Q: Who are you? Where are you from?
A: My name is J.D. (he/him/his), and I grew up in central Maryland, in between Baltimore and D.C.
Q: What’s your background? What did you do before Modulate?
A: My background is in computer science and applied math. I went to school at Brown and developed a passion for machine learning, which I believe is the most creative quantitative discipline. While a student, I worked in a computer science research group on self-driving car algorithms.
Professionally, I have worked mostly as a software engineer - with various projects spanning self-driving taxi user experience to spacecraft software. Most recently, I worked at an automation technology company, building a document processing pipeline.
Q: Why are you joining Modulate?
A: I want to advance machine learning research, while also building a product that users can enjoy; Modulate is perfect for just that. Furthermore, my past machine learning experience has been predominantly with image data. Because music is one of my other passions, I have always wanted to explore audio data in depth. I know that at Modulate, I will hone my machine learning skills and my audio production skills - two for the price of one!
Q: What’s the voice skin you’re most excited to use, and how do you plan to use it?
A: As a songwriter with a less than stellar voice, I dream of the day that I can use voice skins to make music. Which singer would I choose? Easy pick - Ariana Grande. Regardless of your taste in music, everyone can agree that her singing voice is superior.
Q: What’s your ideal work environment? Any special strategies you use to stay effective?
A: I like being able to move around freely in my workspace, whether it’s a quick lap around the floor, or a change of setting to focus more. Breaks with physical activity or a change in physical space are an essential strategy for me to stay effective. Also, I love being able to talk to my coworkers freely about current projects, the bigger picture, personal happening, or just about anything else. I solve difficult problems most effectively when I collaborate with others.
Q: Who are you outside of work?
A: Friend, brother, son, neighbor, musician, concert-goer, cook, conversationalist, boyfriend, gym rat, hiker, learner, lover, joker, listener, adventurer, and optimist are a few words I hope that my friends and family would use to refer to me.
Q: What’s something you’re great at that few people realize?
A: At the beginning of this year, I started to learn guitar and Portuguese simultaneously. Can I shred on guitar yet? No. Can I have an intelligible conversation in Portuguese? No. BUT, I can play and sing a good number of songs in the bossa nova canon.
Q: Leave us with a fun tidbit - a favorite joke, a story from your past, an obscure riddle, whatever you like!
A: Around 230 million years ago, before dinosaurs existed, there were 9-foot-long crocodiles that roamed North America walking upright on their hind legs. Spooky!