I’m a senior manager of data of science at Capital One, where I lead the model infrastructure team for our models in collections and recoveries.
I did my undergrad at William and Mary, where I studied biology and math. I did my PhD in Integrative Biology at University of Texas at Austin, a top-10 program, where I was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. My research was focused on understanding how animals make important decisions (like choosing a mate or social group), in particular because models of behavior make strict assumptions about choice behavior that are routinely violated in humans. A lot of my PhD work involved using computer vision and animations to make my experiments robust, repeatable, and high-throughput. You can find the results of much of this work on the publications tab.
In my final year of grad school, I took a data science internship at Anaconda and worked with the McCombs Business School, leading a team of MBA and law school students on consulting projects with various early-stage startups. When I graduated, I briefly joined an AI-based startup, then transitioned to a role at Capital One in 2019.
Since joining Capital One, I’ve been involved in several projects, from building models using cutting-edge ML techniques to creating patent-pending systems for personalization. My experiences have taught me the importance of executing well: you can build a highly predictive model, but if you can’t debug it, scale it, understand it, or defend it, the utility of that model is low. Thus the emphasis in my work is on execution quality: I believe in creating simple, correct, understandable systems that can evolve and improve over time.
I currently lead a team charged with enabling rapid refits our our models, improving and elevating how we monitor our models, and improving standards and tooling across our partner teams.
I am a constant learner. The world is constantly changing and in my view, the ability adapt and update the way you look at the world is essential. I also find learning immensely rewarding on its own.
When I first got to grad school, I gave a talk to my new department. A senior faculty member whose work I admired showed up: I was both nervous but also elated he would show up to my talk. As soon as I hit my acknowledgements slide, he sprinted towards exit sign and out of the room. Since then, I’ve realized the ability to communicate effectively is foundational. I spent many days holed up in the library reading books about how to write better, give more effective presentations, and talk to people to better communicate my ideas. I’m still constantly thinking through how to best persuade someone to see my point of view or communicate a decision.
My personal motto is ‘always be better’: I’m constantly looking for ways to improve. I go to bed reading books to hone my thinking better and guard against cognitive biases. I’m always on the search for new tools or approaches that allow me to do things better, faster, or smarter.