Juan David Martinez Gordillo
First Name: Juan David
Last Name: Martinez Gordillo
Graduation Year: 2021
Country: Colombia
Education: Universidad del Rosario


MIDS has a unique standing among data science programs in the world. First, it emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of data science and seeks to educate students on an environment both collaborative and academically diverse. Second, its small cohort size is an advantage to our learning process, facilitating the interaction with faculty and our fellow classmates. Third, MIDS was born in Duke's Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), a world-class center that offers countless opportunities for harnessing the power of data science through social science research. Lastly, MIDS curriculum's flexibility, including its capstone, fits every student's interests and opens up a vast amount of academic resources that an elite university such as Duke offers.

What excites you about data science?

My experience has taught me that competitive advantages can be sustained through data-based innovation and that Colombia can succeed by promoting a data-driven culture and developing specialized human capital centered on data literacy. The world is facing a new revolution and information should be the cornerstone of our modern society’s conception of transferable knowledge.

What research area are you most interested in?

  • Adversarial machine learning, machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement learning, computer vision, causal inference, natural language processing, and feature engineering
  • How to effectively turn dirty and unprocessed datasets into fully-deployed data products. 
  • Data Science ethics and its implications in the private sector and government contexts
  • Enhancing the reliability of self-reported data records through the use of machine learning and game theory
  • Design of information systems and surveys

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy swimming and playing table tennis. I really like to stay informed about technology, especially computer hardware. I love food and procure to try new things constantly. Driving entertains me and lately, I find walking to be a simple way to meditate and relax.

What is one interesting fact about you?

I am very enthusiastic about top-level higher education. When I visited Oxford University, as a tourist, I sneaked into an art history class. Later, I was caught by a guard and kicked out of the building.