FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018

Pete Cochrane
(904) 610-5640

Jacksonville’s Own Max Wood of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Deliver Keynote Address at Code on the Beach 2018

Max Wood is a software engineer and data scientist working at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is “bringing world-class, cutting edge engineering to social change.” From chanzuckerberg.com: “We are exploring ways to build stronger, more equitable communities. Technology can help remove systemic barriers that limit individual progress. We believe engineers can help accelerate discovery and scale solutions to facilitate social change. By pairing engineers with leaders in education, science, and other high-impact fields, we bring technology to the table in a very special way. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is uniquely positioned to design, build, and scale software systems to help educators, scientists, and policy experts already working on humanity’s greatest challenges.”

Max Wood
Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, Max graduated from the University of North Florida and obtained his Master’s of Science from Florida State University. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area. Before joining CZI, Max worked on the data and organizing teams of the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns; built predictive models and web apps for campaigns, nonprofits, and corporations at 270 Strategies; was software development manager at EverFi, an education technology company; and founded a startup, Deck, focused on building predictive tools for state and local progressive political campaigns. His goal is to make machine learning more accessible and useful to people looking to make the world a better place.

Keynote Address:
Predicting Real World Outcomes with Real World Constraints

All the sources commonly used to understand human behavior through data are deeply imperfect. A number of machine learning approaches for dealing with these problems have emerged, and they're often very useful -- especially for problems like missing records. But it's also possible to take problematic data at face value, warts and all, and do your best to make those imperfections their own kind of signal.

Through my career in political campaigns, education technology, private consulting, and civic tech, I've encountered a huge range of problems with data sources and methods. In this talk, I'll walk through that career, discussing the emergence of modern machine learning and deep learning techniques -- from simple logistic regression to high dimensional entity embeddings -- in practical terms, oriented around predicting complicated questions about human behavior and decision-making with sparse, compromised inputs.

Code on the Beach 2018 is a not-for-profit software conference that takes place August 9-12 at the One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, serving the tech community in Florida and the Southeastern US. This year’s conference will feature more than 40 sessions by some of the smartest and most talented minds working in software development from across the country. Find more information at codeonthebeach.com.

Full PR: http://bit.ly/2LhiZFU