I am a Machine Learning Scientist working at TripAdvisor, one of the world's largest travel-related websites. I am broadly interested in Bayesian interpretations of machine learning/statistics: currently, I spend my days applying these tools to TripAdvisor's repository of large-scale structured and unstructured user-generated/business-related data.
I recently earned my PhD working with Donald Katz in the Neuroscience graduate program at Brandeis University where I was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Predoctoral Fellow . My PhD work lies at the confluence of neuroscience, dynamical systems, machine learning and the evolutionary basis of animal behavior. In the Katz lab, I studied how the processing of tastes in the brain leads to consumption or rejection decisions. For this work, I performed chronic electrophysiological recordings from large multi-electrode arrays implanted in rodents actively engaged in consumption tasks. I built probabilistic (Bayesian) graphical models to understand the neural population-level firing patterns obtained from such large-scale recordings; these statistical models, together with precisely-timed optogenetic perturbations of neural activity, have revealed a unique temporally-specific role for sensory cortex in taste-related decision making. To know more about this work, please look at my PhD research.
I am deeply committed to making research and machine learning tools more accessible through open-source contributions. During my PhD, the centerpiece of these efforts was the development of a flexible open-source electrophysiology hardware and software system that can combine optical fibers for optogenetics with long-term recordings from over 1000 electrodes in awake rodents at a fraction of the cost of commercially-available solutions. Much of this work was supported by the Brandeis University Maker Lab and cloud computing resources on the Jetstream supercomputer of the NSF.
Prior to my PhD, I worked with Vijay Kumar Sharma and Sheeba Vasu in the Evolutionary and Organismal Biology (EOBU) unit of the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore. I studied eclosion and activity circadian rhythms in fruit flies from a dynamical systems perspective (based on Arthur Winfree's ideas).