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James Y

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


Statistics, Software Engineering (C/C++/Python), Data Science


I am a first-year Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University statistics department and a recent graduate from Columbia University with a double degree in Computer Science-Mathematics and Statistics. My main area of interests are software development, low-level optimizations, and efficient computing in statistical problems. I am eager to work with students who are interested in learning C++ and optimization techniques that can make computationally heavy problems more tractable. I am also open to working with students who wish to do data science projects that require studying a dataset and selecting machine learning models to draw conclusions.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Introduction to Design in C++

We will delve into common design patterns and learn how to structure your code in C++. The main objective in this project is to understand how to write scalable, well-tested code and to learn the intricacies of the language itself. We will then apply these skills in a concrete project such as building a library. If you have a particular idea for a project that requires large computations or is speed-critical and need guidance in how to systematically build it in C++, this is the project for you!

Machine Learning

In this project, we will go over classical tools in machine learning for regression and classification. Ideally, you would have a particular dataset that you would like to study, but this is something we can discuss and figure out together over time. Based on what you want to learn from the dataset, we will discuss which models are best suited to arrive at your desired conclusions.

Coding skills

C++, C, Python, R

Languages I know


Teaching experience

As an undergraduate, I TAed for various courses including modern analysis (masters), C/C++ programming course, C++ design course, and introductory statistics and probability theory. Currently as a Ph.D. student, I TAed for a data analysis course and statistical inference (masters). Depending on the course, I held weekly office hours, recitations, and sections where I led a group of students through worked examples and reviewed class material.


Work experience

Akuna Capital (2019 - 2019)
C++ Developer
EdLab (2018 - 2018)
Data Science Researcher


Columbia University
BA Bachelor of Arts
Computer Science-Mathematics, Statistics
Stanford University
MA Master of Arts candidate
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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