Damon About me

2017– I am a University Lecturer in the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge, specialising in data science.

I see data science as quantitative rhetoric: the art of using data to change how you and your audience see the world. I've worked at a startup building big data systems, and in statistical consulting, and as an academic mathematical modeller, and my data science is a synthesis of these skillsets.

2011–2016 I worked as the chief data scientist at Urban Engines, a Silicon Valley startup, now part of Google. We built a platform for visualising and analysing big data about things that move: commuters, trains, buses, taxis, delivery fleets, etc. We learnt a lot about how users want to interact with their data, how to help users understand richly structured data, and what sorts of interaction make sense for what sorts of data. I returned to academic life in order to turn these ideas into a systematic theory and to build the next generation platform.

2004–2011 I held a University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society, in the Networks Research Group of the Department of Computer Science at University College London. My topic was Mathematical models for Internet traffic. I came to UCL with the goal of translating theoretical work on congestion control, begun by Prof. Frank Kelly in Cambridge, into a practical system. With Prof. Mark Handley and others in the EU-funded Trilogy project, we created MPTCP (Multipath TCP), which became an IETF standard and is used by Siri on the iPhone.

2006– Statistical consulting for TauRx Therapeutics, a biotech startup based in Aberdeen, working on Alzheimer's Disease. This has involved interacting with medics, scientists, clinical research organisations, regulators, valuation consultants, and investment bankers, and has spanned Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. I have analysed data and advised on clinical trials, psychometrics, animal experiments, business development, risk and valuation.

2000–2005 I obtained a PhD in Mathematics from Cambridge University in 2000, supervised by Frank Kelly. I was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship in Trinity College, Cambridge, and I worked on theoretical queueing theory with application to Internet switches and routing.

See also my CV.

For more about me, see my cookbook or my personal page.