My journey into Machine Learning began when I was working with the oil company BP as a reservoir engineer. I predicted oil and gas well performance based on data such as rock porosity, permeability, nearby well performance and other factors. I enjoyed working in a cross-disciplinary team to find the best opportunities for the business. Doing this prediction work I became extremely skilled analyzing data in Excel with vlookup, pivot tables and conditional statements. We ran a very profitable and successful program, but I always thought there should be a more rigorous way to analyze the data we had.
Eventually I left BP to return to Wisconsin so that I could be closer to my family and I took a job teaching high school Physics and Math. While looking for applications of math in the real world that I could share with my high school students, I stumbled upon machine learning. Here was a technology that could do anything from predicting home prices and customer spending habits to language translation and computer vision. Since then I have been pursuing machine learning and data science through online courses at Coursera and Udacity and I have completed the University of Washington Machine Learning Specialization and the Udacity Machine Learning Nanodegree.