Emanuel Azcona, PhD
Data Scientist, NIKE, Inc., Product Creation & Merchandising
Emanuel has come a long way since his days at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he found his passion for engineering and computer science. It was during this time at Tandon that Emanuel discovered a love for research, beginning with a summer research opportunity working with Tandon alumnus and faculty, Dr. Luciano Medina, Ph.D. This experience sparked Emanuel's interest in academic research, leading him to pursue further research within the Electrical Engineering undergraduate program under the guidance of Professor Ivan Selesnick. With Professor Selesnick's mentorship, Emanuel completed an undergraduate thesis on tree-based methods for predicting playoff contention in the NBA using individual player stats.
After completing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Tandon in 2017, Emanuel embarked on his journey to Northwestern University to pursue a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Under the guidance of Professor Aggelos K. Katsaggelos, he joined the Image & Video Processing Lab, where he earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2019 and ultimately defended his doctoral dissertation on Geometric deep learning in neuroimaging and human reward behavior in 2022.
During his time at Northwestern, Emanuel has authored and contributed to several papers for academic journals and conferences. He has also gained invaluable industry experience as an AI intern at Stats Perform and as a Graduate Data Science Intern at NIKE, Inc., working with the Sport Activity Data Science team. In 2023, Emanuel returned to Nike as a full-time Data Scientist, initially joining the same team he interned with before transitioning to the Product Creation & Merchandising Data Science team. At Nike, he uses data-driven techniques to tackle challenging consumer problems, drive innovation, and improve business outcomes around product creation and color sciences.
Emanuel attributes much of his success to the strong foundation laid during their time at NYU Tandon, especially through the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). His experience at Tandon, including internships and research opportunities, shaped his career trajectory and fostered a passion for learning that continues to this day. Emanuel's advice for current students is to try and step outside their comfort zone and pursue interests both inside and outside their degree of study during their academic journey, as these experiences can be extremely beneficial in shaping one's career path.
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL – 2022
M.S. Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL – 2019
B.S. Electrical Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, NY – 2017
High School for Construction Trade, Engineering, and Architecture (HSCTEA), Queens, NY – 2012