TA Spotlight: Cecil Bowe

Each week we spotlight an OMSCS TA, so you can get to know who's behind the screen. Here are four questions for Cecil Bowe, who TAs CS 6035: Introduction to Information Security.

Cecil Bowe

What do you do professionally?
 I’m a data scientist in the predictive modeling division at AT&T. I develop and deploy customer propensity models using machine learning techniques. I work on projects where deep learning models are used to predict customer behavior. In the past, I have worked on projects that involved creating exponential times series-based forecasting models. Some of the projects require data and text natural language processing. I use primarily SAS, Python, R, and Tableau to perform exploratory data and ad-hoc data analyses. I also create executive summary reports using the output of these analyses and use PowerBI, Tableau, GGPLOT, BOKEH, and other tools to story tell and create advanced data visualizations.

Why do you TA for OMSCS?
I TA this course because the course content is interesting, and I get to stay current with the changes in data science. Information security is a growing field and there are opportunities to not only guide students but also to learn from students that work in this field.  This interaction fosters the sharing of ideas and discussion of concepts that I may not encounter in my daily work environment.  Additionally, I personally have been amazingly fortunate to work under Professor Wenke Lee and alongside a great core of returning and new TAs.  It’s important for the team to work together, hold each other accountable, and communicate.  We share information and work toward the goals for the current semester while also creating material for upcoming semesters.  At times, it may be challenging and time-consuming, but it is necessary to ensure that we provide an enriching learning environment that fosters growth and development for students. This experience has provided me with tremendous residual benefits, allowing me to work in small group environments, develop communication skills, and work on agile projects. I have taken this experience back into the corporate environment, and I have become even better at my role because of my experience as a TA.

What's your advice for future students in OMSCS?
Many of the problems and issues that you face are usually faced by other students, so pay attention to the boards and stay engaged in the community. I would also advise students to prepare before starting the course. Read the syllabi from past semesters and try to understand the scope of concepts and prepare in advance. This helps to estimate the workload for the course.

What's your preferred programming language, and why?
I prefer Python because it’s fairly easy to understand. I also code in R, but I find Python to be easy to follow. Python also has many of the packages that I am familiar with. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt that most of my classes on OMSCS require me to use Python and understand its power.