Ellen Considine is a senior majoring in applied math and minoring in statistics, economics and geography (emphasizing GIS/remote sensing and global public health). She is intrigued by data science applications for the social and environmental good, specifically in the fields of public health, environmental sustainability and education. Since September 2017, Ellen has worked as an undergraduate data science intern on the Earth Lab environmental health science team (led by Professor Colleen Reid), researching the impact of air pollution from wildfires in the western US on human health. Currently, the team is using machine learning to estimate air pollution across the eleven western states from 2008-2018. For this project, Ellen works on engineering the machine learning model, writing code in R and Python to automatically download and process large environmental data sets (inputs for the machine learning model), and helping write white papers and grants. For previous health analyses, she has helped with statistical code, data visualizations and writing papers and grants. 

In summer 2017, Ellen also began working with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment and Denver Public Schools to analyze air pollution data and asthma medication usage data collected by the new Air Quality Community Action Network, a Bloomberg Mayors Challenge Initiative. Colleen Reid advises Ellen for this project in addition to the wildfire smoke project. 

Beyond school and research, Ellen is heavily involved with CU Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a student organization which partners with professionals and community members in the US and abroad to design and implement sustainable development projects. Her experiences with EWB have helped open her eyes to the potential for modern technology and education to help reduce risk in communities which are particularly vulnerable to environmental, economic and public health threats. 

In spring 2019, Ellen was awarded both the Goldwater and Astronaut scholarships (prestigious national scholarships recognizing undergraduate STEM research), and her 3-person team’s submission to the COMAP International Mathematical Contest in Modeling data science problem (modeling the spread of the opioid epidemic in Appalachia) was one of six out of more than 5,000 papers worldwide to be designated “Outstanding”. 

This year, Ellen is applying to PhD programs in biostatistics, specializing in environmental health. In the long term, she aspires to advance the use of data science in helping make environmental public health monitoring, evaluation, and policy implementation more efficient, transparent, and equitable. 

In her free time, Ellen enjoys trail running, biking, cross-country skiing and playing the clarinet.