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


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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Gabrielle Agrocostea


Gaby is a data scientist at GroupM in New York. Previously, she worked in the start up world at Collibra where she focused on sales. She brought visibility and analytics to the sales organization by implementing metrics and models in Python. Gaby also gained experience at Shareablee, where her main focus was around understanding social media engagement and correlations with customer segmentation.

Gaby has an in-depth understanding of data science from her educational background. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Mathematics. After 7 years of working in the corporate finance field for companies such as Blackrock and Morgan Stanley, she went to Columbia University and was a part of the first class of graduates to earn her M.S in Data Science. It was there that Gaby discovered and developed a passion for data science and machine learning.

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Yu Chen


Yu is currently a Masters in Computer Science student at Syracuse University and a data scientist at Operam, a marketing technology firm, where he focuses on building AI-driven products for the entertainment industry. 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, and Node.JS 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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Alex Garcia


Alex graduated from Imperial College London in Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry and First Class Honours. He has worked in technology transfer as a market analyst and then as a licensing executive, successfully commercialising several computer science innovations. As an alumni of Cognitir’s first ever course, Alex went on to become a fully-fledged, self-taught Data Scientist. He now plies his trade at Octopus Labs, the fintech unit of an investment firm in London. At Octopus, he builds data pipelines & machine learning models to uncover useful insights that helps the business grow.

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David Haber


Together with Neal, David co-founded Cognitir in 2015. David is located in Switzerland and manages Cognitir's European business activities from there. He also advises on the company's technology and recruiting efforts.

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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Zeke Hochberg


Zeke is an experienced educator turned data scientist currently working at Nielsen Marketing Cloud. His team uses machine learning to improve digital advertising audience targeting. Zeke was a high school teacher for five years and is a former Teach For America Corps Member. He first taught in Dallas, Texas, before moving to Brooklyn to be a founding teacher at a new charter high school. Zeke chose to move into data science to combine his interests in math and linguistics, and hopes to do more work with natural language processing and deep learning moving forward.

Zeke has a BA in cognitive science from The University of Virginia, and an MA in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education.

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Jack Khayoyan


Jack received his undergraduate degree in Economics, as well as his Masters in Applied Economics, from UCLA. In addition, he is a CFA Charterholder. He has an extensive background in business and financial matters, including business valuation, accounting, finance, etc. He is also an experienced programmer with expertise in big data and data science. Jack has a unique understanding of business, having founded multiple successful startup companies. He is a member of CFAI and CFALA.

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Jit Kumar

Head of Operations, Course Content Advisor

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, Instructor

At Cognitir, Neal leads the company's sales, marketing, and strategy initiatives. He also coleads recruiting and coheads product development with David.

Outside of Cognitir, Neal runs his own boutique consulting practice. As a consultant, Neal advises executive teams of both large corporations and small and medium enterprises on issues ranging from marketing to financial modeling.

Previously, Neal led training seminars for a top financial training provider and 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). In addition to his education and training careers, Neal was an investment banker at Lazard, 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

Head of Business Development, Instructor

At Cognitir, James helps execute sales and business development initiatives. He also coleads research and course development efforts for Cognitir’s blockchain technology offerings with David and Neal. James has over one decade of analyzing and investing in various startup and technology holdings, including numerous blockchain based digital assets.

Outside of Cognitir, James has worked as an Assistant Vice President at ConnectOne Bank where he assisted 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 as an investment banker at JPMorgan within the bank’s Syndicated and Leveraged Finance group based in New York where he originated and executed many deals in that space.

James received a Bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors from Fairfield University in which he studied finance and business.

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Timothy Marble


Timothy Marble is the founder of Eucalyptus Global Advisors LLC, a systematic quantitative investment firm. Previously he led the Data Science effort at, 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.

Tim 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


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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John Min


John is based out of Brooklyn, New York, working at SITO as a data scientist focused on big data engineering and geospatial analytics. Currently, he works primarily with Spark using Scala for data engineering and model building tasks and then, switches over to Python for geospatial visualizations.

After graduating from Duke University with a B.S. in Economics, he continued his studies in the M.A in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences and M.S. Operations Research programs at Columbia University, where he fostered his passion for statistics, data science, and machine learning. During graduate school, he worked as a research assistant for the Center for Computational Learning Systems @ Columbia University, a machine learning lab where he worked on a smart energy project for commercial real estate buildings. Subsequently, he has worked as a data scientist at COTA, an oncology data startup, and as a developer for Democracy Works, a political non-profit.

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Susan Parker


Susan is a senior data scientist at a startup focused on using machine learning to generate near real-time risk assessments as well as a PhD student at the University of Michigan where she focuses on quantitative methods in economics and public health. Susan has held positions in data science in the startup and corporate spaces, working on and leading data science teams implementing data engineering and machine learning platforms to a variety of applications in public safety and healthcare.

Susan holds an MS in Analytics and MPP from the University of Chicago.

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Deep Pulusani


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


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


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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Will Suess


Will is a senior quantitative analyst at a leading independent investment research firm where he focuses on delivering differentiated and actional quantitative analysis for a global subscriber base. He leads the quantitative group where they leverage Python and R and a few cloud service providers to generate investment rankings for 27,000 securities globally. Previously, Will has held positions at buy side investment firms where he has developed a variety of investment models often utilizing custom back testing, portfolio optimization and attribution. It was during his time on the buyside where he took his love of statistics and data science and discovered the usefulness of incorporating machine learning into quantitative investment processes.

Will is a CFA Charterholder and holds a B.B.A. in both Finance and Economics from the University of Iowa.

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David Wanner


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


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.