Chris Brown

M.S. Data Science

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M.S. Data Science

M.S. Biomedical Data Science

Ph.D. Biomedical Data Science

Christopher Brown had his first introduction to data science during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was a microbiologist, working as an independent contractor with the State of Arkansas,” says Brown.

He was conducting Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Covid tests. The PCR is a molecular test that analyzes the upper respiratory specimen, looking for a genetic material (ribonucleic acid) of SARS-CoV-2. 

“Unknown to me, that was my first introduction to data science,” says Brown. “It was those visualizations that were printed from the Janus that told the story of the results of our technique as well as the results of those people waiting on their outcome.”

When that contract job concluded, Brown realized he needed to take his life in a new direction.

“The constant wear and tear from 12-hour shifts was taking its toll on me,” say Brown.

Brown was also mentally exhausted from loss. Covid, the focus of his previous job, had taken the life of his father.

He then discovered a new opportunity through technology.

“A coworker told me about a program called Reskill Arkansas that introduces people to different technology jobs,” says Brown.

After completing the program, he had the opportunity to take a Google Certification course for free. He researched the options and soon began his first step on a path to a data career with the Data Analytics course.

“The course introduced me to R studio and SQL and gave me the drive to want to learn more and have a degree in data science,” says Brown.

He applied to Meharry SACS and began the M.S. Data Science program in the Fall of 2023. He has enjoyed the program, especially the Visual and Unstructured Data Analysis class.

“That class reminded me of my microbiologist role, where I used visualizations to tell stories from the data we captured,” says Brown.

Brown is on track to graduate in May of 2024, and is interested in helping to make data-driven decisions in agriculture at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.