Q: Who are you? Where are you from?
A: I’m Orkun Bedir who is from the capital of Türkiye which is Ankara. I grew up mostly in Ankara while settling back and forth between the capital and the beautiful Mediterranean City Bodrum over the summers. I can definitely say that nothing makes me happier than a big table near the seaside with some Turkish Rakı and lots of mezes enjoyed over hours of talks with my friends and family. Hence, I guess what and who I miss from Türkiye turns out to be pretty obvious.
Apart from that, I love getting into discussions over history, news and sports as an avid football fan of my team Fenerbahçe. To relax and free my mind, my go to activities are cooking slowly with wood and charcoal over the BBQ, an early morning stop at the gym and playing tennis/football.
Q: What’s your background? What did you do before Modulate?
A: I’m a recent graduate who earned his Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a specialization in Machine Learning & Data Science from the University of Southern California (USC).
Upon earning my Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, I worked as a Machine Learning Engineer & Data Scientist at Enbiosis Biotechnology for a year. My time at Enbiosis, highlighted by securing an $85,000 start-up funding from TUBITAK for a Deep Learning project on predicting macronutrient facts to prevent defrauding in mass transactions, honed my proficiencies in Machine Learning and Data Analytics.
After my first year of graduate studies, I completed an internship at Seagate Technology as a Machine/Deep Learning and Data Science Intern while expanding my hands-on experience for developing applications in Computer Vision and Predictive Modeling by completing two industrial projects with notable outcomes of reducing test time on HDD media units by 35% and localizing defects in a precise manner with a tuned Faster R-CNN Object Detection Pipeline.
During my senior year as a graduate student at USC, I have devised a hybrid approach to improve the interpretability of diagnostic reports created from Chest X-rays via leveraging an effective combination of a novel Mask R-CNN architecture coupled with a Decoder LSTM with an attention mechanism. Exploring Semi-Supervised and Transfer Learning applications, I have also effectively identified potential customers for bank marketing campaigns with Domain Adaptive and Label Propagating strategies despite data shift challenges.
Additionally, acting as a Software Relations Manager at Enbiosis gave me the opportunity to enhance my leadership abilities, as I spearheaded collaborative works while actualizing demonstrations on AI-centered projects to prospective foreign partners for facilitating an expansion on a global scale.
With an unwavering belief in the transformative power of data-centric strategies matched up with innovative applications in Machine Learning, I'm eager to further my knowledge and expertise through Predictive Modeling, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing and Data Analytics and am highly motivated to foster pioneering data-driven solutions throughout my career in Modulate.
Q: Why are you joining Modulate?
A: What struck me deeply about Modulate is the expansive set of opportunities that could be built upon the main product of Modulate, which is ToxMod, in means of devising promising additional use cases of Machine/Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing applications that could be built upon Modulate’s mission of creating safer voice chat environments. Even through the series of interviews that I have had with the wonderful individuals at Modulate and as I gained a little more insight into the works that is being developed, I was able to craft and imagine various additional projects that could be focused upon and which embraced, from my point of view, high probabilities of outputting remarkable business and technical value. In addition to that, upon my transition to work as a Machine Learning Engineer at the expert ML Team at Modulate, I was amazed and felt elated to observe the variety of Machine/Deep Learning led applications that are being worked upon with an open-minded perspective of creating additional projects driven by numerous promising ideas.
To be honest, this was a huge relief and a highlight for me, as I’m offered to prosper through a novel setting which allows me to not only showcase my technical knowledge and experience through the concepts of Machine/Deep Learning and Data Science, but also gives me the chance to be in the crucial setting to develop my non-technical skillset mainly focused on my leadership, demonstration and effective brainstorming capabilities. I’m devoted to excel through the latter, as I genuinely believe in the importance of constantly prospering and evolving through the mentioned qualifications, as an individual who desires to excel in the upcoming years of his industrial career to take on more demanding roles.
Q: What’s your ideal work environment? Any special strategies you use to stay effective?
A: The perfect workspace for me feels like a community where we all view ourselves as part of a collective mission, working hand-in-hand to propel our shared goals forward. In addition to that, I deeply believe that for consistent development, the team that I’m working in should have an open-minded and demanding, yet a positive mindset where we can have joy in brainstorming together without focusing on the inaccessibility of overcoming certain obstacles while acting as an interactive team to devise promising solutions. When we face with drawbacks through the mentioned setting and procedures, we would be even more driven to generate alternatives instead of draining our batteries given that we have a mindset that is open-minded and positive while being realistic and analytical.
Q: Tell us about something you must have in any culture you join?
A: I would most probably refer back to the importance of having an open-minded and demanding, yet a positive mindset where we can have joy in brainstorming together without focusing on the inaccessibility of overcoming certain obstacles while acting as an interactive team to devise promising solutions. Hence, the culture that I would love to be in and thrive through should be driven with a perspective that is open-minded and positive while being realistic and analytical.
Q: Who are you outside of work?
A: Beyond work, I have a keen interest in discussing history, current events, and sports through times filled with shared laughter with lifelong friends and family either while chilling in a serene and natural setting, through a table of Turkish Mezes and Seafood or in a lively night-out. Additionally, to unwind, I find joy in slow-cooking over wood and charcoal BBQ, kick-starting my day with an early gym session and playing football or tennis. Most importantly, I would not be able to describe myself in a paragraph here, so we gotta meet up :).
Q: What’s something you’re great at that few people realize?
A: I would say preparing acid-cooked fresh Sea bass or Sole Fish and cooking BBQ while knowing how to properly treat a specific cut. Also, I would say that I might be able to amaze you with several magic tricks given a deck of cards :)
Q: Leave us with a fun tidbit - a favorite joke, a story from your past, an obscure riddle, whatever you like!
A: I’ll leave you with a piece of writing from Oğuz Atay that we are keen to forget the message that it conveys from time to time.
“The beginning and end of my life were clear; at the very least, I shouldn't miss its midst."