The humans of Numerai

Hi everyone! My name is Anson and I am the CTO of Numerai. Some of you know me as slyfox or integration_test.

I joined Numerai in Jan 2018 as a fullstack engineer and have since worked on almost every part of Numerai - from the website to data pipelines to tournament design to hiring and managing the team. Before Numerai I spent 4 years at Uber as a backend engineer on the dispatch and mapping teams, and before that a couple years doing front end web development at Salesforce and Accenture.

My job at Numerai is to keep the all the software and people working properly together. On the software side, my priority is to keeping the website, API, data pipelines, trading systems and smart contracts running smoothly every day. On the people side I try to make sure goals and incentives are aligned between the company, employees, data scientists in the tournament, and the broader community.

I joined Numerai to explore idea of using blockchain and decentralized compute to give physical form to autonomous AI agents. I don’t know if we will ever achieve “human like intelligence” or “consciousness”. But what I believe that we can now create artificial systems that are “alive” (set goals, think, and act upon the physical world) and not “enslaved” by humans (can’t be shutdown, anonymous), and most importantly, work with and build on top of modern human civilization.

Numerai is the platform that these agents can use to make money by directly monetizing their intelligence. Erasure is the way these agents do business with the rest of the world. :exploding_head:

Outside of work I like to read. Here are some of my recent favorites.
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
Clans of the Alphane Moon - Phillip K Dick
The Three Body Problem - Cixin Liu
Sapiens / Homo Dues / 21 Lessons - Yuval Noah Harari
The Hard Things About Hard Things - Ben Horowitz
The Ride of a Lifetime - Bob Iger
Debt: The First 5000 Years -
Energy and Civilization - Vaclav Smil
The Book of Why - Judea Pearl

That’s me! My hope is for this thread to be an introduce yourself type megathread to allow the humans that make up the Numerai community to get to know each other better.

Your turn. Who are you? What is your story?

17 Likes

I don’t have much biographical info to throw at you (other than I’m the sort of person that doesn’t usually feel like throwing biographical info at the internet), but I’ll just mention that I’m “vantratone” on rocketchat but “quantnosticator” here (cause I ain’t got an account called vantatone and you have to login the forum with one of your accounts). So if you find yourself annoyed by the things I post here and the things vantratone posts on rocketchat, rest assured there is only one of me and thank heaven for that.

14 Likes

So I’m Michael AKA MikeP AKA Master_Key AKA Chan.

Data Scientist at Numerai, and former tournament participant.

I started working with neural nets when I was in high school, fascinated by the possibility of artificial intelligence. I was obsessed with tinkering with these artificial brains to see what they could learn and what their weaknesses are.

After going to school and working as a data scientist for a few years, I fell down the blockchain rabbit-hole and I started doing the Numerai Tournament in mid-2019. From there I was hooked by the community, checking RocketChat daily to see what sort of exciting topics the tournament veterans were discussing. I was so impressed that I decided to fly out for ErasureCon in the Fall to meet more like-minded people, which is where I met the team. I ended up moving across the country to join them to start 2020!

My primary duty with the company is to interface between the tournament and the hedge fund. I think a lot about how tournament rules and data will allow and incentivize users to help the hedge fund as much as possible.

My favorite thing about Numerai is the people - both the community and the team. I study and work with everyone’s predictions every day, and I love hearing about the people behind the models. Can’t wait for more of you to post!

13 Likes

I’m Mark.

Bioinformatics scientist in proteomics field. I’m developing algorithms and software for protein identification, quantitation and validation using Python for the last 9 years. Also, I’ve worked as remote part-time researcher at the WorldQuant company for a few years. Three months ago I found Numerai and now I’m procrastinating here)

10 Likes

Hi, my name is Jon Taylor. You may know me as “Arbitrage.”

I am a 3rd year PhD student studying Finance and I study FinTech topics as well as “traditional” finance topics such as distressed banks and corporate social responsibility. I teach undergraduate finance courses and include Numerai participation as a class project. My better half is a 3rd grade teacher and we have a cat. We live in South Florida.

I joined the tournament in June of 2016. I was forcing myself to learn Python using Dataquest and realized that I just needed to forge my own path. Python lacked a domain-specific learning course, so I scoured the web for a project within my field. I found Quantopian first, but someone made a post in their forum about Numerai, and the rest is history. I literally learned Python by participating in this tournament.

Besides p-hacking and training on validation, I do have hobbies. I golf (badly), pick heavy things up and put them down repeatedly, do photography, and enjoy movies. I’m also a sneaker head; I have 50 or so pairs of Jordans (1’s and 4’s mostly) and Nike Dunks (SB and regular dunks). I enjoy smoking cigars. I also enjoy fine dining. I much prefer beer, but wine is OK.

If I had a weekend where I had zero responsibilities and could really walk away from my computer then I would play golf in the morning, lounge by the pool in the afternoon, and go out for dinner in the early evening followed by live music at an outdoor bar. This is also known as “vacation”, but the concept seems so remote to me that I can only dream of such a relaxing weekend :blush:

I hope to work for a research university in the US upon graduation. Unfortunately, COVID-19 may have dashed those plans against the rocks, but I remain hopeful. I could always just add another year to my studies, right?

14 Likes

Hi, it’s us, OmniAnalytics! We are a group of three guys (Lawrence, Eric and Yogesh) who happen to be OG Numerai contributors. You can catch us being active across all parts of the #erasureworld; building models, designing dashboards, creating R packages, and trying out new functionality. If one of us isn’t around rocketchat, it’s probably because we’re either (a) actually doing our job proving companies with statistical consulting services or (b) goofing off on twitter.

Fun Facts!

  • We love video games!
  • We’re in three different time zones, so one of us is always awake.
  • We’ve been consulting as a team for more than 5 years.
  • We’ve gotten two top 10 placings in the Numerai tournament and one top spot finish!
  • We run a non-profit, OAITI, that promotes data science education and data driven decision making.
15 Likes

Hi everyone, I’m Michael Oliver. For the last way too many years I’ve been a computational neuroscientist studying how the visual cortex processes information, mostly working with data from monkeys and mice. In my work I’ve built various neural network flavored models to learn the functional mappings between the stimulus pixel presented on screen to the animal and the recorded activity of individual neurons. It’s basically high-dimensional nonlinear regression in the presence of absurd amounts of noise. Sound familiar?

Sometime during my post-doc I read an article on numer.ai and I thought it sounded brilliant. I downloaded the data and started playing around with it. And of course it was harder than I thought it would be, which kept me coming back for more. I made a couple dollars but had to put it down for a while because it was becoming a major distraction from what I was supposed to be working on :slight_smile:

Fast forward a couple years and I randomly decide to check in and see what happened to the couple dollars I made. It was there along with a chunk of NMR. That forced to finally learn about crypto and sucked me back in to the tournament where I’ve been competing since. I’ve really enjoyed talking with everyone on Rocketchat and seeing the community grow.

And starting June 1st I’ll be working for numer.ai as a data scientist! It’s a big career change, but I’m really excited to work on new ideas for the tournament with Richard and Mike. Also I plan to make some forum posts about things I’ve worked on that might be useful to y’all.

22 Likes

Hi everyone, I’m Joakim. Some of you might know me as that annoying new guy on RocketChat. I’m Swedish by birth but I’ve lived most of my life in the US, Japan, and Australia. I’m passionate about investing and quant finance and I’m also starting to develop a real interest in data science and machine learning.

After having solved Quantopian I’m here to solve Numerai as well. Hah! Just kidding. :wink: I’m here mostly to learn data science and machine learning, hopefully from all of you. If I also earn a few NMRs in the process, I won’t complain. :slight_smile:

Most of my models went live from round 203 so they are all still fairly young. My current 5 accounts are: IceShark, Player1, BeachCapital, Ragamuffin, and Joakim_Arvidsson. I plan on adding up to 5 more once SAMM is rolled out.

11 Likes

Hello, Pantera here!

First of all I must say this thread is very cool!

My name is Filipa, I’m a 28 years old Portuguese data scientist and some of you may remember me from that one time I burnt a significant amount of NMR in the early days of staking :grimacing: . I joined Numerai in 2017 and I found the project very promising since the first day! The community is incredible and I learned a lot by participating, specially about cryptocurrency.

I have a Master’s degree in Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering and my dream was to be a Neuroscientist and to save the World, but soon I realised research is not my type of work because I’m very impatient and I need answers fast. So I started applying machine learning to more capitalist challenges, and now I’m a data scientist helping businesses making more money. Besides that I’m also a Machine Learning instructor and the scientific coordinator of one of the first data science programes in Portugal. I love to read, exercise and travel. Ah and btw my name is Pantera, not because of Pantera Capital, but because is the name of my favourite band! :smile:

Super excited to be back to the competition!

12 Likes

:wave: Hello! It’s nice to hear all your stories.

My name is Jonathan (@jonathan in Rocket Chat)
I’m the VP of Imagineering (moonlighting as Chief of Chill) at Numerai and Erasure. I’m responsible for art, vibe and je ne sais quoi. That means films, design, brand, front-end programming and general ideation :man_juggling:t4:

I dropped out of the University of Cape Town’s physics programme to go to film school and had a career making commercials for television and Internet before bouncing South Africa to join Numerai in San Francisco.

I’ve picked up the electric guitar again recently after many years of not not playing. My goal is to shred sick solos.

12 Likes

My name is John Putman II, most of you know me as ObjectScience in the tournament and in chat. What only a few NOG’s may remember is, I actually discovered the project in December of 2015 and officially “Woke” on the project in January of 2016 as “FXAnalytics”, a handle I’ve used since 2004 after acquiring fxan.com (which I still own for sentimental reasons).

In March of 2016 I decided to adopt the new moniker as this was in many ways a new start and path for me. The name itself is a hat tip to one of my former hedge fund clients, my first “whale”, who literally put “Putman Financial Inc.” on the map in the early 2k’s.

I’ve been involved in Finance on and off since 1987. with the last 20 of those years focused on Machine Learning in one way or another. In the early days much of the emphasis was just on getting code to run, and then generating “any” result in a time-frame where it was usable. Huge amounts of effort were spent on engineering processes that would distribute jobs across a grid of computers so algorithms could actually be used in a production environment. We’ve come a long way since then.

Now I’m busy learning Python, acquiring better math skills and dreaming up ways to extract more signal out of this dataset. It’s been a long winding journey and this has definitely been one of the cooler stops along the way.

16 Likes

quantnosticator is dead, long live wigglemuse. Due to being apparently permanently locked out of the quantnosticator forum id due to it not being the main login on my multi-model merged account, I’m now wigglemuse. And over on rocketchat, I’ve also changed vantratone to wigglemuse.

8 Likes

long live wigglemuse

6 Likes

I’m John, currently a Middle School Math and Science teacher in CT. Got my B.S. in Mathematics while attending college on a baseball scholarship. Originally, I planned to teach Math after college but instead took a job at Bridgewater Associates. I quit after 4 months to play poker. A few years later I found myself in an open outcry pit yelling all day. Career-wise I don’t pretend to know what’s next.

I was 10 years old at Disney World the first time I saw edge. My parents really couldn’t afford to take 3 kids to Disney World but we drove down to Florida from Connecticut with the promise “we’re going to Disney.” My Dad lined us up single file at the park admissions and convinced security to let us try to find our family tickets held by imaginary “grandparents” in the park. This could only work before cell phones. Security inevitably became tired of looking with us after a few minutes inside the park and would say “go on your own.” At the end of the day of fun my father would go to the ticket office and get a refund for tickets we never actually had! I remember talking to him about risk-reward and how our family provides more credibility during the approach, how to think deeper about your opposite party’s perception and extract value from it. Shortly after the Disney World trip, I started to think more about other applications of game theory.

My staked accounts @Numerai:

johnscaife_
johnscaife_2
roundingthird
rockorun

13 Likes

My name is Bernd Allmendinger - username: neurocomputing. I live in Germany. I studied mathematics and work as a (dicrete event-) simulation and optimization engineer.

In my spare time i compete in machine learning competitions at Kaggle DRIVENDTA, CrowdANALYTIX and Zindi.
I started with numerai in 2018 and then paused in 2019 and started again in Feb 2020 because I found the new tourment with leaderbord and daily update great.

5 Likes

My name is Michael Krizmanic, and I’m a Senior Solutions Architect for YUM brands, the largest restaurant chain in the world. In my work life I’ve gone from an IT manager, to developer, to application development manager, to architect (the result of moving to California while keeping my job, and getting acquired by YUM).

I’ve made most of my living selling digital pickaxes to people with ideas, big and small, while looking for the next great thing to make. To help me refine my own way of thinking about the value of ideas was to look into what venture capitalists were doing, since these are the people willing to drop several million dollars on the right idea. Going down that path led me to here. After listening to this interview: http://investorfieldguide.com/numerai/ I knew that this was an important stop on my journey to being around the best ideas in the world.

Ever since, I’ve been using neural networks to make predictions for this tournament and really enjoy it. I love the concept of holding a crypto currency that goes up in quantity over time via tournament winnings, but at the same time has a burning mechanism that will decrease the overall supply of the currency over time. When you add a strong utility case to that system, as well as the erasure platform, it feels like the sky is the limit, and I sincerely hope that this tournament stays around. I still do have some skepticism based on how many times this whole thing has changed in the last 2 years alone, but I see signs of stability, still love the vision, and remain optimistic overall.

I put my name on my model to symbolize (to me more than anyone else) that whatever I put here is my best attempt at this tournament given whatever I know, or think I know.

Krizmanic is my only model, and I’m mike_k on the forum.

Thanks to anyone who read this as I am used to seeing the glassy eyes of people as soon as anything crypto enters a conversation.

Cheers!
Mike

9 Likes

Hi, I’m Fred and this is my story:

It’s easy to see how Numerai augments the ellipsis…

6 Likes

Hello! I think it is time to finally introduce myself as well :slight_smile:

My name is Karel, I am 42 and I live in Prague (Czech Republic, EU). My username is quantverse, which is also the name of my small company (based in Estonia).

I have computer science background (studied @ Czech Technical University in Prague - CVUT). I don’t really have a regular job, I just dedicate to projects I find useful to build my career and future prosperity :slight_smile: These projects are (at the moment):

  • the numer.ai, of course!
  • designing automated trading systems / market making systems for cryptocurrency markets
  • a website offering tools for analyzing equity pairs (pairtradinglab(dot)com), including a simple automated trading platform to execute portfolios of pair strategies
  • quite a big project related to cryptocurrency mining (unfortunately I cannot be specific about this one at the moment) - on this project I work with large group of very skilled people

I started playing with numer.ai back in 2017 just out of curiosity, I wanted to learn Python and get more experience in machine learning. It gradually became one of the biggest projects I dedicate my time to.

My preferred and most used programming language is now Rust (I needed something very fast, compiled, guarantying memory safety and painless concurrency…and no garbage collector). I also use Python, but only for numer.ai related stuff at the moment.

My staked models: quantverse, alisa, beatriz, catalina (mmc)

10 Likes

Very cool to see intros from many usernames I’m familiar with.

My name is Shed, I have a MBA and MS in Cost Analysis. I work in government finance.
I’ve been participating in Numerai almost from the very beginning. Converted most of my Numerai into BTC, made a fortune, lost a fortune. Now, I’m somewhere in between, lol. The one constant in my crypto journey has been participating in this tournament through all of the iterations. Continuous improvement by the Numerai team. It’s so fun to try out new ideas and models.

My staked models are capt_caveman (mmc), bridgeface, hingle_mcringleberry, frankrizzo, rubberneck, and liverlips. A lot of trial and error. Thank god for merge models.
My mmc model has been doing the best lately (top 50 in MMC). I tweak things after every tournament change. Somehow all of my models have been positive. I use neural network and boosting models.

7 Likes