Fun Stuff I've Made
A bot that goes out and finds present-tense tweets, then repeats them
after the famous "SEXT:" prefix. So long, context!
A bot that keeps a running count of how often n-grams appear on Twitter,
then tries to patch together a reasonable sounding acrostic which matches
a specified target. Source code
- UUID Baby Names
A goofy utility for turning the output of
http://www.uuidgenerator.net/ into a human-pronounceable name. (May 2013)
- City Picker
Selects an American ZIP code at random, proportional to that ZIP's population,
and gives you its city name. Inspired by the wide and diverse array of cities
found in Josh Boruff's
SkyMall reviews. (May 2012)
Mandelbrot Oscillations: A one-minute video demonstrating the
recursively-calculated magnitudes of the iterations of the
complex quadratic polynomial, as a function of different values of c.
- BART Fares and the Triangle Inequality
Finding routes on BART where it's actually more expensive to take a single,
direct train than to take the train part way, leave the system, re-enter, and
finish the route on a second train. (Jun. 2011)
- Get Drunk But Neither Broke Nor Fat:
Considering calorie count and costs of alcoholic beverages. (Sep. 2010)
- Synthetic Shakespeare:
I trained a Markov model on the digram transitions of the works of Shakespeare, and
now I can sample new Shakespeare-sounding verses. (July 2010)
69 Love Songs, Illustrated: “Roses”: My contribution to
the joint effort to illustrate all the songs from the Magnetic Fields' triple album.
You can check out the video version at
- RISK STATS: An almanac of the probable outcomes of
battles in the game Risk. (Feb. 2010)
- The New York Times Columnist Comparator: A list
of a few distinguishing keywords from the regular columnists of the New York Times
Op/Ed section. (Updated daily from Oct. 2008 to Aug. 2009.)
- The BoingBoing Filter: A list of a few
distinguishing keywords from the major contributers to
BoingBoing. (Updated daily from Oct. 2008 to
Publications and Conferences
- Brian Gawalt. Convex Approaches to Text Summarization. Doctoral
dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. Dec. 2012.
- Kurtis Heimerl, Kashif Ali, Joshua Blumenstock, Brian Gawalt, and Eric Brewer.
Expanding Rural Cellular Networks with Virtual Coverage. Proc. USENIX Conference
on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI'13), pp. 283-296.
Lombard, IL, April 2013.
- Kurtis Heimerl, Brian Gawalt, Kuang Chen, Tapan Parikh, and Bjoern Hartmann.
CommunitySourcing: Engaging Local Crowds to Perform Expert Work via Physical Kiosks.
Proc. SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '12).
Austin, TX, May 2012. [website]
- Luke Miratrix, Jinzhu Jia, Brian Gawalt, Bin Yu, Laurent El Ghaoui,
Summarizing large-scale, multiple-document news data: sparse methods & human validation,
UC Berkeley Dept. of Statistics Technical Report #801, May 2011.
- Saheli Datta, Brian Gawalt, Guan-Cheng Li, Luke Miratrix, Laurent El-Ghaoui,
Bin Yu, Abigail De Kosnick, Gaining Contextual Insights into Media from
Keywords Derived from Machine-Learning Based Analysis, Crossing Boundaries
2011, Berkeley, CA March 2011.
- Brian Gawalt and Youwei Zhang and Laurent El Ghaoui, Sparse PCA for
Text Corpus Summarization and Exploration, NIPS 2010 Workshop on Low-Rank
Matrix Approximation, Whistler, BC, Dec. 2010.
- Brian Gawalt and Jinzhu Jia and Luke Miratrix and Laurent El Ghaoui and
Bin Yu and Sophie Clavier, Discovering Word Associations in News Media via
Feature Selection and Sparse Classification, Proc. ACM International
Conference on Multimedia Information Retrieval (MIR2010), Philadelphia, PA,
Mar. 2010. [website]
I'm a software engineer with Google, working on their index metrics team.
I'm sufficiently new that I don't have a permanent project exactly, but in
general the team looks at how their indices of different internet resources
(web pages, apps, GMail archives, etc.) are helping the quality of search
Previously, I was a data scientist at Upwork, working
on matching and ranking for their online labor marketplace. Before that, I was a data
scientist at Quantifind trying to mine social media comments
in a way that could predict the health of a product's marketing campaign.
I got my Ph.D. at the U.C. Berkeley EECS department
in 2012, working with Laurent El Ghaoui as
part of the StatNews research group. Before that, I got my B.S. in electrical engineering in 2005
from the University of Virginia, where I concentrated on statistical signal processing
with a computer science minor.
For fun, I like to ski and rock climb. Occasionally, I'll spend a Saturdays playing my bass guitar with
friends. I keep a lot of policy and economics blogs in my RSS reader, plus a lot of comics.
My favorite movies tend to be noir-ish: Chinatown, Miller's Crossing, Brick.
I really like the Kevin Bacon game.
Find me on the internet:
Return to gawalt.com