Events / Research and the Private Sector – Beyond Academia panel discussion

Research and the Private Sector – Beyond Academia panel discussion

January 21, 2022
2:30 PM - 3:20 PM




Chris Glaze received his PhD in neuroscience and cognitive science at the University of Maryland, working with Todd Troyer and Catherine Carr to model the zebra finch song system with machine learning and neural network algorithms. He then joined Marc Schmidt’s lab as a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania to learn electrophysiology and test predictions from his modeling. After that post-doc Chris left birdsong and joined the labs of Josh Gold and Joe Kable at UPenn to develop Bayesian models of human inference in volatile environments. He then jumped into industry and joined Chubb Insurance, and as an Associate Vice President for Data Science managed a global team of ten to write artificial intelligence applications for underwriters. Chris just left Chubb to take on a position as a Research Scientist at, a tech start-up in the Bay Area. Chris resides in West Philadelphia with his partner and their three children.


Min Gong is the Director of Behavioral Science and Data Science at Walmart/Sam’s Club. She leads the Applied Behavioral Science team which is an innovation team of economists, data scientists, and behavioral scientists. The team acts as an objective truth seeker to identify and test innovative ways to unlock emerging products, services, and business models via behavioral research, causal inference, and ML modeling. Before Walmart, Min was an economist at the RAND corporation. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Penn in 2009.


Hadas Kotek earned a PhD in Linguistics from MIT. She taught at Yale University and New York University and then transitioned into the tech industry. She currently works for Apple as a Senior NL Annotation Lead, and additionally holds a Research Affiliate position with the Linguistics Department at MIT. She continues to engage with the academic community, and has published work based on her prior academic research interests as well as results from her industry job.


Rebecca Nappa is a Senior Data Specialist at Amazon, where she has been working to develop the Alexa UI for the past 6 years.  She got her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Psychology, focusing on how children integrate signals across different input streams to acquire their first language.  She then did post-doctoral research at UNC Chapel Hill, Harvard, and MIT, and taught courses all over the place, prior to making the shift to industry.  She currently leads the Voice of the Customer program for the Alexa AI organization, building models to predict and quantify customer dissatisfaction, then turning them into actionable insights for teams focused on optimizing conversational NLP models, orchestrating the delivery of customer experiences, and high-level design of new products and features.


Dr. Jessie Sun (moderator) is a MindCORE postdoctoral fellow. Her research examines two fundamental aspects of the good life — well-being and morality — in real-world contexts. To study people “in the wild,” Jessie uses a diverse methodological toolkit, including experience sampling, naturalistic audio recordings, informant reports, and personality change interventions. Jessie received her Ph.D. from UC Davis, where she worked in the Personality and Self-Knowledge Lab. Prior to graduate school, she received her BA (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and collaborated with the Personality Processes LabCentre for Wellbeing Science, and the Williams Social Emotions Lab.




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