Parfait Munezero has recently defended a PhD in statistics at Stockholm University and is now a Data Scientist in Ericsson, Sweden. But before that, Parfait was an enumerator in our first projects. We talked to him to find out more about his career in advanced statistics.
Parfait, when did you work for Laterite? And what was your role?
I was a lead enumerator in one of Laterite first projects in 2011. Our job was to call households in Rwanda for a market research on perceptions of internet usage and willingness to pay for different types of internet packages. At the time there was no office and we worked from a restaurant. This is also before SurveyCTO and we collected the data in excel sheets.
Later I worked on another project with coffee farmers. We visited households for a face-to-face survey on coffee production, yields, and farmers’ livelihoods.
Were you studying at the time?
Yes, at the time I was finishing my Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics at the former Kigali Institute of Technology, which now the colleges of technology of the University of Rwanda. It was during my time at Laterite that I became interested in data analysis and what you can do with data. This is why I decided to specialize in Statistics.
And what did you do after your graduation?
I worked as a teaching assistant in my department. But I wanted to continue my studies and I was applying for Masters’ programs abroad. Finding a scholarship was difficult but I was accepted with full support to study Statistics and Data Mining at Lingköping University in Sweden.
I wrote my thesis in Ericsson where I developed a Bayesian model for analyzing Mobile network traffic. The main objectives of the thesis were to find frequent patterns in the traffic and propose a probabilistic model for simulating the patterns.
Did you start your PhD right after your Masters?
After I finished my thesis, Ericsson offered me a job. At the same time I wanted to do a PhD and I got an offer at Stockholm University. So I was caught in a dilemma: what should I do? Take the job, or continue with my studies? In the end I decided to go for the PhD.
What did you work on?
My research was focused on computational statistics, specifically on the dynamic models that we can use to predict phenomena that change over time. I worked on algorithms that can be used to make such predictions – how to optimize them and also how to make these algorithms computationally efficient. After a couple of years, I started working at Ericsson part-time.
And what are you doing now?
Now I am working full time in Ericsson as a data scientist in the area of software testing. I belong to a small team of data scientists and engineers. Our main goal is to build intelligent tools that facilitate the software testing process.
Parfait Munezero’s PhD dissertation “Bayesian Sequential Inference for Dynamic Regression Models” was defended in December 2020.