🏆The Resident Data Scientist

🏆The Resident Data Scientist

When I think of Data Science today, I cannot help but realize with a sense of pride and belonging that I had a Data Scientist at home all along while growing up.

Thirty years ago in our home in India, Data Science was unknown but the Data Scientist, my father, T. Sampath Kumar, was always at work. He was adept at noting down precious little data nuggets from newspapers, the daily news on TV, electricity meter readings, price charts, train timetables, packaged food ingredients, local temple festival times, names of people who showed up at social gatherings, food menus at family events, daily temperature, humidity and rainfall etc.

So, what’ the point?

When my mom declared that the summer that year has been the hottest – out came the Data Scientist with temperature statistics across many bygone years proving that the summer in question was not quite so.

When a relative complained that though there was more spread at a certain family event but there weren’t as many takers for the same – out came the Data Scientist with his diary to indicate classes of people across multiple events who binged, who skipped and who came so late that little of consequence was left.

When I expressed that I used the water heater sparsely in winter and asserted that my tolerance of the cold was improving as I grew more robust – out came the Data Scientist with electricity meter readings to prove that our consumption of electricity had actually increased over the years and even more so in winters given the fact that we went out less and stayed at home more.

I fondly look back at what I learnt then and use now as Data Science even though that Data Scientist is long gone.

By: Rangaprasad Sampath


6 Responses

  1. TRGopalan says:

    Oh yes indeed . And he was an avid movie goer and knew which theatre had what movies , which day of it’s running , the prices of the various theatres , so much so that he declared that Rs 2.09 was by far the costliest ticket ever got by him in the seventies ! He used the remember the INR ( Indian news review) number shown just before the movies so much so that when the number came he would say that this is an old one . He was a born data analyst far ahead of his times . I am equally proud to have been associated with him for over 3 decades !!

  2. Anitha Santhanam says:

    Nicely written. Do you think his mom may have been the source of the data scientist gene?
    I’ve heard she had a particular fondness for collecting data at weddings.

  3. Gopi says:

    Nice Job Ranga! Very well written. Brings back memories of the good old days in context to modern terminologies.

  4. Vanaja Muralidharan says:

    Dear Bachu
    Whatever you have written is very true. I still have some pages from his diary where he has written down all the names of people who attended a ceremony. Looking back I feel he would have been very happy from heaven if we have written down all the names of people who attended his ceremonies. He was maintaining all these kinds of records with great enthusiasm. From whom he acquired so much of interest in collecting data is not known. He was very accurate about the cost of milk packets which I experienced personally. He was keeping heaps and heaps of even daily sheet calendar papers safe. For him everything was precious. A very unique personality. Anyhow your story was nice and inspired me to think about Sampath in a different perspective

  5. Adnan Yasin says:

    Nice compilation Ranga sir,

    Reading your story, I remembered my father as well.

    Lovely read.

  6. Deepal DSilva says:

    I loved reading your post. Very well written!

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