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Machine Learning Mentor

Christian Monson

Free 15 min initial consultation 

A career in machine learning can be both lucrative and rewarding. Companies in fields as varied as finance, marketing, real estate, and tech all have openings in machine learning, data science, and natural language processing. And building artificial intelligence products is exciting. It's amazing. You can teach machines to learn from examples!

But machine learning is also technically challenging. As your one-on-one coach, I will help you master the concepts, techniques, and tools of machine learning, that you need to thrive in this rewarding field.

how does Mentoring work

Your background and skill set is unique. In our first meeting we will discuss where you are in your journey toward mastery of machine learning. We will set out goals for where you want to be and then craft a plan to get there. Whether you already have some knowledge of machine learning or are just starting out, we will find the right program for you.

Example coaching plans:

  • Learn a chapter a week from a textbook on machine learning. Each week we review the concepts together in our coaching session.

  • Take an online course in machine learning. Each coaching session focuses on the assignments and material from the course for that week.

  • Recreate an experiment from a recent paper in machine learning.

  • Contribute to an open source project in machine learning.

About me

With a Ph.D. in Natural Language Processing and 9 years in industry as a Machine Learning Scientist, I know what it takes to work in machine learning.

At Amazon (2013-2018) I helped develop the Alexa personal assistant’s Natural Language Understanding (NLU) modules. An NLU system maps text into an actionable meaning representation. From 2015 to 2018 I was part of the NLU team responsible for Alexa skills. Alexa skills are extensions to the core Alexa functionality that are defined by 3rd parties, but whose machine learned models are built by Amazon. When I left Amazon, there were more than 25,000 skills that my team maintained and improved. As part of the NLU skills team, I managed and extended the codebase that built skills. In one project I added functionality to train on out-of-vocabulary utterances. In another, I modified the loss function to regularize training toward a core model when training on less reliable data.  


As a scientist at DefinedCrowd (2020-2021) I wrote a Python text normalization system. The normalizer cleaned and processed text data before it was used to train speech recognition systems. At Nuance Communications (2010-2013) I built and improved language models for speech recognition on mobile devices. During my 2 and half years at Nuance I was part of a team of 5-10 scientists who scaled the number of languages that Nuance could recognize from less than 10 to more than 30. I was personally responsible for the language models for Korean, Turkish, and Hungarian, and worked on German and Mandarin as well.

My Ph.D. thesis at the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University was on unsupervised morphology induction. I built a system that learned to conjugate and inflect words in any language from nothing more than text data.

Let's talk! What are your goals in machine learning




"Christian is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced machine learning scientist that I highly respect. His knowledge in statistics, machine learning and NLP is very solid, and can get to the bottom of every algorithm. He has been my kind mentor who makes complicated concepts easy to understand, and connects them with interesting real-world examples."

  -- Can L., Machine Learning Scientist, Amazon

"Christian ... has a in-depth knowledge when to comes to Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML).... He knows how to share this knowledge with others in the most simple and concise way possible.... with Christian, I can say with full confidence that you are in safe pair of hands."


  -- Saarthak Khanna, Research Scientist, Amazon 


"Christian is a great resource for machine learning, who is motivated and up-to-date. When we worked together, his presentations and documentation were some of the best in our team. He is approachable and a pleasure to work with."

  -- Cari Bader, Senior Research Scientist, Nuance Communications

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