Uber: Connecting Geodata For and About Users

Bradley Voytek (UC San Diego and Uber, Inc.)

On-demand transportation poses difficult problems in supply matching and prediction. Not only do you need to model the temporal dynamics of user demand (when people want to use your service), but in order to minimize customer wait times and maximize customer and partner experience, you need to know how these dynamics change city-to-city, neighborhood-by-neighborhood. We at Uber have worked to continually optimize solutions to these geospatio-temporal analytics over the past year. We will discuss the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve grown from a presence in one city, San Francisco, to offering service to five major US cities, as well as discuss how each city provides more data to speed growth with every successive launch.

Photo of Bradley Voytek

Bradley Voytek

UC San Diego and Uber, Inc.

Brad is an NIH-funded neuroscience researcher making use of big data, mapping, and mathematics to figure out cognition. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed scientific publications such as PNAS, Neuron, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and others. His research in cognition, brain-computer interfaces, and data analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, Wired, and The New York Times.

He earned his PhD in neuroscience from Berkeley in 2010 where he studied the role that neuroplasticity plays in human cognition. He applies this research to problems in cognitive neuroscience, recovery from brain injury, brain-computer interfacing, and other domains.

He’s interested in leveraging data to modernize cognitive neuroscientific research, the majority of which is conducted using techniques from 1960s psychological experimentation (only with bigger, more expensive toys). To that end he’s created several research tools, most notably the neuroscience literature meta-analytic resource brainSCANr.com with his wife, Jessica Bolger Voytek.

His public science writing has been featured in Forbes, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Scientific American, as well as being featured on BoingBoing, Reddit, Metafilter, and MindHacks. His non-academic… uh… interests, include explaining the zombie brain with the Zombie Research Society. Really. He has been interview by National Geographic, Wired, and the American Academy of Neurology because of this “research”.

He’s an avid science teacher and outreach advocate and he’s spoken at events ranging from elementary schools to venues such as Ignite, TEDxBerkeley, @GoogleTalks, and SciFoo. He runs the blog Oscillatory Thoughts (http://blog.ketyov.com) and occasionally writes for the Scientific American blog.

In 2006 he split the Time Person of the Year award.

  • Esri
  • AT&T Interactive
  • Google
  • Nokia, Location & Commerce
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • Control Group
  • Localeze
  • MyCityWay
  • Socrata
  • Urban Airship
  • MapQuest

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