John Walk


Fusion Primer



Pluralsight Tech Blog






who am I?

I’m a data scientist & ML engineer.

what do I love?

Building scalable data solutions, solving natural-language processing and search problems, and teaching Python and software engineering best practices to other data scientists.

what’s my story?

I’m currently a senior machine learning engineer in the Boston office for Pluralsight supporting the Discovery team, powering content search, browse, and exploration experiences to help our learners explore and unlock new tech skills. Previously, I was a manager / technical lead at Wayfair on the Merchandising Ops Data Science team, providing data-driven solutions for managing, maintaining, and capitalizing on structured & unstructured information about millions of products.

Prior to Wayfair, my first Data Science role was as a data scientist at Cinch Financial, a small startup building a one-of-a-kind personal financial advisor to level the playing field with banks and credit card issuers. I joined Cinch through the Insight Data Science program, an intensive postdoctoral fellowship geared towards STEM PhDs transitioning to data-driven industry. The Boston session I attended was geared towards healthcare & biomedical applications – I was particularly drawn to the opportunity for data science in socially-beneficial applications.

My academic background is in nuclear engineering & plasma physics, and before transitioning to data science I was a researcher in nuclear fusion energy at the MIT Plasma Science & Fusion Center’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak experiment, where I had worked in various capacities since my Sophomore year, completing my doctorate in September 2014.

Outside of work, I spend much my time hiking, rock & ice climbing, and mountaineering. While most of my experience is in the excellent White Mountains of New Hampshire, I’ve also logged ascents of Mt. Rainier (14,411’) in Washington, and Ixtaccíhuatl (17,159’) and Pico de Orizaba (18,491’) in Mexico. I also enjoy board and tabletop games, and have worked for several years as an Enforcer at PAX East and Unplugged teaching new & unreleased board games.


more projects…

Skills & Tools

Programming Languages: Python, Rust, Cython, C++, Bash, Javascript (Node, React)

Neural Networks & Deep Learning: Tensorflow, Keras, PyTorch

Machine Learning & Statistics: scikit-learn, XGBoost, H2O, PyMC3, Pomegranate, LightFM

Natural Language Processing: FastText, SpaCy, NLTK, Gensim, CoreNLP

Data Technologies Elasticsearch, SQL, Apache Kafka, Apache Hive, Vertica, AWS Athena

Data Processing & Pipelines: Apache Airflow, Dask, Apache Spark, Pandas, Luigi

Visualization & Dashboards: Altair, Matplotlib, Seaborn, Bokeh, D3.js, Metabase, Superset

Hosting & Deployment: FastAPI, Flask, Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, Gitlab CI/CD, TeamCity

Experimental Control LaunchDarkly, Unleash