People

Our founding team each had their own struggles with the college search process.

Malik: I built a career in machine learning, culminating in co-authoring one of THE most popular books in Learning From Data, used around the world as a standard text in machine learning, having sold over 25,000 copies (that's a lot for an academic textbook). When asked to evaluate myself, I consider this book the flag-bearer of a life-long accomplishment because I still think back to when I was 17 in Zimbabwe and struggled to get a 2B pencil, a requirement to take the SAT; I almost did not take the SAT. And, what did taking the SAT get me: entrance to a college which gave me the privilege to come to the US for school. It was a scary and long path, but the impressiveness comes not only from the achievement/magnitude of the journey but also from how much is put on the line to accomplish it. There was no turning back.

Severin: Back when I was a high school student, I had no idea what colleges I would be able to get into. I ended up getting into every college I applied to (even my "reaches"), which made me wonder "Where else could I have gotten into?" Choosing colleges to apply to is tough, because after the application deadline your stuck with the colleges you applied to. Now I want to make sure that every student understands their college options, where they can get in and where they'll excel.

Joseph: I was totally wrong about my major. All through high school I thought I would go to college to become a doctor. It wasn't until after a year of college that I discovered my real passion for software, distributed systems algorithms and later machine learning. I want to make sure that high school students really understand themselves, what they want and what they're not sure of when they make their college choice.

Jane: When I set my heart on attending college in the U.S., I didn’t realize that I had two factors stacked up against me: 1) I was a Canadian. And 2) I was a rising Senior. My family ended up spending a ton of the savings we had squirreled away for my tuition, to pay for private counselors, take the SAT’s, send in applications, and then visit three different colleges across the U.S. I ended up attending McGill University - joke’s on me! (Just kidding, McGill is a great school!) With CollegeAI, we can now save students and families thousands of hours and dollars on their college search process.
Severin Ibarluzea
Chief Executive Officer
Malik Magdon-Ismail
Chief Research Officer
Jane Zhang
Chief Operating Officer
Joseph Lee
Chief Technology Officer
Lirong Xia
Research Advisor