Research Area: Machine Learning
I currently serve as director, research & development, and lead the machine learning group at DisneyResearch|Studios, where we work with predictive and generative models of all varieties and flavors. One of the most unpredictable phenomena I’ve encountered in my career is my career trajectory itself. I originally trained at the University of Miami as a pianist and composer before moving into mathematics. I then worked for years as a journalist, arts critic, editor, and session musician until the draw of a scientific career became too strong to ignore. I went on to earn my M.S. in applied mathematics and my Ph.D. in cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received my postdoctoral training in behavioral economics and machine learning at the California Institute of Technology. It was at Caltech that I first worked on a project for Disney Research. I was energized by the fascinating work—bridging my interests in machine learning and understanding human behavior—and deeply impressed with the quality of the people I was working with. That continues to be the case. I am consistently amazed by the breadth and the depth of the work at Disney Research and by the brilliance, creativity, and humanity of our researchers, engineers, students, postdocs, interns, and staff.