Let’s start with your name and what you do.
I’m Ben, a Senior Data Scientist at Evidation. I use the insights gleaned from data to help shape better health outcomes for society.
Tell us about home.
I grew up on five acres outside of San Diego, CA with my parents and my two younger brothers . We didn’t own a TV, and most afternoons after school my mom would force us to play outside until it was dark. Needless to say there was never a dull moment.
How’d you end up at Evidation?
I started my career as a Research Associate at the San Francisco Federal Reserve. Working in the applied microeconomics section, I was lucky enough to work under an economist who cared as much as I do about social issues that impacted society, and much of our work together consisted of researching those issues. I may have also learned some econometrics along the way.
Following my time at the Fed, I joined Teach for America. Researching policy is important, but I felt I needed first hand experience living in a community that faced the same tough social issues I had previously researched on a daily basis. I still think those were some of the most formative years of my life to date.
Evidation Health is the second start up I have worked at following my time at TFA. What drew me to Evidation was the company’s commitment to improving access to better health outcomes for all members of society. There is a wide disparity in health outcomes in our society. Part of that is due to information asymmetry, and part of it is due to differences in how resources are allocated across individuals and families. Evidation is committed to changing how the game is played, to everyone’s benefit.
Sounds like you enjoy the outdoors?
I spend the majority of my free time a (small) negative distance from the Pacific Ocean, typically bobbing on a surfboard. Also, my time in Colorado really helped me hone my car camping game.
What’s been your best day (so far) at Evidation?
That’s a tough one! Everyday I get to work with amazing, passionate, intelligent people. With that being said, we recently presented an analysis I had helped work on relating to how activity patterns correlate with multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses (cool stuff) to a client and the presentation went extremely well.
Later that night I went to a wedding and bumped into an old friend whose mom happens to have MS. I told him a little bit about our research, and he was unbelievably excited at the possibilities our research opened up. It’s one thing to run a somewhat abstract analysis, it’s another thing entirely to see the window of possibility our work is opening up to people whose treatment options are suboptimal.
Grapes of Wrath
What’s your preferred approach to earning points on Achievement?
First trip to mars with humans on board. passenger or onlooker?
Have you ever experienced a paranormal event?
How would you describe your vertical leap?
(14 – 1.96*2, 14 + 1.96*2)