Welcome to my website! I'm currently a data scientist at Khan Academy -- for the past few years, I've been working as the Engineering Lead for our SAT product, providing free world-class test-prep for anyone, anywhere!
Before starting at Khan Academy, I was a fellow at Insight Data Science in Mountain View, CA, working on a web app called PickYourFiction. This is a custom book recommender that allows the user to select arbitrary features that they like or dislike in books. The app uses data from the Amazon and Goodreads APIs as well as a number of other sources to generate as much text about each book as possible, then uses Python with nltk and scikit-learn for natural language processing, etc. The base recommendation engine uses a combination of the genre, sales info, descriptions, reviews, etc. to measure document similarity between books, and then biases these recommendations based upon the presence or absence of user-selected features.
Prior to becoming involved in data science, I was a Ph.D. student in Physics at Harvard University, and was interested in the patterns of molecular diversity caused by selection. For an overview of my research, check out the research page. Or, if you're interested in more details, check out the publications/presentations page, which includes links to each of our publications and several different posters/talks.
Recently, I have become very interested in applications of machine learning to my research. My current research project involves trying to classify populations that have undergone significant amounts of selection in their evolutionary history, as opposed to populations that have undergone population expansion, which can lead to a very similar signal. For information about this project, as well as information about my experience becoming involved in data science competitions at kaggle.com, check out the machine learning blog.
In addition to research and data science, I'm a huge fan of strategy games, both on the computer and especially board games. I'm an avid pianist and enjoy playing several team sports, including softball and flag football.
Some other random links:
1. This is a demo of a Reading Program I built as part of a Khan Academy Hackathon.
2. The recording isn't great, but here's a quick example of a song I wrote.