Hello! I am Zach, a sophomore at Columbia University majoring in computer science and intelligent systems. I'm passionate about pursuing high impact research at the intersection of public health and machine learning.
I am a co-founder and former president of the Bronx Science Machine Learning Club and I occasionally opine on ML-related topics on our editorial, The Perceptron.
In high school, I interned as a computational research assistant for Dr. Jiook Cha in the Posner Lab at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Here, I developed an ensemble random forest machine learning model which I trained on correlation matrices derived from time-series FMRI data. This model successfully predicted whether a person with Major Depression would respond positively to a generic SSRI drug with an average accuracy of 60-65%.
Inspired by this internship, I and a partner decided to write a research proposal and create a software prototype to help identify xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease prominent in developing countries. Our software solution, when fully financed, could scale to help address the scarcity of trained health professionals currently working on this challenge. We submitted our proposal to the MIT Think Competition, and were one of ten teams in the country to become semifinalists.
In my free time, I volunteer at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse and serve as a safety boater and trip leader. Other than kayaking, I also enjoy reading, hiking, and listening to Radiolab podcasts.