thought computers were completely uninteresting. Each week we would write our programs on mark sense cards before the computer spit out a list of errors and having to start over… I loved it!” says Geoff with a smile.
From there, computer science still wasn’t something he gravitated toward; it was a conscious choice to put his career in good stead. He studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in both Philosophy and Computer science for his undergrad degree.
Continuing on to higher study, Geoff chose computer science over his first love, Philosophy, knowing it could provide him a better career. He’s never looked back; “I have had an extraordinarily fulfilling career as a result.”
Fulfilling career indeed; Geoff has since become a big player in data science, earning himself the 2017 Eureka prize for excellence in data science from the Australian Museum. The prize was awarded for his work in men’s mental health care to reduce suicide.
Geoff’s work spans more than just this significant work in health, he’s worked across projects from blood pressure monitoring to machine learning and construction safety, all using data science to improve our current practices.
Using data analytics to predict the functions of proteins in cells, Geoff and his team are better able to predict health trends and develop new tests to detect them. “We’re able to create new tests for breast cancer, as well as studies investigating ocular degeneration, potential cancer vaccines, and improved methods for drug discovery.”
Geoff’s steps to becoming a data scientist:
> > Bachelor of Arts, Computer Science and Philosophy, La Trobe University
> > PhD in Philosophy and Computer Science, La Trobe University
Want to find out more? Meet full-stack developer, Tara Tjandra.
“Learning computer science in school, I loved the immediate reward you get when you solve the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.”
Author: Elise Roberts
Elise is a science, tech and business enthusiast, motivated to connect people with research that will propel their success. With over ten years’ experience working at the intersection of technology and communications across a wide range of industries, Elise enjoys jumping on the latest trends in digital media to share new knowledge with the Australian community.