Thomas Levi, PhD (physics), Senior Data Scientist, PlentyOfFish
Thomas Levi started out with a doctorate in Theoretical Physics and String Theory from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. His post-doctoral studies in cosmology and string theory, where he wrote 19 papers garnering 700+ citations, then took him to NYU and finally UBC. In 2012, he decided to move into industry, and took on the role of Senior Data Scientist at POF. Thomas has been involved in diverse projects such as behaviour analysis, social network analysis, scam detection, Bot detection, matching algorithms, topic modelling and semantic analysis.
Company Bio: At PlentyOfFish, relationships are in our DNA. From our beginnings as a small start-up out of Founder and CEO Markus Frind's apartment in 2003, we've been bringing people together to communicate, grow and pursue meaningful connections. With over 90 million users worldwide being served by our 75 employees, we're structured for efficiency and focus on what matters to our users - building lasting relationships. PlentyOfFish features apps for iPhone Android and iPad, and well over 4 million people log in to use the service each day. We remain an industry leader by constantly innovating change, taking risks and finding new ways for singles to meet and find love.
Emily Zhao, PhD (immunology), Director of Advanced Analytics, IMS Health
Emily Zhao is a Director of Advanced Analytics in Global Statistical Services at IMS Health. She has extensive experience in marketing and sales analytics, including marketing mix modeling, segmentation and targeting. She also draws on her diverse knowledge and experience in consumer analytics to construct pharmaceutical multi-channel marketing analytics methodologies, including ROI analysis, campaign management, optimization and forecasting. Prior to IMS, Dr. Zhao held positions as marketing analytics director at Farmers Insurance and UnitedHealth Group. She led predictive modeling for consumer targeting, media purchase modeling and optimization for TV and digital channels, and advanced campaign test design/analyses. Earlier in her career, she had worked as an analyst in marketing and sales analytics at Schering-Plough (now Merck). Dr. Zhao has served as a speaker at the Pharmaceutical Management Science Association Annual Conference and a panelist at the Big Data & Analytics for Pharma Conference. She holds a PhD in Immunology and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She also earned a Marketing Certificate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Matt Holtman, PhD (sociology), Vice President of Learning Analytics, CorpU
Matt Holtman is Vice President of Learning Analytics at CorpU, a Philadelphia startup that provides online executive education to Fortune 500 companies. Matt completed his PhD in Sociology at Penn in 2003. Trained in medical sociology and deviance, Matt wrote his dissertation on adverse outcomes of surgery with a focus on the intersection of technological failure and the social construction of mistakes. Over the past 10 years, Matt has launched a program to improve professionalism in medical training; managed evaluations of child labor elimination programs in 30 countries; built machine learning systems to identify hospital billing errors; and conducted experiments to increase social network connectivity in an online product innovation course. He draws on his research training every day and continues to teach and publish on a regular basis. He is keen to share his experiences with graduate students interested in careers outside the academy.
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