I’m a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in Prof. Jason H. Moore’s lab researching artificial intelligence and applying state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to biomedical problems. Prior to coming to Penn, I spent 4 years working on my dual Ph.D. in Computer Science & Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB) with Prof. Chris Adami at Michigan State University, culminating in a Ph.D. thesis on the evolution of intelligent animal behavior that guides much of my research today.

Randal S. Olson

I attended the University of Central Florida for my undergraduate degree in Computer Science. During my time there, I was awarded the prestigious Department of Defense SMART Scholarship to complete an undergraduate Honors thesis on automated methods for robots to learn to walk with Prof. Kenneth Stanley.

On the weekends, I’ve taken up a “data tinkering” hobby where I tackle a new data analysis problem every week. If I find something interesting, I report my findings on my personal blog. My work has been featured all over the web and in the news, including the New York Times, Wired, and FiveThirtyEight. I occasionally collaborate with the media, academics, and companies on data analysis and visualization projects that I find important. Please feel free to contact me me if you have a project that you think would be a good fit.

You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook, where I post new data visualizations every day. (They’re not always created by me.) I’m also a community leader for the popular data visualization subreddit /r/DataIsBeautiful, which now serves over 2 million unique readers every month.

When I’m not glued to the computer working on research, I enjoy hiking, geocaching, weight lifting, playing PC and board games, karaoke, and taste testing the fine products of Philadelphia’s breweries. I also regularly travel around the U.S. to teach researchers scientific computing skills at Software Carpentry workshops. I’m always looking for something new to do or try, so if you need a partner for your latest adventure, send me an email.

Last but not least, I’m a proud dog owner and enthusiast. Pictured below is my basenji / jack russell mix, Zack. He is a little ball of energy and happiness that never ceases to make me smile.

Photo: Zack

My little bundle of joy, Zack