Q & A with Ferit Akova, 2013 Alumnus, Ph.D. Computer Science

Ferit Akova, 2013 Alumnus, Ph.D.  Computer Science

Where are you currently working?

I have worked at Geisinger Health Systems in Pennsylvania since March 2014. I am a Computational Intelligence Scientist with the Health Informatics and Data Science group under the Neuroscience Department. I solve healthcare informatics problems by developing machine learning algorithms, including predictive models and classification techniques.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I am very motivated by the domain that I am working on as I apply my knowledge and experience gained through my PhD to healthcare. It makes me happy and excited to know that I have the chance to change lives positively.

What academic or career accomplishment are you most proud of at this point?

Endurance! I believe the most rewarding part was overcoming the long PhD study with lots of bitter-sweet ups and downs. And then of course, proceeding to the “real game” and dealing with most challenging and important real-life problems is the sweet outcome.

How did your time at IUPUI help you obtain your position/reach your goals?

Primarily,  by the ambitious research environment that my advisor, Dr. Murat Dundar, provided. His constant support/mentorship prepared and strengthened me for the competitive work life. Secondly, IUPUI offers the interdisciplinary research environment with the IU medical school. Most of the projects that I worked on were in the medical/biomedical field, which naturally let me stand out for being a strong candidate for data scientist positions in healthcare field.

What was your favorite class and why?

I really liked the Algorithms course, as I believe it lays the foundations of being a great computer scientist. Another of my favorites was the Machine Learning course, which motivated the research in that field and covered advanced topics.