Justin Skycak (pr: Sky-zack)
I develop quantitative models & algorithms that emulate the behavior of human experts. In particular, I specialize in developing interpretable models that combine mathematical theory with human intuition. LinkedIn
Currently: I'm developing the algorithms, knowledge graph, and content that drive Math Academy's fully automated and personalized online learning system. Like any sport, learning math is all about 1) completing training exercises in a scaffolded sequence, 2) doing them often enough that you don't get out of shape, and 3) having enough fun to keep you motivated. So, we're creating a granular network of high-quality lessons, serving those lessons (and reviews) to students at the appropriate times, and making the learning experience as enjoyable as possible. Our curriculum extends from prealgebra all the way through university-level math.
Background: I earned a BS in Mathematics from Notre Dame, a MS in Computer Science (Machine Learning track) from Georgia Tech, and have done plenty of interesting things with math, including building predictive models for businesses while working as a data scientist, simulating and proving properties of biological neural networks, and completing two particle physics research projects that improved CERN and Fermilab particle detectors. I also tutored & taught math for nearly a decade, culminating in (currently) developing and teaching one of the most advanced high school applied math/CS sequences in the world, Math Academy's Eurisko sequence.
Future: My focus will be on Math Academy until it is perfected into the ideal learning system that I longed for while growing up and is a household name among families with gifted students. I'm also interested in recommender systems and the idea of figuring out leading indicators that determine how big of a hit a pop song or comedy-drama TV series is going to be.
- Music. I taught myself guitar in grade school and still pick it up every once in a while to experiment with new improvisational ideas. I learned viola too, but haven't kept it up since high school. During college, I spent a chunk of time on music production. I listen to music all the time while working.
- Movies / TV Series. Mostly comedy-drama. Favorites, in order of most recently discovered: Ted Lasso, Atypical, Black Summer, 90210, Never Have I Ever, Queen's Gambit, Merlin, Leap Year, Hart of Dixie, Gilmore Girls, Friends, 3 Idiots, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Freaks and Geeks, HIMYM.
- Fitness. I played hockey and did a bunch of weightlifting/bodybuilding in high school, then stopped, and have recently gotten back into shape with gymnastic rings and parallel bars.
- Writing. I've written several textbooks for fun as a way to consolidate and clarify my quantitative intuition.