I am principal software engineer at the drug and vaccine manufacturing startup Resilience.
As software engineer at the book-discovery
service BookBub, I focused on
the in-house advertising platform. I rewrote the matching tech
to let authors/publishers target readers more flexibly, estimate
and incorporate performance in the choice of ads more robustly,
and generally improve the stability of the system and its
I was lead software engineer in the data team at the advertising
network Yieldbot. It was an exciting challenge to make the
matching technology keep up with the tremendous growth the
company was seeing: how to find ads that were relevant to the
user based on the contents of page, how to choose between the
ads and bid on adslots to maximize profits and meet other
business constraints, and how to do all this at scale with low
latency and high availability.
I was previously a computational biologist at
the Broad Institute of
MIT and Harvard, working with Anne Carpenter and her Imaging
Platform. My work there turned measurements of billions of
invidividual cancer cells into computational profiles
("fingerprints") that capture the biologically meaningful
aspects of the cells’ appearance. Such profiles can be used to
find similar genetic perturbations and/or drugs. I developed
analysis methods that apply machine learning and data mining
methods to large sets of complex, dirty, and poorly understood
My research interests are in distributed systems, databases, index structures, algoriths, and data science (see my publications), but I am an engineer at heart, motivated by building real systems that can manage the complexity and be robust to the curve balls thrown by large, real-world workloads. I thrive when I build and scale cool technology that makes a difference together with a competent and respectful team.
PhD in Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara,
Advisor: Prof. Ambuj K. Singh
Dissertation title: Managing probabilistic data: toward data-driven biology
Developed algorithms for managing uncertainty in biological data and
to obtain, search, and mine probabilistic values.
MS in Computer Science, Norwegian University of Science and
Technology, Trondheim, Norway, 1996–2002.
Thesis work at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Thesis title: Adaptive data replication and consistency
Investigated adaptive data replication algorithms in large networks
and studied how the efficiency of such algorithms is affected by the
consistency condition imposed on the data.
I often get asked how to spell and pronounce my name. My name is spelled "Vebjørn Ljoså" in Norwegian, but I use "Vebjorn Ljosa" outside Norway. I pronounce my name
Speakers of English can often come close with "vay-b-yearn lyo-soa". (But if it doesn’t come out quite right, it doesn’t bother me!)