At the Pentahof, Shell is looking for ways to bring their company into the modern era of sales, where big data analysis plays an important role in finding and exploiting patterns in the marketplace. I helped weed out the field by researching different algorithms and running simulations to learn what we could expect of their efficiency and accuracy.
At the Technology Center, I was working with a lab focused on solar power and other alternative energy sources. I helped them develop a standard data analysis scheme, so they don’t have to reinvent their reports each time they run an experiment.
As a physics major, I haven’t spent much time learning the ins and outs of efficient algorithms and program design! But as massive, programming-driven experiments like the CERN particle accelerator move to the forefront of physics research, it’s difficult for physics education to keep up. The skills I learned in Hamburg – working with and analyzing large data sets – will be invaluable to me in the future.
And so will the confidence I gained! I was amazed – I really hadn’t expected to become so comfortable, alone in a strange city. I even learned to successfully navigate both public transport and the infamous German bureaucracy.