Statistics & Machine Learning
I am a Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Own Company, one of the world’s top private cloud companies, according to the Forbes Cloud 100. As the first machine learning hire at Own, I am helping the company establish its machine learning team and enhance its products with data-driven insights.
I previously worked at Zelus Analytics for about four years. As one of the first hires at Zelus, I helped the startup grow into a 70-person company and build an industry-leading sports intelligence platform. Our group provided cutting-edge research and consulting to professional teams in Serie A (AC Milan) and Ligue 1 (Toulouse FC) ⚽️, MLB ⚾️, the NBA 🏀, the NFL 🏈, the NHL 🏒, and the IPL 🏏 as well as to professional golf ⛳️ players, e-sports 🎮 organizations, and college teams in various sports.
In the past, I interned with the Sacramento Kings and ShotTracker. In these roles, I collaborated closely with front-office members, coaches, players, and scouts to empower them with data-oriented decision-making tools. I built data analytics software for teams to evaluate player performance and for broadcasters such as Fox Sports and CBS Sports to display real-time visualizations on national television.
My academic interests lie in the field of statistical machine learning. In my master’s studies at Columbia, I had the opportunity to conduct mentored research under Dr. Andrew Gelman’s supervision and contribute to Stan. In addition, I worked with Dr. Bob Carpenter as a guest researcher at Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Mathematics (CCM) in New York, and spent a summer as a research assistant for Dr. Aki Vehtari in the Probabilistic Machine Learning (PML) group of the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University in Finland.
At college, I served as co-president of the Brown Sports Analytics Club and helped the club initiate an undergraduate research group and launch a for-credit sports analytics course. For my senior capstone project, I studied probabilistic chess rating systems, including Elo and Glicko, and applied them to soccer data to rank teams and predict future performance. This project earned the Undergraduate Statistics Capstone Award of Excellence at Brown. I studied Mandarin throughout college and spent a summer in East Asia, taking Chinese language, religion, and politics classes.
In my spare time, I entertain my cat, Pera, play chess on lichess.org, or kick a soccer ball around. I hold a USSF C soccer coaching license. I frequently volunteer my time and energy to advance statistics education in my home country, Turkey. I have mentored underrepresented students and provided statistical consulting to tech startups and professional sports teams, including Galatasaray SK and the Turkey women’s national basketball team. I am happy to share my experience with students considering a career in statistics, machine learning, or sports analytics.
M.A. in Statistics, 2021-22
Columbia University, New York, NY, US
B.Sc. in Statistics, 2015-19
Brown University, Providence, RI, US
Science Track, 2010-15
Galatasaray High School, Istanbul, Turkey