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Data Scientist

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
January 07, 2018

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Ryan Melvin

Greater Atlanta Area

Data Science Research Affiliate at The Humane League


I am currently completing my final year as a Ph.D. candidate in Physics, specializing in computational biophysics. Simultaneously, I am on the thesis track for a masters degree in statistics, specializing in clustering and network analysis.

Throughout my graduate career, I have worked extensively on finding the underlying patterns in large data sets through the use of Markov Chains, hierarchical and non-hierarchical clustering, principal component analysis, statistical modeling, decisions trees and neural networks. Aside from implementing such analysis techniques, I have designed and implemented novel data visualization methods in the field of biophysics. In addressing the issues of large data sets in this field, I have also proposed and implemented novel algorithms for event detection and pattern recognition.

In my statistics research, I have worked on a team that developed a novel clustering technique for multi-partite networks. I am also the primary author of an upcoming manuscript on a technique for uncovering the underlying structures of networks (e.g., social networks or communication networks).

Currently, I am a Data Science Research Affiliate for the Humane League Labs ( a remote, intern position). Here I have created models based on survey data, conveying to stakeholders what the most successful campaign strategies are. Additionally, I have worked on a data collection project involving web scraping, database management, and data cleaning with the goal of suggesting target demographics and geographic regions for an upcoming outreach campaign.

I'm passionate about solving interesting problems given a data set. Whether it is the hidden meaning of confusing survey data or the likely value of derivatives and options, I'm interested in finding out what the data have to say.

Key skills: Data Analysis, Data Mining, Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning, Computational Modeling, Python, Matlab, R, Bash, SQL, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics


- Data Science Research Affiliate at The Humane League

06/2017 - Present

This is a remote intern position where I have worked on a variety of web scraping, data cleaning, model creation and model validation projects. All projects have had as the final deliverable of a report proposing concrete, actionable steps for outreach campaigns. My responsibilities include

• Creating and validating statistical models predicting the behavior of individuals in response to outreach campaigns.

• Web scraping, data cleaning, and data management for the purpose of creating a database of potential geographic locations to target for the greatest impact.

• Preparing technical and non-technical reports recommending concrete actions for outreach campaigns.

- Master Research Fellow at Wake Forest University

08/2016 - Present

I have been involved in the creation of a novel clustering technique for multi-partite networks and a method for uncovering the underlying structure of networks (e.g., social networks and communication networks). My responsibilities include

• Developing a novel clustering technique for arbitrary subsets of nodes on a network.

• Designing and implementing a technique for analyzing the underlying structures of networks.

- PhD Research Fellow at Wake Forest University

08/2013 - Present

My Ph.D. research projects cover data analysis, molecular modeling, and computer-aided drug discovery. My responsibilities include

• Performing GPU-enabled molecular dynamics simulations of proteins and nucleic acids

• Implementing existing and developing novel data analysis techniques (e.g. Bayesian Markov state modeling, network analysis, clustering, and data visualization) to investigate drug candidates

• Implementing machine learning techniques for analyzing large biophysics (~terabyte sized) datasets.

• Proposing and validating models for explaining the pharmacological properties of drug candidates.

- Physics Teacher at Leadership Public Schools

08/2011 - 06/2013

Applied teaching skills and physics content knowledge to more than triple the percentage of students scoring “Advanced or Proficient” on California High School physics standards. Taught the school's first AP science course -- AP Physics -- as a flipped classroom. Videos made for the class are linked below.

Other responsibilities:

•Instructional Leadership Team member - A team of teachers and administrators who analyze student achievement data, identify areas of need and increase student achievement by influencing the behavior of adults on campus.

•Curriculum Design – Summer 2012, I spent approximately 120 hours (at the request of our network curriculum coordinators) creating and packaging daily lesson materials, unit plans, quizzes and unit exams for distribution to and use by all other physics teachers in the charter network.

•Course facilitator – Responsible for coordinating network-wide physics testing, updating the network’s common physics curriculum as needed and coordinating meetings among network physics teachers as needed.

•11th grade lead – Facilitated eight professional development sessions during the 2011-2012 school year on common teaching strategies and student intervention plans.

- Teacher at Teach For America

05/2011 - 06/2013

Selected from more than 47,000 applicants nationwide to join national teacher corps who commit two years to teach in under-resourced public schools. Participated in intensive training program to develop the skills and knowledge needed to achieve significant gains in student achievement.

- Physics Research Assistant at Birmingham-Southern College

05/2008 - 08/2009

Researched and tested (using MATLAB) boundary conditions for numerical evolution of wave equations over time. Also Tested methods for numerical integration and interpolation.


Wake Forest University

Master of Arts (M.A.), Statistics, 2017 - 2018

Wake Forest University

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Physics, 2013 - 2018

Birmingham-Southern College

Bachelors of Science, Physics, 2007 - 2011

Birmingham-Southern College

Bachelor of Arts - BA, Religion-Philosophy, 2007 - 2011


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