Welcome Priya Venkateshan – Senior Software Engineer

Hi, my name is Priya, and I’m a Senior Software Engineer at Diffbot.

I grew up in Bangalore, India, and since everyone around me was getting into programming, I did too; though I secretly wanted to be in medicine or journalism. However, thanks to the professors and peers at NITK Surathkal, I discovered machine learning, got really into it, and was soon trying to learn information retrieval concepts from grainy MIT OpenCourseWare videos. Soon after, I enrolled in UC Irvine’s master’s program in Computer Science and enjoyed the wide variety of cutting-edge courses in machine learning concepts. During my time there, I worked on a thesis involving graphical models for coreference resolution.

My experience in the industry, especially on eCommerce data, has taught me about the importance of domain knowledge and scale in making machine learning models useful in a real-world context, as well as given me an interest in best practices regarding supporting data and models in production. Prior to Diffbot, I worked at eBay, where we crawled product websites to augment the eBay catalog. Diffbot was one of the tools our organization used towards this goal. Having worked on web crawling and data extraction in a specific domain, it is exciting to work on the generalized version of those problems at Diffbot, especially since I get to impact a state-of-the-art, commercial knowledge graph and work with some of the best minds focused on these problems.

I write and edit fiction in my spare time, where I use technology to make life easier for fiction writers.