"The way to be is to do." Confucius
I am a Forward Deployed Engineer on the Philanthropy team at Palantir in Palo Alto, CA. I have also interned with the Engineering team at Plum District (Summer 2012; San Francisco, CA) and the Social team at TripAdvisor (Winter 2011-2012; Newton, MA).
I graduated from Rice University (2010-2013) in Houston, TX, with a dual degree in mathematics and physics. I plan to pursue a PhD in computer science beginning Fall 2014. My research interests involve applying artificial intelligence and machine learning in novel contexts outside of the traditional realm of computer science, such as computational healthcare and music.
See my resume for a more complete description of my skills.
Although technology is the cornerstone of my professional life, I am actively interested in music, photography, writing, reading, travelling, and learning about anything new.
I was born near Ann Arbor, MI, and grew up near Tulsa, OK.
I worked with Dr. Paul Padley in the physics department at Rice University to use machine learning to find evidence of supersymmetric top quarks. We are using phenomenological data provided by researchers from Texas A&M who have authored a paper on a search strategy.
I worked with Dr. Kurt Stallmann to determine the key of a piece of music given only its melodic line as well as generating a complementary harmonic progression. This is a tricky task to do automatically because:
We define consonance and scale membership correlations to select the best key for an input score. We then use those same correlations along with a limited key set (due to the new knowledge of the supposed key) to generate the complementary harmonic progression.
Poster: Analysis of Melody Through Key Definition and Generation of Complementary Harmonies, presented at the 2012 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Using an input melodic line as a theme, we use a genetic algorithm to generate a variation that sounds similar to, but exactly the same as, the original. We represent musical works like a "gene" by representing pitches numerically in discrete time. We then modify the gene pool via methods from natural selection in an iterative fashion until we reach a convergence threshold:
We were able to obtain variations that had similar characterisitics of the original piece. However, the variations lacked tonal coherence or sense of rhythm.
We analyzed the emergence of norms, or social conventions, over social networks of different topologies. In particular, we studied various kinds of scale-free and ring networks, which often represent connections in real-world social networks. Each node in the network can choose from a variety of different options as its "action", and norms arise over time as agents "play" each other with their actions at each time step. The actions are orthogonal, so that two nodes with the same action receive a positive reward, and two nodes with differing actions receive a negative penalty. Over time, this causes nodes to gravitate to a single action, which is the norm.
Aside from testing the actual convergence of the networks, we examined particular properties, such as how the speed of convergence varies with network topology and number of actions to choose from.
Publication: Sen, O. and Sen, S. Effects of Social Network Topology and Options on Norm Emergence. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence Vol. 6069, p. 211-222, Springer-Verlag, 2010. (paper, presentation at COIN@IJCAI09)
The Tragedy of the Commons is a social dilemma where a society of individuals shares a common resource with a load threshold where performance peaks (e.g., herdsmen with cattle sharing a pasture). In this situation, individual greedy behavior leads to total system performance loss. We propose a solution using aspiration levels in combination with Q-learning to control the agents' behaviors and stabilize the system. We vary multiple parameters that characterize the system, namely population size, the environmental factor (i.e., the rate of penalty after crossing the threshold), and the learning rate (with respect to Q-learning).
Publication: Sen, O. and Sen, S. Solving the Tragedy of the Commons by Adapting Aspiration Levels. Proceedings of COIN@IJCAI09. San Diego, CA, July 11, 2009. (paper, presentation given at COIN@IJCAI09)
I was a Course Assistant for ELEC 241, taught by Don Johnson at Rice University. Here are some short handouts reviewing the concepts and mathematics behind the class.
I went to the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics for my last two years of high school. This is a collection of notes from the classes I took there.
Simple Charts is a collection of responsive multi-option charts that visually update in real-time. Currently, I have implemented two-option pie and bar charts as well as a grade distribution bar chart. This was a project I used to learn the basics of the visualization frameworks D3.js and NVD3.js. This project is under development.
Rice University's South Asian Society (SAS) is a secular, non-partisan student organization dedicated to spreading awareness of the cultures of South Asia through language, song, dance, and service. I helped redesign their website in partnership with Vinita Israni, a graphic designer. I continue to maintain this site.
Catalyst is Rice University's undergraduate science research journal that provides an avenue for students to present their own research or provide commentary on topics of interest. I redesigned and currently maintain this website.
Vote.me is a distributed election system I created to learn Ruby on Rails and is under development.
I sing and play piano and guitar. I have recorded a number of covers of popular English and Hindi songs as well as produced my own instrumental interpretations. I have also directed Sangleet, a 15-minute musical.
I take pictures in my spare time. I mainly do abstract and landscape photography, but I am diversifying my skills and trying out many different genres. I am also a photographer for Rice University's Visual and Dramatic Arts Department.
Occasionally, I write essays, poems, and general thoughts about things I find interesting.
Over the last 2 years, I have become passionate about dancing, particularly a hybrid of Bollywood and hip-hop dance. This semester, I am teaching COLL 115 (Intro to Bollywood and Fusion Dancing) at Rice University.
At times, perspectives on issues form in my head that I like to codify and share with others.
I enjoy travelling; here are some of my memories from places I've visited. Most, if not all, of these are incomplete.
I sometimes enjoy writing pieces which do not articulate a particular position as in my musings but rather offer a romanticized view of the world around me. This usually comes in the form of poetry or short vignettes.
After reading books that have affected my way of thinking, I like to write about how they have done so.
Sometimes I get the opportunity to attend interesting talks, and I like to keep record of what was said so I can revisit the thoughts later.