Have you met our Online Media & Web Design extraordinaire?

No?
Luckily for your we’re introducing him today!
Meet Valentin Calomme

So Valentin, what can we wake you up for?
A sporting event. I am a rabid sports enthusiast, it doesn’t matter if it’s curling, cycling, American football or field hockey. The nerd in me can’t get enough of stats linked to the games, which is a big reason why I love watching the NBA or the NFL so much, as Americans also love to go on and on about random stats about the sports they love. I have (too) often woken up or stayed up late to watch games that would be televised in the middle of the night.

What’s your favourite part of being a TEDx Maastricht team member?
The atmosphere in the team is very casual. It never feels like an obligation or drag to “work” for TEDx. Plus, of course, it’s very interesting to see the behind the scenes and being able to meet the speakers.

What’s your favourite foreign accent?
I might surprise some by saying this, but I love the southern twang (not drawl) spoken in the south of the US (Friday Night Lights anyone?). For non-English accents, I surprisingly find German extremely pleasing to the ear.

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
I would love to have a superpower that would help me learn more and faster. It could be infinite photographic memory or the ability to assimilate information faster. I can’t seem to ever want to stop learning new things, so this could come in handy.

Describe yourself in three words:
Nerdy, driven, genuine

What is your role in the TEDX Team?
I have sort of a swiss army knife type position. I tinker with the website and the social media accounts. I come from a technical background so I often help out when computers are involved.

What drew you towards TEDx Maastricht?
I have always liked TED videos and I am a “yes” type of person, so when I was asked if I was interested in joining the team, it was a no-brainer. I thought it would be interesting to be in a more creative environment compared to what I am used to in my studies or job (applied mathematics/data science/machine learning). Plus, I think it’s a nice way to show that “nerds” aren’t anti-social or completely numb to any kind of creative contents.

What is your background?
I was born and raised in Belgium and after high school, I decided to take a gap year and redo a year of high school in the US, for fun. After that, I joined Maastricht University and started to study data science. I am now, 4 years later, finishing my master’s and working on the side as a data scientist at a local IT company. I love challenges and I have a “why not” mentality, which is, when I look back, why I am the person that I am today and what I have had the opportunities that I have had along the way.