Hi! My name is Luda.

I'm currently a Co-terminal Master's student studying Computer Science at Stanford University, living in sunny Palo Alto, California. My main interests are focused on machine learning and data mining. I'm especially interested in apply data science and software to tackle tough problems in the world in a variety of real-life contexts . I've worked on projects ranging from improving urban livibility through network analysis, uncovering trends in historical manuscript illustrations using neural networks, to predicting poverty metrics using road typology. I also like to build other cool stuff.

I am an explorer at heart. Traveling is one of my passions, and you can see some of my adventures(and misadventures) here. In my spare time, I also enjoy beaches, swimming near beaches, All-you-can-eat KBBQ, reading, and collecting subway maps.

Love to chat to anyone about interesting ideas, so drop me a line! Connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at ludazhao AT cs.stanford.edu.


Here's some of the projects I'm currently working/have worked on before!


In collaboration with the British Library, we are exploring how we can apply Convolutional Neural Networks to aid art history research. We used transfer learning to provide over 20 million new tags to over 1 million book illustrations from the 1500s to the 20th century. We presented this project in London for the 2016 British Library Labs Competition and was thrilled to receive 1st place in the contest.

Baidu Deep Learning Internship

During my summer internship at Baidu Beijing, I worked on optimizing their internal deep learning framework(inspired by Caffe), which is used behind the scenes to power the search engine used by around 1 Billion people. I built automatic gradient check systems, network visualizations, and dabbled in experimentation with state-of-art deep NN models to improve accuracy.


Meetings suck. Facet makes meetings better by providing real-time commands that automates task generation, delegation, and summary. In addition, Facet provide powerful analytics that helps team leads detect and stop cycle of under-productive meetings.

Project Urban Oasis

Recent trends in urban design have focused on “re-humanizing” city centers by converting motor ways into pedestrian and bike-only roads. We used open-source GIS data to build road network models and applied graph network analysis to evaluate potential roads for pedestrian/bike conversions.

OpenStreetMap Road Network Analysis for Poverty Mapping

Objective poverty metrics are crucial for development, yet these data are lacking in many countries. We used publicly available OpenStreetMap data to calculate infrastructure robustness features, which are then used to predict key poverty measures for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Automatic Topical Analysis of Internet Posts

Charting public opinions in a data-driven way is a valuable part of devising public policy. In this project, we built machine learning models classifying ~1 million public comments regarding Net Neutrality to classify public sentiments and give insights on what people were thinking.


A new rendition of a classic board game built on JS/HTML5, designed for simplicity. Supports single-play or multi-player over network modes.

Other Stuff

Here's some other interesting links/blurbs.

  • Travel Blog

    I semi-frequently update my blog with my travels/musings. Here's a map detailing where I've been.

  • Teaching

    Teaching rocks. I'm currently a Course Assistant for CS246: Mining Massive Datasets at Stanford, and I will be a TA for CS231N: Convolutional Neural Network Spring of 2017. I also taught as Section Leader for the CS106 program at Stanford for many quarters, as well as at BreakoutMentors, teaching K-12 students how to code. I do private tutoring with kids 1-on-1 in CS and Math, so please reach out if you know someone who needs tutoring!