ATTN: Dylan Cashman
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5000
- Visual analytics
- Data science
- MS in computer science, Tufts University
- BS in mathematics, Brown University
Where did you grow up?
White Plains, New York.
What are the specifics of your educational background?
I received a bachelor’s of science in mathematics from Brown University in 2010. I worked as a software developer in Boston for four years after college, and then I started my graduate study at Tufts University in 2014, where I received a master’s degree in 2016. I expect to receive my doctorate in computer science in 2020.
What is your research focus?
In my research I apply visualization techniques to help domain scientists and data scientists make better choices about the machine learning models they use. This frequently involves using visualizations as affordances to make machine learning and artificial intelligence more interpretable. I’ve always believed that many subjects that are derided as complex and technical like machine learning are at their core simple concepts with a lot of window dressing and obfuscation. I think that visualization can provide an intuitive medium for interacting with and understanding machine learning.
What courses/subjects do you teach?
I teach DS 4200: Information Presentation and Visualization.
What do you enjoy most about what you teach?
In my course, we do a lot of sketching and ideation, and I’m amazed at the breadth of creativity of my students.
How did you become interested in your field?
During undergrad, I worked as a teaching assistant and led sections in math classes. I found it fascinating the some subset of students would understand one representation of a concept, like an equation, while another subset of students would react more to a graphical representation like a graph. I realized that visualizations could be effective representations for all sorts of complex topics.
What are the specifics of your industry experience?
I worked as a full-stack web developer at Annkissam, a software company in Boston that works with health care nonprofits across the country. In that position, I also managed a few different software teams. During graduate school, I worked as a consultant for various small organizations doing web development and maintenance.