Resuscitating a lifelong dream with data science

By Sarmila Basu, Oct 05, 2017

Thousands of people die every year from a common infection that you can get when you go to the hospital. It’s called Clostridium Difficile 101 (or CDIFF for short), and people get infected with it 500,000 times per year, and devastatingly, it kills 29,000 people per year in the U.S. How are data scientists like those on my Data and Decision Sciences team in Microsoft IT able to help?

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Sarmila Basu’s team of data scientists is using machine learning and modeling to save Microsoft millions of dollars on heating, cooling, and other facilities maintenance costs.

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Thanks to data analytics and machine learning, we are now discovering that the exact words teachers use to give students feedback is among several factors that directly influence whether a student succeeds or fails academically. And furthermore, whether she stays in school or drops out.

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Sticky problems keep our data scientists engaged

By Sarmila Basu, Jul 06, 2017

When you bring together a wildly diverse group of geniuses, the hard part isn’t finding work for them to do; it’s finding something that’s hard for them to solve, something so challenging that they get a little bit mad and a lot fired up. If not, they’ll get bored and they might wander off. That’s why it has taken me seven years to build my team: an eclectic mix of statisticians, economists, mathematicians, electrical engineers, biophysicists, and telecommunications specialists who are helping shape the way Microsoft uses data.

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