About

First and foremost, I’m a postdoctoral researcher working with Prof. Jason H. Moore at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Biomedical Informatics developing state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to solve biomedical problems. I also occasionally collaborate with the media and other companies on projects that I believe are important. Please feel free to contact me me if you think I would be a good fit for one of your projects.

I specialize in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data visualization, although I’m always learning something new to make myself more useful to my clients and collaborators. I regularly write about my latest work on my personal blog, where I’ve become known for computing optimal road trips around the world and solving Where’s Waldo?, among many other things. My work has been featured all over the web and in the news, including the New York Times, Wired, and FiveThirtyEight.

Randal S. Olson

Teaching a Software Carpentry class at MIT in 2014

You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook, where I post new data visualizations every day. (The data visualizations aren’t 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 traveling, geocaching, weight lifting, playing PC and board games, karaoke, and taste testing the fine products of Philadelphia’s breweries. (The latter two often together.) 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

Academics

Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania, I spent four 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.

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 developing automated methods for robots to learn to walk with Prof. Kenneth Stanley.

If you would like to read more about my academic accomplishments, please see my CV.