Linus Lee shares what he does as a Singaporean data scientist at Twitter

Jacky Yap
Linus Lee shares what he does as a Singaporean data scientist at Twitter

This Thursday, Infocomm Investments and NUS Hackers are organizing a meetup for Linus Lee, data scientist at Twitter.

Twitter is a company that most of us are very familiar with. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, have you ever wondered how big the volume of data that goes through Twitter every single day? Data Scientist Linus Lee will be speaking about tackling big data at Twitter. His talk will cover topics on the analytics stack at Twitter, problems faced by data scientists, as well as how to be a data scientist.

Linus Lee is a Senior Data Scientist at Twitter, where his job is to derive insights from large amounts of data to help guide business and product decisions. Prior to that, he worked as an algorithmic trader, specializing in international exchange traded funds. He graduated with a B.Sc in Physics and M.Sc in Statistics from Stanford University, and is currently based in San Francisco, California. He hopes to return to Singapore one day to be a part of the upcoming technology startup scene there.

To provide more context to those of us who are unfamiliar with the term data scientist, we spoke to Linus to find out more about it.

What exactly is a data scientist?

Linus shared with us that the role of data scientist is very different in each company.

“At Twitter, we have two kinds of data scientists. The first is the data scientist working on data products. These are software engineers who are also machine learning experts, and are able to work on parts of our product such as recommending people to follow on Twitter, or targeting ads to show our users. The second kind of data scientists come from a more statistical background and are focussed on delivering business and product insights from analyzing the data that we have – server logs, tweet archives et cetera. I’m the second kind.”

Working culture at Twitter

Linus also told us that he really enjoyed working at Twitter and that culture is taken very seriously at the company.

“I’ve only been at Twitter for close to a year but I love it there. The people I work with on a daily basis are among the best of the best in their respective fields, and it’s a joy to work with them and watch how they approach a given problem. Needless to say, it’s a tremendous learning experience for me. Culture is also very important to us – and I love the fact that employee happiness is highly valued and sought after. Most importantly, we are treated as owners of the company, and consequently we take ownership of our respective projects.”

What do like most about San Francisco and about Singapore?

“SF: The tech ecosystem, and the fact that there’s always something interesting to do every weekend.
Singapore: Family, friends, food (in order of importance).”

Unfortunately the event is sold out due to popular demand, but it’s good to see great interest in the meetup, especially with the relevance of big data and social media in today’s startup and business scene.

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