Getting to Know Weitao Duan

September 8, 2015

Talent is LinkedIn’s number one operating priority and we have no shortage of talented individuals in technical roles across the company. These are the folks that create, build and maintain our platform, tools and features - as well as write the posts for this blog. We are featuring some of the people and personalities that make LinkedIn great.

Name: Weitao Duan
Position: Senior Data Scientist

As one of the statisticians on XLNT, Weitao is responsible for supporting experimentations running on the large scale experiment platform XLNT. He also helps build new features on XLNT and promote experimentation practice. Weitao holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University with applied statistics concentration.

What is something not found on your LinkedIn profile?
I have a huge passion for music. My favorite genre is alternative, but I also love Japanese anime music and Chinese poetic songs. I have a small, unprofessional studio at home. In my spare time, I make all kinds of music videos – from karaoke style or instrumental – and share them with friends. I also like playing Mahjong, especially Japanese Riichi Mahjong, and I go to the Mahjong meet-ups in the South Bay regularly.

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at the office?
I like cycling! I mostly go mountain biking, but I’m starting to do more road biking. I also watch Japanese TV drama – BOSS and Legal High are my favorites right now. If you are a Japanese TV drama fan, let’s talk!

What’s your favorite thing about working at LinkedIn?
Being able to collaborate on projects that can impact millions of people is really exciting! There are a lot of cross-team collaboration opportunities at LinkedIn and I get to meet and interact with many great people.

What do you love most about software engineering?
As I learn more about the infrastructure at LinkedIn, I get more intrigued by how different projects on LinkedIn interact with each other. I really appreciate that we are encouraged to share our work with our peers, open source libraries and the general public.

What tools do you use every day at LinkedIn?
R and Pig are definitely on top of the list. Some Java/Python programming in the mix as well.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
It is always challenging to understand the practical challenges of academic research and bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real world problems.