TEAM

Our instructors combine technical and business knowledge with years of hands-on teaching experience

Our Story


Cognitir (pronounced: cog-ni-teer) was founded by David Haber and Neal Kumar in August 2015 because both founders are passionate about teaching and find joy in helping others acquire knowledge. The main reason for this is simple: knowledge is a key ingredient in fostering innovation. If individuals can learn skills and problem solving techniques that help them solve the world’s toughest problems, what types of innovation will the world experience? The possibilities are endless.

Since founding Cognitir, David and Neal have worked collaboratively to create numerous technical training courses that have empowered thousands of students and professionals around the world.

Our Team


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Rehgan Avon

Instructor

Rehgan is an Industrial Systems Engineering graduate from The Ohio State University and has held positions as a Systems Engineer and Analyst at Fortune 500 companies. Currently she is an ETL Developer and Data Analyst for Clarivoy, a software start up company based in Columbus, Ohio. Rehgan was also one of the original founding members of the Big Data and Analytics Association at The Ohio State University. During her time at Ohio State she also served as a tutor for Calculus and Computer Science courses.

Rehgan has led Cognitir workshops at Northwestern University, University of Maryland - College Park, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill among other places.

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Yu Chen

Instructor

Yu is currently a Masters in Computer Science student at Syracuse University and a management consultant at Mercer, where he works on developing human capital strategy and analytics solutions for clients. He has helped build machine learning attrition models, financial data ETL pipelines, and natural language processing features for technology startups, financial services companies, and large multinationals. Yu has also worked developing server-side data engineering technologies with Python, Java, Node.JS, and Swift for a variety of organizations.

After graduating college, Yu taught at a Boston-based high school as a teacher, science department chair, and athletic director. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from UCLA Anderson, where he served as President of the Strategy & Operations Management Association.

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David Haber

Co-Founder

Together with Neal, David co-founded Cognitir in 2015. In addition to building the company's products and team, he has led programming workshops at the undergraduate and graduate levels, at blue chip companies, and world renowned management consulting firms.

David has experience working with and advising both startups and large corporations. He holds an MEng (First-Class Honours) in Computer Science from Imperial College London (UK) where he focused on statistical machine learning. He presented his work at international conferences and won several awards for his work. During his studies, he also served as a teaching assistant at Imperial College where he helped undergraduate students master fundamental computer science concepts.

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Monica Ionescu

Instructor

Monica is a Data Scientist in the MBA Admissions Office at the Wharton School. She is also a Lecturer in the Wharton Statistics Department, where she teaches Actuarial Science. In addition to her full-time work in Data Science, Monica is also a graduate student of Data Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Before Penn, Monica completed an MBA at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where she first fell in love with Data Science.

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Jit Kumar

CEO

Jit is responsible for day to day operations of Cognitir. He previously worked for Broadcom Corporation where he was a Sr. Manager and led teams that designed Baseband Processors for 3G cell phones, and Read Channel Devices for Hard Disk Drives. Prior to joining Broadcom, he spent 26 years as a Technical Manager at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and Agere Systems where he led large teams that did pioneering work in the development of VLSI chips for Data Networking and Speech Recognition/Synthesis.

Jit received his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (India) and an MSEE from University of Notre Dame (USA). He previously served on the Conference Board and Technical Committee on VLSI of Signal Processing Society (IEEE) for 10 years. He has published extensively in leading IEEE Conferences and technical journals and is author/coauthor of 19 papers. He also has two patents to his credit.

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Neal Kumar

Co-Founder

At Cognitir, Neal leads strategy, business development, and marketing & advises on new product development.

Outside of Cognitir, Neal runs his own boutique consulting practice and is a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Counselor. As a consultant and counselor, Neal advises executive teams of both large corporations and small & medium enterprises on issues ranging from executing big data strategies to financial modeling & corporate finance.

He also leads training seminars for Wall Street Prep and has consistently received top reviews from attendees and created two training courses that were used in seminars worldwide. Before his consulting and training careers, Neal was a Teach For America Corps Member and taught high school mathematics in Saint Louis Public Schools (USA). Prior to joining Teach For America, Neal was an investment banker at JPMorgan and Houlihan Lokey.

Neal received his MBA from London Business School (UK) and BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame (USA). He is also a CFA Charterholder and a Member of the CFA Institute Education Advisory Committee (EAC) Working Body where he helps shape CFA Program Content.

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James LoBuono

Business Development

James LoBuono is currently an Assistant Vice President at ConnectOne Bank where he assists in the management and origination of numerous commercial real estate mortgage transactions with a focus on the New York and New Jersey metro markets. Prior to this position, James was an associate at Chafia Capital Partners, a Northern New Jersey based private equity and real estate investment fund. James began his career working in the investment banking division at JP Morgan Chase within the bank’s Syndicated and Leveraged Finance group based in New York. At JP Morgan, James also completed the firm’s investment banking training program with an emphasis in financial modeling, corporate finance and valuation.

James received a Bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors from Fairfield University in which he studied finance and business. He has over a decade of experience in analyzing and investing in both commercial real estate and startup investment opportunities.

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Timothy Marble

Instructor

Timothy Marble is the founder of Eucalyptus Global Advisors LLC, a systematic quantitative investment firm. Previously he led the Data Science effort at Branch.co, where he used machine learning to develop an alternative credit scoring model for underbanked customers in Kenya.

Prior to this Tim founded of Eucalyptus Partners LLC, a proprietary trading firm and SEC Registered Broker/Dealer. At Eucalyptus Tim was responsible for all aspects of development and management of a portfolio of systematic and algorithmic trading strategies, and was a member of NYSE ARCA, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX. Prior to forming Eucalyptus, he held research roles with variety of hedge fund and proprietary trading firms.

Mr. Marble holds an MSc in Software Engineering from Oxford and an MBA with concentration in Statistics and Econometrics from the University of Chicago – Booth.

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Ishan Mehta

Instructor

Ishan is a graduate of the California Institute of Technology holding degrees in economics and chemistry. While at Caltech, Ishan developed an econometric model for various currency pairs and used it to successfully develop an algorithmic trading platform. Additionally, Ishan has collaborated with the City of Pasadena to drive citywide economic growth through development and implementation of various traffic/parking allocation strategies. Furthermore, Ishan served as a consultant at Mars & Co where he worked closely with C-level executives to find synergies across its two primary business arms.

Ishan has led Cognitir workshops at Claremont McKenna College and Ohio State University among other places.

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Deep Pulusani

Instructor

Deep works as a senior software engineer in the ever-evolving startup world in Los Angeles. He studied finance and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and the intersection of the two disciplines led to his interest in poker and game theory. Using principles from probability and statistics, Deep beat a field of 1000 players to win a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2013, and has won in tournaments and cash games around the world. Deep has also acted as a coach, mentor, and backer to other high-level poker professionals.

As a software engineer, Deep spends most of his time working with emerging technologies. His open source work with WebAssembly appeared on the main stage of the Google I/O developer conference in 2017. He is currently working with a FinTech startup to apply machine learning techniques to consumer banking information.

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Mateo Rojas

Instructor

Mateo is a PhD student in Machine Learning at the University of Cambridge and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tuebingen, Germany. His main interest lies in topics surrounding causal inference, a field which goes beyond correlation and aims at understanding the mechanisms generating the available data. More specifically, Mateo investigates ways to use causal knowledge to the benefit of machine learning, leading to applications in fields such as transfer learning and discrimination by automatic systems in industry.

Mateo also recently completed an internship at Facebook's Artificial Intelligence group working on causal inference research. Prior to his PhD, Mateo worked as an equity derivatives quant at Credit Suisse developing pricing and hedging strategies for exotic derivatives, and as a machine learning engineer in Speechmatics implementing deep learning systems for automatic speech recognition. Mateo holds a masters degree in Mathematics from Cambridge and an Engineering degree from Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

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Derek Sasthav

Instructor

Derek has held various positions in business intelligence, data analytics, and management consulting roles where he has delivered innovative solutions to executive-level clients. He currently works at AMEND Consulting, a Cincinnati-based management consulting firm, where he is focused on building analytics capabilities for clients in the middle market. At AMEND, he has worked on impactful data science projects including price volume mix analysis, production scheduling optimization, and operational KPI reporting. Previously, he worked at the IBM North American Analytics Center working on predictive modeling for crime rates in urban areas. Derek studied Industrial Engineering at Ohio State University, where he was president of the Big Data and Analytics Association, a student group focused on teaching data science to students. During this time, he has become proficient in many analytics tools including Python, R, SQL, Microsoft PowerBI, and more.

Derek has led Cognitir workshops at Chicago Booth, Columbia University, London Business School, and UCLA among other places.

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David Wanner

Instructor

David is a graduate student at the University of Chicago where he is working on a team to implement machine learning techniques to predict and prevent readmission for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Additionally, David works as a research assistant at UC's Urban Labs, supporting a data science team within the Crime Lab. David has previously worked as a data analyst at 84.51, founded in 2015 as the analytics company for Kroger. Prior to his work at UC, David was a Teach For America Corps Member in St. Louis and continued his work in education with the Noble Network in Chicago, teaching physics and starting the Robotics Club.

David has led Cognitir workshops at Ohio State University, University of Virginia, and University of Western Ontario among other places.

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Ryan West

Instructor

Ryan is a Venture for America fellow, a program for young professionals that provides the resources and ongoing support to prepare fellows to become successful entrepreneurs. As part of the fellowship, he has worked as a Machine Learning Engineer at Nexosis, Inc., implementing traditional data science workflows into Nexosis’ automated machine learning platform and generalizing time series models to forecast on datasets across multiple industries. For MLconf’s 2017 Atlanta conference, he was selected to present his research about automating time series model selection.

Ryan holds a degree in Systems Science & Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and is also a physics graduate from Knox College. Outside of his coursework, he worked as a research assistant using Mössbauer spectroscopy to analyze the electronic structure of Iron Dibromide compounds. As a teaching assistant and tutor for physics and engineering courses, Ryan discovered his love of teaching and passion for breaking complex theoretical concepts into approachable practical material.

Want to join our team? Explore our open positions here.

ADVISORY BOARD


Sean Rebecchi

Advisor

Since 2014, Sean has worked as an independent consultant to several investors and early stage companies including IP Group, where he provided strategic analyses and recommendations to the Chief Investment Officer, and Soma Analytics, where he applied psychological principles to app UX design and coded statistical analyses in R.

Previously, Sean worked as a strategy consultant for 4 years, first as part of a commercial due diligence team that won 4 M&A advisory awards, then working predominantly on sales and marketing projects covering European and North American geographies.

Sean holds an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in Business Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire and an MBA from London Business School (Dean's List - top 10% of students).