Martin Barron


1.  What interested you in the doctoral program in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics at Notre Dame?

I was attracted to the ACMS program due to the breadth of subjects that are available and the ACMS departments focus on collaboration which provides an invaluable opportunity to apply our learning to real world problems.

2.  What was the best part of the program?

The opportunity to collaborate with departments across campus and make a difference to research in a wide range of areas. Collaborating with my advisor on these projects provided valuable insights into how different research questions can be addressed in a new way.

3.  Tell us about your doctoral thesis.

My doctoral thesis focused on the development of new machine learning methods to aid in the analysis of single-cell RNA-sequencing data. This included a new sparse clustering algorithm which clusters samples coming from multiple populations simultaneously, linking the clusters across populations and automatically identifying a set of marker features for each cluster. Another algorithm was developed to remove the confounding effect of the cell-cycle from single-cell RNA-sequencing data.

4.  What are you working on now?

I am currently working on expanding the clustering algorithm model presented in my doctoral thesis to handle multiple populations.

5.  How did the program prepare you for your career?

The program has prepared me excellently for any career which I should choose to follow. The experience of collaborating with different departments across the university has given me the skills to work together and communicate with subject matter experts who may not have advanced statistical knowledge, along with great experience of working in teams. While my research in collaboration with my advisor has given me the skills to carry out research and work on projects independently.

6.  What are your career plans for the near future?

I will be starting a position as a statistical consultant for a large accounting firm.

7.  What advice would you give to students considering the program?
Dive right in to all of the opportunities that are available at Notre Dame. Do not be afraid of the more difficult challenges faced in research. It is all the more rewarding when you have faced them.