I have spent over a decade applying statistical learning, artificial intelligence, and software engineering to political, social, and humanitarian efforts. I am the Director of Machine Learning at the Wikimedia Foundation. Previously, I was the Director of Data Science at Devoted Health, Director of Data Science at the Kenyan startup BRCK, cofounded the AI startup Yonder, created the data science podcast Partially Derivative, was the Director of Data Science at the humanitarian non-profit Ushahidi, and was the director of the low-resource technology governance project at FrontlineSMS. I also wrote Machine Learning For Python Cookbook (O’Reilly 2018) and created Machine Learning Flashcards.

I earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis researching the quantitative impact of civil wars on health care systems. I earned a B.A. from the University of Miami, where I triple majored in political science, international studies, and religious studies.

Selected Experience

  • Director of Machine Learning, Wikimedia Foundation, June 2020 - Present
  • Director of Data Science, Devoted Health, July 2018 - April 2020
    • Created a psychologically safe and high output team culture during a period of explosive growth and high pressure
    • Developed and drove a data science recruitment and candidate evaluation pipeline that grew the team from 3 to 10 in less than a year
    • Designed and deployed the company’s data science architecture from scratch
    • Created a company-wide data driven culture with over 90% of the company’s 415 employees active users of analytics and an analytics platform with a DAU/MAU ratio of 0.5
    • Shipped a sales analytics system that drove Devoted’s ~400% growth in the 2020 open enrollment
    • Shipped a mail targeting system determining millions of dollars in advertising spending
    • Shipped a financial tracking system accurately handling tens of millions of events
  • Director of Data Science, BRCK, June 2017 - July 2018
    • Implemented a data science and machine learning strategy across the company
    • Built the company’s data science architecture from the ground up
    • Deployed machine learning models that improved network performance, lowered operating cost, and identified optimal deployment locations
  • Co-founder, Yonder, 2015 - 2016
    • Led the technical team that shipped the first version of the product on time and on budget
  • Director of Data Science, Ushahidi, 2013 - 2015
    • Recruited and managed a team of data scientists analyzing and modeling mobile messaging during humanitarian crises
    • Designed, built, and launched an open API of humanitarian crisis data
  • Project Director, FrontlineSMS, 2011 - 2013
    • Incorporated free, open source SMS messaging software into local humanitarian, intl. development, and election monitoring actions around the world.

Selected Projects

  • Creator, ChrisAlbon.com, 2015 - Present
    • Created one of the most popular Python and Machine Learning tutorial sites online
    • Personally wrote over 600 technical tutorials on Python, Pandas, Scala, SQL, Scikit-Learn, Keras, PyTorch, command line, and more
    • Serves over 20,000 unique visitors every weekday
  • Author, Machine Learning Flashcards, 2018 - Present
    • Created 300 hand-drawn digital flashcards describing concepts in machine learning
    • Sold almost 10,000 copies and helped dozens of folks get jobs in machine learning
  • Author, Machine Learning With Python Cookbook, O‚ÄôReilly Media, 2018
    • Authored the Python machine learning book in O’Reilly Media’s cookbook series
    • Book is a highly regarded desk reference for working data scientists with 4.6 stars on Amazon
  • Co-founder & Co-host, Partially Derivative, 2014 - 2017
    • Co-founded a popular podcast on data science and machine learning.

Education

  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Davis. 2012
    • Dissertation: “Civil Wars And Health Systems”, a quantitative analysis of the determinants of rebel and government behavior towards health system destruction and reconstruction using original data
    • Fields: International Relations, Quantitative Methodology, and Epidemiology
  • M.A., Political Science, University of California, Davis. 2010
    • Thesis: “U.N. Peace Operations And Public Health After Civil War”
  • B.A., University of Miami, Miami, FL. 2006
    • Triple majored in political science, international studies, and religious studies