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Undergrad research spotlight: Aman Ankit

May 20, 2019

youngjun and aman

Aman Ankit (right) collaborated with Assistant Professor Youngjun Choe on a project to learn data analysis skills.

Aman Ankit (’20) planned to major in engineering at UW with the goal of becoming a patent lawyer, but once he learned about ISE, he’d found his home. “I feel [ISE] was made for me,” he says, because of his interest in systems and processes: “I’ve always thought about how to make things better.”

As a sophomore, wanting to get some research experience, Aman approached Assistant Professor Youngjun Choe, whose research in disaster recovery and work in data analysis appealed to him. Youngjun was interested in pursuing research on weather events; he and Aman brainstormed some possible directions, and hit upon the idea of doing research on power outages in the U.S. Their project examines outages during a fifteen-year period, 2002-2016, and hypothesizes that over time, power outages become shorter because of improvements to the infrastructure. Aman plans to continue work on the project until he graduates.

Aman says the skills he’s gained will assist him in in his career. “As an ISE I will be dealing with data all the time, so having a foundation of how to look at data is really important.” The experience has already paid off: it helped him secure an internship with the Seattle Department of Transportation, where he is working on automating data collection processes. “The first question they asked me was, “What is your experience with data?”

Aman calls working with Youngjun “really awesome.” He’s grateful for the unique opportunity the department offers to do this work despite being a novice. “Often there is a barrier to entry because you have to have some experience,” Aman says. “Professor Choe was very ok with me not knowing, because he wanted me to learn.”