Speaker Spotlight: Luke Godfrey
Nowhere Developers is fortunate enough to have not one...not two...but THREE machine learning experts presenting at the conference this year. Introducing the co-headliner of one of our expert sessions... SupplyPike’s Luke Godfrey!
Bio: Luke B. Godfrey is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at the University of Arkansas and a software engineer at SupplyPike. His research focus is on aggregating and parameterizing activation functions to improve deep learning in neural networks, recurrent neural networks, and time-series analysis and forecasting.
Topic: Deep Learning with Artistic Style (Workshop)
The Breakdown: Learn how to use cutting-edge neural network frameworks in Python to convert photographs into works of art! Restyle a selfie as a Picasso portrait, or a picture of your house as Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Whether you have any experience with deep learning or not, this hands-on session will arm you with the knowledge and tools necessary to use state-of-the-art machine learning models. Python knowledge is helpful; however, all the code snippets will be provided so that you can follow along.
We wanted to get to know Luke a little bit better so we asked him a few questions.
What is your background in?
Professionally, I don’t have much of a background. I’ve been in school for as long as I can remember! I have my bachelor’s and master’s in computer science, and am anticipating my doctorate later this year. Since I started graduate school, my focus has been on machine learning.
Can you describe what you do at SupplyPike?
I’m a machine learning researcher, which is an awesome job! My time is split between pure research – investigating and developing new deep learning techniques – and making specific applications of that research at SupplyPike. Lately, I’ve been developing new methods for time-series analysis and applying it as part of the awesome Analytics team.
How did you get into programming?
I started teaching myself HTML when I was 10 years old, built my church’s website when I was 12, and sold my first Flash game when I was 14. Gaming was a big draw for me, as my “childhood dream” of playing video games for a living evolved into wanting to make them. I still enjoy game development on the side!
Least favorite programming language?
MATLAB. I spent a long semester of image processing using it not by choice, but because the teacher required it. To say that I would rather have used Python is an understatement. I would’ve even settled for plain old C.
Can you talk about your favorite application of machine learning you have seen?
One of my favorites is deep reinforcement learning – basically, neural networks learning to play video games. I especially enjoy watching an AI find and exploit glitches or perform techniques that humans haven’t thought to try yet.
What do you like about Northwest Arkansas?
I’m a hometown kind of guy, and this is where I grew up! I’ve got some pretty deep roots here, with my parents, grandparents, and extended family all nearby. Northwest Arkansas is a beautiful area, gets a little bit of all four seasons, is big enough to have exciting events and opportunities, and is small enough that it feels like my own Mayberry.