Engineering Product Area Lead of Home Personalization, Spotify
San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States
What would you like to talk about? Reinforcement Learning, Causal Inference, Contextual Bandits, Adaptive Experimentation, Off-Policy Evaluation & Learning
Bio: I am the Engineering Product Area Lead of Home Personalization at Spotify. The Home Personalization Product Area consists of 60+ Engineers, spanning ML research, ML engineering, backend, data & web, and 7 Engineering Managers. It is an ML-focused organization that is responsible for generating, ranking and distributing a personalized content diet across music, podcasts and audiobooks on Spotify’s Homepage that maximizes listeners’ joy while supporting Spotify’s strategic needs for the 430+ million Spotify listeners. The teams within the Home Personalization Product Areas innovate on a range of ML disciplines – contextual bandits, reinforcement learning, attention-based deep networks, multi-objective optimization and causal inference – as well as ML infrastructure, data and systems at scale.
Prior to that, I was Senior Manager of ML Engineering, leading the Home Ranking and the Home Assembly teams within the Home Personalization Product Area. Before joining Spotify, I was at Netflix, first driving causal recommendation initiatives and subsequently building and leading the Adaptive Experimentation team, which was a cross-functional team of researchers, engineers and data scientists focused on delivering new experimentation capabilities at Netflix (adaptive bandit-based online tests instead of A/B tests; valid inference from adaptive online tests; ML-based short-term proxy metrics of long-term online metrics etc.).
Prior to Netflix, I did a PhD on reinforcement learning and causal inference at Stanford where I was advised by Benjamin Van Roy and Susan Athey and I worked at Google Research on the design and deployment of large-scale optimization algorithms for Google Technical Infrastructure and Google Ad Exchange. Latest honors include being selected in Spotify’s R&D Senior Leadership Program (20 managers selected annually from Spotify’s 3K+ people R&D division), being named in Forbes 30 under 30 Greece for industry and academic impact, and being the recipient of Stanford’s Outstanding Academic Achievement award.
I enjoy tennis, swimming, traveling around the world and exploring impressionist & surrealist art.
Maria has previously spoken at a WiDS AI & ML Sweden event.