Published on December 1, 2018
Alex’s long list of achievements is impressive. He is the co-founder and CEO of a machine learning and artificial intelligence consultancy, Madlytics, and with a deep passion for social entrepreneurship, Alex has found himself right at the forefront of innovation.
Where did life take you after leaving HVGS?
In 2011 I obtained several scholarships to attend UNSW in a combined degree in Commerce (dual major in Finance & Economics) and Science (biotechnology).
I had a fantastic time participating in societies, performing in and directing comedy stage shows and a host of other extra-curricular activities. I even managed to sneak in a 3-month internship at a hedge fund in Hong Kong and a 6-month exchange program to study in Italy.
What new doors did university open for you?
I started as a tutor for first year economics and math courses and became head tutor in 2015. I was thrilled to be awarded the UNSW Business School Tutor of the Year in 2016. During this period I tutored over 1,000 students, managed a course of 20+ tutors, 70+ tutorials and 2,500+ students each semester.
Machine learning seems quite a deviation from commerce and economics. Why the change?
After completing my undergraduate program, I started working in something completely unrelated to my degrees; digital marketing and digital analytics.
After about 6 months of work I jumped back into study for a Master in Data Science & Innovation (MDSI) at UTS. I was the youngest person to be admitted to the program of study. I absolutely loved transitioning into the world of machine learning and data science.
I undertook data science projects at companies such as The Iconic, large mining companies, Transport for NSW (with Opal card data) and health analytics companies – to name a few! During this time I also got a taste for competing in hackathons and found I was pretty good at it too.
Tell us about your company
I formed Madlytics with some peers from the MDSI program. Madlytics helps companies to become more data driven through help with infrastructure, analytics and advanced machine learning projects.
Machine learning is best described as the science of programming computers so they can learn from data, without the need to be programmed specific tasks by humans.
This year I have returned to teach in the MDSI program as co-teacher for the core Introduction to Machine Learning course and am currently building a new course in Deep Learning and Neural Networks to run in 2019.
I also still work with UNSW’s School of Economics on applying data analytics to assist student learning outcomes and continue to run the economics component of a business summer program to assist indigenous students gain a place at university.
I’ve also recently launched a corporate training company with a colleague, to assist people to transition to data science who are perhaps not ready to undertake a full masters program.
There are a few other things I’m working on too – a book with another UTS colleague titled From B.I professional to Data Scientist; a guided journey which aims to be an end-to-end guide to help business intelligence professionals transition to data science.
I am also working with DataCamp.com (the world’s largest and best resource for online courses in data science and analytics) to build a course on machine learning in Python.