The Artists of Data Science

The ONLY self-development podcast for Data Scientists

Why We Should Be More Like Winnie The Pooh | Khuyen Tran

On this episode of The Artists of Data Science, we get a chance to hear from Khuyen Tran, a student of data science that is currently in pursuit of breaking into the field. She gives insight into how she prioritizes her tasks every day and strategies she uses to take notes and read books.

This episode gives our listeners a fresh perspective on how to approach the data science field, and some very interesting soft skills that you can implement to step up your game! Khuyen is definitely someone I believe will bring lots of value into the data science field.

Some notable segments from the show

[3:23] Ways to boost your efficiency and learning rate

[9:34] What inspired Khuyen to begin writing her posts on data science
[11:42] How to initiate projects in data science
[26:43] Reading books the right way

Khuyen's journey into data science

Khuyen has always been interested in the combination of math, programming, and application. She knew that she wanted to pursue a career that combined these areas. When she found machine learning, she knew that this was an area that could answer some really fascinating questions.

[2:35] “Yes. So I always interested in the combination between math, programming, and application. All through my course I major in applied mathematics. But I never find anything like machine learning. How I could use the concept of mathematical equations to apply in something really useful as such as, like predict the heart disease. That made me fascinated at the first time seeing machine learning.”

Key takeaways from the episode

Strategies for boosting your learning rate

[3:23] Create a system, with the goal of finishing three tasks per day. Before the week begins, check to see what needs to be accomplished that week. Make sure you prioritize tasks for every day, and carve out time to check your email or phone. This will minimize any distractions.

Note taking tips

[10:59] Only write down the most important points from the courses you take, and make sure you can take action on what you learned right away.

Planning a project


  1. Set a deadline
  2. Make sub-tasks for your large tasks. This helps create small, approachable tasks.
  3. Understand the data (data visualization) and ask the right questions.

Khuyen's approach to reading books:

[26:43] Only read a book that interests you. Don’t be afraid to skip entire sections of a book if they don’t apply to you. There are so many great books out there, so don’t feel obliged to waste time reading every book cover to cover. If you read books that interest you, then the information will also stick more.

Memorable quotes

[4:43] “...maximize important tasks over the urgent but not important tasks...”

[11:25] “...the best way to learn anything is not from taking notes, but from... using it.”

[24:15] “...learn to love whatever you are doing and you will start to do it really well.”

The one thing that Khuyen wants you to learn from her story

[21:51] Have a specific goal in your mind, and go for it. Make a plan of attack that has specific tasks outlined. If you do this, you can achieve anything.

From the lightning round

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Working as a data scientist with lots of implementation.

Question she loves to ask in an interview

What attributes are you looking for in a candidate for this position?

Most interesting question asked during an interview

If you can be a cartoon character, which one would you be?

Best advice that Khuyen has ever received

One minute spent organizing can give you back hours in the future.

Advice that Khuyen would give to her 15 year old self:

Learn to love whatever you are doing, and then you will start to do it well

Recommended book:

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

Books and other media mentioned in this episode

“Deep Work” by Cal Newport
“Ultralearning” by Scott Young
“So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport
“Peak” by K. Anders Ericcson

How you can connect with Khuyen Tran

Personal Website

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