The last year of my study at Eindhoven University of Technology I worked as student assistant supporting a senior researcher in real estate economics. My tasks were to analyse large datasets using modern software (R, Python) and to implement creative solutions and algorithms to tackle data puzzles. My main project was to re-write the Dutch spatial general equilibrium model LUCA from the programming language Stata to Python. The model contains millions of records of the economics of the cities in the Netherlands. With this data the model predicts where people live and work, and how people travel between locations. After rewriting the existing model to Python I changed the code to make it ready for a journal publication which can be found here. In addition, I worked on the application of the model to estimate what the spatial and economic effects are of self-driving vehicles in the Netherlands. More information about this application can be found here.
The questions we tackled and the work I did were quite different from my study in structural design. Getting out of my comfort zone resulted in the development of my skill and mindset. I learnt the basics of econometrics, statistical modelling and data analytics. I expanded my analytical mindset and programming skills. Above all, I got experience in working with large datasets and geometric data. This experience in data structures is now of great value in my daily work.