Meet our new Research Software Developer, Kevin McElwee

Hello there! My name is Kevin, and I'll be working for the CDH and Princeton University Libraries as a research software developer.

I've just finished an 18-month stint in the energy sector as a machine learning engineer. Working with researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab, Argonne National Lab, and the University of Michigan on a variety of projects, I built web applications that allowed utilities to perform simulations on the electric grid. I'm most proud of my extensive research on predicting energy consumption with deep learning.

In 2018, I graduated Princeton with a Bachelor's in Music, where I studied statistical trends in medieval music. In my spare time since, I have focused on discovering novel ways to use data to explore art and culture, like researching colon usage in academia or building a Twitter bot that curates the cutest content on the internet.

I freelance as a data journalist, covering both serious and not-so-serious subjects. I am optimistic about the possibilities of applied mathematics, particularly machine learning, to inform debate and serve the public good.

I’m excited to collaborate with researchers across the Princeton community. Ideally, my work can allow faculty and students to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time developing profound research questions.

For my research with the CDH, I'm building neural networks that mimic artists, like Bach and Jackson Pollock. I'm exploring how artificial intelligence will challenge what we value in art, and I'm researching how automation can be used as a source of inspiration.

Coincidentally, I've spent the past year and a half working remotely, so relatively to others, my routine has changed very little in light of the pandemic. In fact, remote work was getting lonely, so I was excited to start working in an office again. I'm trying to be patient! Naturally, this isn't the most ideal way to start a new job, but I've been comforted by the kindness and support from the library staff in my first week. I look forward to getting to know everyone!

Headshot of Kevin McElwee

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