Opening Doors Through Research

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Emily Warman (CS ’16) conducted research with Associate Professor Aron Culotta, the head of Illinois Tech’s Text Analysis in the Public Interest Lab, creating a reusable framework to predict the demographics of Twitter users based on who they follow. Culotta trained the model, and Warman applied it to predict the demographics of people who tweeted about e-cigarettes.

“I had no idea that I’d love it and learn more from research than I have in any class,” Warman says. “I learned Python, using APIs [application program interfaces], and the fundamentals of data science and machine learning. I also learned about libraries and technologies that are popular in industry—something you don’t usually learn in the classroom.”

Warman says the research opportunity opened many doors, and is grateful that Culotta gave her a shot.

“The crazy thing about doing research at Illinois Tech is that all you have to do is ask,” Warman says. “I’d never met Aron. I saw that he did work I was interested in, sent him an email, met with him, and became an NSF funded research assistant. One of the great things about Illinois Tech is that my story isn’t unique. Research positions are available to those who ask here.”