PyDev of the Week: Erika Fille Legara

This week we welcome Erika Fille Legara (@eflegara) as our PyDev of the Week. Erika is a professor and program director at the Asian Institute of Management. She has spoken at PyCon Philippines. You can check out her website to see what else she has been up to or watch her talk below:

Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

Hi, I’m Erika. I am a physicist by training. I am your typical grad school (assoc.) professor/administrator who’s always trying her best to strike the appropriate balance between teaching, research, and fulfilling certain administrative duties. At the moment, the research projects I am engage in are mostly industry-driven.

Outside work, I enjoy traveling and travel photography. With the recent career transition, however, leisure travels have been minimized. Nowadays, I spend most of my free time reading, listening to music, and yes, binge-watching. I also love highway driving, every now and then, on weekends; it helps the mind relax. I like the fact that in long drives I get to listen to awesome road trip playlists without interruption.

Why did you start using Python?

I started writing scripts in C++ for my undergrad research. My thesis was on the study of complex systems; network science, in particular. One of my colleagues then at the lab introduced me to Python when he saw me writing really, really long scripts in C++ to build complex network models. He showed me how I can reduce the 50 or so (or longer) lines of code I wrote in C++ to only a few lines, less than 10 actually, in Python, thanks to all python scientific libraries developers and contributors. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

Other languages are C/C++, R, and MATLAB. I am also familiar with PHP.

But my one and only favorite is Python, of course.

What projects are you working on now?

I am currently working on a couple of research projects involving urban systems modeling, transport systems modeling, analysis and modeling of the spread of (mis/dis)information in social systems, and building predictive models for location analysis.

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

NumPy and SciPy, Matplotlib, PANDAS, scikit-learn, NetworkX, graph-tool, Keras, TensorFlow, H2Oai

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Never stop learning! The world, especially with today’s technologies, has so much to offer.

Thanks for doing the interview, Erika!