I’m Fernando Becerra

I'm a data scientist, data visualization developer, and photographer who likes storytelling. As a developer, I explore datasets to find the hidden stories in order to create interactive visualizations that reach a broader audience. As a photographer, I like to capture landscapes and nature to convey their stories through my lens. My work spans a broad range of subjects such as science, photography, politics, sports, education, and many others. Here you are going to find a mix of all of that: data science projects, visualizations, photos, writing, travels, and much more. Thank you for visiting and I hope you get in touch!

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About Me

I was born and raised in Chile, where I got a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Astronomy from Universidad de Chile. After that, I moved to the US to get a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Harvard University. I did astronomy research for over 10 years, where I studied how the formation of stars is related to the properties of the host galaxy and how the first black holes in the Universe formed. After so many years working on astronomy I wanted to try something that would allow me to explore other topics, so I took a data visualization class while I was still in school. I was immediately amazed by its usefulness and versatility and started creating my own projects using datasets such as natural disasters occurrences and exoplanets properties.

Once I graduated in 2018, I moved to the field of information design and took a position as a Data Visualization Developer at Fathom Information Design. There, I was able to combine my computational analysis skills with my passion for telling stories. During the year I spent at Fathom I created tools to explore and understand large document collections. With a lot of creative room to develop my own ideas, I also created a Bob Ross piece to explore his paintings. But at the end of that year I was ready to move on to the next adventure, so I left work and started traveling.

Katy -my partner in life- and I had been thinking about exploring the world for a long time. We planned on taking some time off to travel all the way from Boston to Patagonia by bike, in a project that we called The Slow Traverse. We saved enough money to buy our bikes and all the necessary equipment, and left our home to head towards Kingston, ON, where Katy's grandparents live. It took us 8 days to bike the more than 600 kilometers. We met really wonderful people, we had good and bad days, and the experience was gratifying overall. We restarted our bike trip after we spent some days in Kingston in order to cross Canada all the way to British Columbia, but after a couple of days we decided to stop. We were craving nature, mountains, trees, but the landscape in Ontario wasn't like that, so it was time to come up with another plan.

It took us a few weeks to decide that we wanted to buy a van, build a home inside, and continue on our journey. We bought our van in Toronto, drove it to Katy's parent's in Kentucky, and spent a month and a half building out a beautiful van that ended up being our home for the next few months. We drove West to visit the National Parks in the US: Badlands, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Redwoods, and Yosemite. We then crossed the US-Mexico border and traversed Mexico from Baja California all the way down to Chiapas, and then all the way back up to Tamaulipas. But things happen, we got a bit tired and the COVID-19 pandemic started, so we had to end our trip and returned to our homes to stay safe.

And here we are. I'm currently working as a freelancer developing Data Science and Data Visualization projects. Our plan for the short term is to find a piece of land and build a (not so) tiny house that we can call home. I don't know how long it might take, I don't know if we are going to change our plans yet once again, but it's going to be wonderful. Life is an adventure with ups and downs, and we are always open to new challenges. Whatever it brings, we'll welcome it with open arms.