Class of 2023

Photo of Riu Sakaguchi

Riu Sakaguchi

Graduate StudentEmail Riu Sakaguchi

Riu Sakaguchi graduated with honors from Grinnell College in May 2021 as a Phi Beta Kappa inductee with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a concentration in Statistics. Intrigued by the increasing prevalence of data in soccer, Riu’s primary interest during much of his undergraduate studies centered around statistics. However, a growing desire to apply statistical methods to real-world problems combined with relevant experiences fostered his current passion for data science.

During the first half of 2020, Riu was involved in a data science project conducted in collaboration with the Pueblo Zoo. Relying heavily on R, he analyzed several animal data sets and extracted meaningful insights regarding animal behaviors to contribute to the zoo’s leading objective of promoting animal welfare. On a larger scale, Riu worked with his team to develop an interactive data analysis tool for the Pueblo Zoo to further support their efforts in improving animal care. The finished product guaranteed compatibility with a profusion of differing animal data sets, incorporated an automated data cleaning mechanism and provided user-friendly features allowing zookeepers to readily produce valuable infographics. Riu also worked as a research assistant within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Grinnell College, supported by the National Science Foundation IUSE program. He developed multiple new interactive data visualization applications through R Shiny which help statistics educators teach multivariate modeling techniques. Riu also significantly improved the code efficiency of pre-existing shiny applications while simultaneously implementing additional features and enhancing the overall usability through aesthetic refinements.

Riu is thrilled to continue his education at Northwestern University’s MSiA* program, where he is eager to expand his technical skill set and gain invaluable hands-on experience to amply prepare for a career in data science. He is also particularly looking forward to collaborating with industry professionals and engaging in applied projects. Outside of academics, Riu enjoys both playing and watching soccer, exploring new music, and competing in video games.

*later renamed MS in Machine Learning and Data Science