Ben Thompson's Resumé [PDF Version]

Industry Experience

Data Scientist, Machine Learning at GitHub
July 2017 - Present
Data Scientist, Rider Experience at Uber
May 2016 - July 2017
  • Partner with product managers, data scientists, and engineers across the company to inform product direction with data insights.
  • Built and maintain automated A/B test analysis platform, enabling quick insights on the multitude of experimental features being evaluated with Uber’s rider app.
  • Champion data democratization within Rider Experience by distilling complex stream of rider app events into more accessible tables; empowering engineers and product managers to derive insights on user behavior independent of data science bandwidth.
  • Aggregate rider app events and backend logs to extract leading indicators of problematic user actions, such as trip cancellation or request abort. Engineering utilizes predictions to develop features to preempt bad actions in real time.
  • Promoted once and consistently given more responsibility.
Data Scientist, Marketing at KIXEYE
Apr 2015 - May 2016
  • Collaborated with analysts and stakeholders across departments to develop data-driven engagement marketing strategies.
  • Optimized game push notifications by quantifying message impact on player behavior and revenue.
  • Built and maintained automated re-marketing system, allowing for A/B testing and multiple communication channels (push notifications, email, targeted ads, etc.) to reengage lapsed players.
  • Developed company’s first dynamic offer system by analyzing player behavior to inform strategy on timing and content of optimal in-game sales.
Data Scientist Fellow at Insight Data Science
Jan 2015 - Mar 2015
  • Created RespawnInto, a web app that recommends future video game purchases based on users' current favorites.
  • Built recommendation engine using jaccard similarity from user comment activity, and Scikit-Learn TF-IDF analysis of game review text.
  • Deployed front-end interface with Flask, Bootstrap, jQuery, d3, and AWS.

Research Experience

The Binary INformation on Open Clusters using SEDs (BINOCS) Project
Sep 2012 - Jan 2015
PhD Thesis Project
  • Developed new method of binary star system detection that provides results for a fraction of the resources and time required by current techniques.
  • Wrote Python analysis program using NumPy that determines component masses of binary star systems, impossible for nearly all current techniques, to within 15%.
  • Parallelized analysis code with OpenCL to handle nearest-neighbor algorithm for thousands of stars and tens of thousands of models, in up to 12 dimensions. Code available on github.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV Autoscheduler
Sep 2013 - Jan 2015
  • Wrote and maintained autoscheduler program, which optimally chose nightly targets for observa on during the 3rd and 4th iterations of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
  • Connected Python autoscheduler to Postgres database using SQLAlchemy to read informa on on thousands of possible targets, utilizing data on tens of thousands of past observations.
  • Developed web API using Flask to easily link autoscheduler to other SDSS webapps and interfaces.


WIYN Open Cluster Study LXII: Comparison of Isochrone Systems using Deep Multi-Band Photometry of M35
Thompson B, Frinchaboy P, Kinemuchi K, Sarajedini A, Cohen R (2014)
arXiv:1408.1684. [doi: N/A]

The Tenth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: First Spectroscopic Data from the SDSS-III Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment
Ahn C, Alexandroff R, et al. (2014)
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 211(2). [doi: 10.1088/0067-0049/211/2/17]

The Open Cluster Chemical Analysis and Mapping Survey: Local Galactic Metallicity Gradient with APOGEE Using SDSS DR10
Frinchaboy P, Thompson B, Jackson K, et al. (2013)
The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 777(1). [doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/777/1/L1]

Neutron Scattering and Spectroscopic Studies of Hydrogen Adsorption in Cr3(BTC)2 -- A Metal-Organic Framework with Exposed Cr2+ Sites
Sumida K, Her J, Dincă M, Murray L, Schloss J, Pierce C, Thompson B, et al. (2011)
Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115(16) [doi: 10.1021/jp200638n]


Apr 2014. TCU Student Research Symposium, Fort Worth, TX
Exploring Binary Populations in Open Clusters [PDF]
Thompson B, Frinchaboy P, Kinemuchi K, Sarajedini A
Awarded 1st Place Graduate Research in Physics and Astronomy

Feb 2014. TCU Society of Physics Students Colloquim, Fort Worth, TX
Migratory Patterns of Wild Binaries [PDF]
Thompson B

Jan 2014. 223rd American Astronomical Society Meeting, National Harbor, MD
Exploring Binary Populations in Open Clusters [PDF]
Thompson B, Frinchaboy P, Kinemuchi K, Sarajedini A

Nov 2013. TCU Society of Physics Students Colloquim, Fort Worth, TX
The Byte-Sized Universe [PDF]
Thompson B

Apr 2013. TCU Student Research Symposium, Fort Worth, TX
The Sun Is Like A Watermelon [PDF]
Thompson B

Apr 2012. TCU Student Research Symposium, Fort Worth, TX
Comprison of Stellar Evolution Models using Newly-Acquired IR Data [PDF]
Thompson B, Frinchaboy P, Irwin T, Kalirai J

Jan 2012. 219th American Astronomical Society Meeting, Austin, TX
Comparison of Padova and Dartmouth Isochrones Using Deep Near IR Data for Key Open Clusters [PDF]
Thompson B, Frinchaboy P, Irwin T, Kalirai J

Contact Me

Ben Thompson

Relevant Skills





Ph.D. in Physics
Received 2015

Texas Christian University — Fort Worth, TX

B.A. in Astrophysics
B.A. in Mathematics
Received 2010

Ohio Wesleyan University — Delaware, OH

Grants + Scholarships

Sep 2011 — May 2013, Sep 2014 - May 2015
Texas Space Grant Consortium
Graduate Fellowship (3 x $5,000)

Sep 2010 — May 2015
Texas Christian University
Graduate Assistantship

Sep 2006 — May 2010
Ohio Wesleyan University
Trustee Scholarship

Teaching Experience

PHYS 10273
Intro Astronomy: Earth & Planets
Lab Teaching Assistant (9 sections)

PHYS 10283
Intro Astronomy: Stars & Galaxies
Lab Teaching Assistant (1 section)

PHYS 10293
Lab Teaching Assistant (9 sections)