Michael Winton

Michael Winton

Alumni (MIDS 2019)


Excited about applications of machine learning in data science


Data Science


My prior, formal education is in Materials Science, with a BS from University of Michigan, and an MS from U.C. Berkeley.  Since then, I've spent almost 20 years working in software, hardware, and manufacturing, all of it in the Bay Area, and much of it at Google.  I've held a variety of roles that span new product introduction, software development, and technical leadership.  I've been involved in a wide breadth of technical projects over the years - mobile, web, wearables, IoT, and cloud.  Currently, I'm working on a team at Google focused on education innovation, where I'm doing data science work to explore how we may be able to use machine learning to better understand facets of human learning at scale.

I have always loved exploring data, using it to solve problems, and exploring the stories it holds.  I started studying machine learning through various MOOCs and books, and became completely fascinated and excited about the material I've been studying.  I'm very excited about the potential of data scientsits harnessing these tools to transform industries and change the world for the better in so many ways.  I joined the MIDS program in order to continue to pursue this passion and develop a much more formal, rigorous foundation in data science - not just the powerful computational tools, but also the math & statistics, as well as ethical considerations.  It's this foundation that I want to build the next stage of my career on.

Some of the highlights of my career that I've most enjoyed:

  • I founded the Developer Relations organization at Google, and led it for the first 7.5 years.  As such, I got to play a key role in the evolution of Google's developer strategy over the years, working to build, engage, and support the worldwide developer community.    This allowed me to be involved in almost every product area at Google: Android, Ads, Google Cloud, and many more.  It also was a fantastic opportunity to learn about global markets - over time, the team grew to >20 locations worldwide, in every continent except Antarctica.
  • More recently, I led a small team at Google exploring new ways for kids to interact with technology - screenless augmented-reality gaming; programmable cardboard robots; and putting on our annual I/O Youth STEM event for kids. It's been particularly rewarding to work with the Scratch team at MIT on the joint open source "Scratch Blocks" project that we've released to empower more app and product developers to build high-quality, consistent kids coding experiences.
  • During the time that Google owned Motorola, I oversaw the software engineering team that launched the first generation Moto 360 smart watch, as well as our core Android app development team.
  • Before Google, I did quite a bit of data science work, mainly in support of manufacturing at IBM and FormFactor.  Manufacturing generates enormous volumes of data, and I was always in roles where it was critical to understand this data at a deep level.  It's actually this work that inspired my career-long love of data.
  • At FormFactor, I had the opportunity to plan and oversee the qualification of a new manufacturing fab - demonstrating statistical equivalence of the products and processes in order to obtain signoff from our largest customers.  I also implemented Statistical Process Control in the manufacturing line, and led the design and implementation of a manufacturing data warehouse.
  • At Oracle, I was part of a small group that built out a new "cowboy" development team within Marketing that built all the systems that were used to run Worldwide Marketing.  This included things like content management systems, website identity/authentication systems, and campaign management tools.  It also included reports, dashboards, and a new marketing data warehouse.

Last updated:

April 13, 2024