Daniel Chae: using data science to predict ICU outcomes

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2020
by Sharon Adarlo

Daniel Chae, 22, Class of 2020

Studies:

Chae is a computer science major. He is pairing his studies with the Certificate Program in Statistics and Machine Learning at the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning (CSML) and the Certificate Program in Engineering and Management Systems at the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering.

Research:

Chae’s recent research focus has been on training a neural network to predict mortality outcomes in ICU patients, a project that evolved from an exercise in SML 310 – Research Projects in Data Science. Chae took the class, taught by Michael Guerzhoy, in 2019, and Guerzhoy is now his project advisor. 

“You take results from ICU data, generate complex hypotheses, and evaluate the hypotheses using synthesized data formulated by the neural network model,” he said about the project. “This new approach could be a promising tool to draw meaningful preliminary conclusions about the relationships between variables that lead to patient mortality.”

While a student at Princeton, Chae was also a research intern at the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology in Germany, where he worked on helping create a new deep neural network to detect animal postures. In an additional project, Chae used deep learning to categorize features of landscapes in videos taken by an aerial drone.

As attested by these projects, Chae has always had a natural bent towards diving into complicated situations and applying technical tools to understand them, leading to his education in computer science.

“Computer science is a vast field. You are not constrained to one sector. You can apply your knowledge to medicine, economics and other topics,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

As for CSML, Chae has found that his classes have complimented his computer science education and helped him deepen his knowledge in statistics and predictive modeling. 

“The classes have been fun and informative,” Chae said. “Data science is such an important field to study, and it’s applicable to many industries. I am glad that Princeton has offered me the opportunity to study it here seriously.”

In addition to his other internships, Chae has worked at Amazon in the company’s business development team on self-service performance advertising and as a Microsoft student partner on Princeton campus. He has also served as a teacher assistant and grader for several computer science courses on campus.

After graduation, Chae plans on taking a position at Accenture as an advanced application engineer. Chae said he might also go back to school to pursue a master’s degree. 

Extracurricular activities:

Chae is a member and social chair of Princeton’s Ultimate Frisbee club, and the technology chair of the Cap and Gown Club. He is also a member of the Association for Computer Machinery.

For fun:

 Chae enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing pool.