Alex Zhao

Hi, I'm Alex. I'm interested in data, politics, and computer vision. Previously, I wrote data stories on federal politics, developed a command line interface in Golang, and did research on recommender systems.

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I'm interested in computer vision, economics, and recommender systems.

Do Offline Metrics Predict Online Performance in Recommender Systems?
Karl Krauth, Sarah Dean*, Alex Zhao*, Wenshuo Guo*, Mihaela Curmei*, Benjamin Recht, Michael I. Jordan
Under review, 2020
arXiv / Github / NeurIPS Workshop

In this work we investigate the extent to which offline metrics predict online performance by evaluating eleven recommenders across six controlled simulated environments. We provide the environments and recommenders described in this paper as Reclab: an extensible ready-to-use simulation framework at RecLab.

A network-based group testing strategy for colleges
Alex Zhao, Kavin Kumaravel, Emanuele Massaro, Marta Gonzalez
Applied Network Science, 2021
HTML version / PDF version

We propose a novel group testing strategy which requires only local information about the underlying transmission network.

Attention Gets You the Right Size and Fit in Fashion
Karl Hajjar, Julia Lasserre, Alex Zhao, Reza Shirvany
Workshop on Recommender Systems in Fashion, Recsys, 2020
Workshop page / Springer book / Presentation slides

We present a flexible and at scale size recommendation approach that overcomes some limitations of current state-of-the-art work by building upon the recent advances in natural language processing and casting the size recommendation problem as a kind of “translation” problem (from articles to sizes) using attention-based deep learning models for size and fit prediction.

Data stories
Biden races to hire senior staff at drained agencies
Alex Zhao and Daniel Lippman
POLITICO, August 2021

The Biden administration is racing to rebuild senior agency roles depleted by the previous president, hiring at the fastest rate in decades, a POLITICO analysis found.

Inflation is up. Should you care?
Alex Zhao
POLITICO, August 2021

Higher inflation is riling up consumers and their lawmakers, but many economists say price increases will moderate soon. To investigate, we decomposed July’s inflation rate into its components.

Where do UC Berkeley students go?
Alex Zhao
The Daily Californian, June 2020

To examine what makes UC Berkeley unique, The Daily Californian investigated the paths that UC Berkeley students take after graduation and the impact that college has on their careers.

First place, Best Multimedia Package, 2021 California College Media Association Awards

For more clips, go here.

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