Getting Started with Query Understanding
If a user searches for "black clutch", do they mean the purse or the car part? Most search engines approximate understanding users with simple heuristics like TFIDF or BM25. But those can fall short in catastrophic ways, like mixing up car parts and fashion. In this talk I introduce folks to simple techniques they can use to help their search engines truly discern user intent.
AI in Production
This is a talk about the unsexy reality of putting AI stuff in production. The conference decided to put my video on autoplay on their homepage, which at first I considered deeply embarrassing, but I’m trying to be more at peace with myself.
I gave a three-hour seminar/course to librarians at the Metropolitan Library Council about information retrieval (ironic I know). It was super fun but also tremendously challenging.
A Taxonomist, a Software Engineer, and a UX Researcher Walk Into a Bar.
For this talk I was honored to share the stage with User Researcher Jill Fruchter and Taxonomist Jenny Benevento. It’s an amusing story about how we tried to bludgeon discovery to a pulp with AI, and then completely rebooted the effort. Eventually I think we found a really nice balance between human input/guidance and AI systems, which I hope to write more about someday.
Tuples All the Way Down
At Etsy I used to give introductory classes in Scala and Scalding (a Scala Hadoop/Cascading DSL), and Fiona
suggested that I share the love with the public. It's sort of a whirlwind tour through Scala's implicits, Hadoop, Cascading, Scalding usage, and glimpse at Scalding internals. The goal was to leave the audience with a working mental model of Scalding. At this point Spark seems to be the lingua franca of distributed computation, and I wouldn’t recommend Scala to non-masochists, but the talk still probably has some archeological value.
This is my very best McFunley
impression. It’s a talk I gave at a Medium offsite about opportunity sizing and keeping things simple. I regret not taking the opportunity to ask them for the inside scoop on becoming a thought leader.
Experiment Driven Redesigns
This is a talk about redesigning Etsy’s Listing Page, which ended up being the largest experiment-driven win in Etsy’s history. In retrospect I think I may have given people too much license to redesign things, but if you’re going to go down that rabbit hole, best to approach it in a rational data-driven way.
Solr @ Etsy
This a brief tour through some of the things happening with Solr at Etsy circa 2013, including a fun story about the time I brought down our entire network using UDP multicast. I’d like to officially take back any endorsement of Solr plugins. Also, at the time I was rocking a Ringo mustache+haircut, which was maybe not my best look. Love is all you need.