who am i?

As the URL suggests, my name is Nathan Cooper Jones. I’m a data scientist currently living in Chicago. 

I currently work at The Mom Project, where I am responsible for building the next generation of our match algorithm, which pairs projects with relevant talent, talent with relevant projects, talent with relevant talent, and projects with relevant projects – all in a single model. Our mission is to enable moms to work at incredible companies that fit into their life.

Before this, I worked at ShopRunner, where I built their next generation of recommendations, internally known as Collie. The best part of that was that it’s not a secret project, but exactly the opposite – you can view all the code we use to train their models here on GitHub. Collie is a scalable, flexible library for building out hybrid collaborative filtering models capable of providing incredibly personalized user-item and item-item recommendations (even if you provide it no metadata). Also at ShopRunner, I developed low-latency fraud models for both supervised and unsupervised settings, where I learned the pleasures (and pains) of optimizing a model to run inference in 20ms or less.

Previously, I’ve worked at the Geena Davis Institute, where I was a researcher and eventually promoted to Senior Data Scientist. I started this job as a freshman in college and had the pleasure of learning so much about the world of research while working with some incredible people. Here, I worked to deprecate the GD-IQ with a new model known as Fire Saga, a multi-task classification model able to identify, classify, and cluster faces of characters in film, TV, and advertisements on a handful of perceived identities. As a data science team of one, I also found myself on a number of random smaller projects, including an NLP analysis of potentially offensive Twitch chat messages, setting up our cloud infrastructure, building a tool to parse film scripts, and so much more. It was a lot of fun, but tough work!

Before that, I was a lot of different things – I was a research assistant at the Computational Physiology Lab @ the University of Houston for a summer, a tap dance instructor, a tutor, a researcher (somehow very different work than the aforementioned research assistant) a T.A., a web developer… a whole lot. I started teaching dance at the age of 14 and have worked since then doing something!

When I’m not doing work, I’m usually ranting about how great Taco Bell is, eating Taco Bell, or planning my next visit to Taco Bell. I also love taking walks around Chicago with my girlfriend Jen, trying to make homemade pasta that tastes almost as good as the boxed stuff, playing games on my Switch, rewatching Bojack Horseman, and Taco Bell. In the past, I used to be a professional dancer (proof here) and musician (something I am hoping to get back into soon).

When I was in college and thought I was really funny, this used to be a much stupider page. If you’d like to see that, I’ve archived it here