Internship @ Kinecta Federal Credit Union

Brandon Newberg is entering his senior year pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Quantitative Economics at the UC Irvine School of Sciences. After witnessing the power of machine learning in an upper division Econometrics class taught by Dr. Matthew Harding, Brandon joined the Deep Data Lab at UCI to further explore the field.

Under the guidance of Dr. Harding in the Deep Data Lab, Brandon spent his junior year developing a solid foundation in machine learning by utilizing a variety of machine learning algorithms to tackle real-world problems such as predicting poverty for households. Now that Brandon had a firm introduction machine learning concepts, Dr. Harding helped to facilitate a summer internship for Brandon at a local credit union.

Throughout the summer of 2018, Brandon worked as a Business Intelligence intern for Kinecta Federal Credit Union. He was tasked with discovering if machine learning concepts could be applied to credit risk modeling to better facilitate target marketing campaigns for financial services.

To effectively tackle this project, Brandon needed to apply his knowledge of machine learning concepts to construct a credit risk model and translate the model’s output into actionable business decisions. Brandon began his internship by working closely with the database administrators to compile a data set with relevant predictive variables to form the basis of the credit risk model. He then utilized the R programming language to implement the machine learning algorithms such as Random Forests and Neural Networks to model the credit risk of bank members. Brandon finished the internship by developing a presentation that communicated the findings of his study to the senior executives.

This internship allowed Brandon to apply his coursework in Quantitative Economics and his research experience to real-world industry problems. Brandon will spend his senior year writing a thesis in applied machine learning and working as a research assistant in the Deep Data Lab to continue his exploration in the vast field of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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