Grady Ward

About

Grady Ward is a recent college graduate from Brandeis University. He currently works in the Bay Area as a software engineer for Google, working on Data Validation and Integrity for the GSuite Platform and Storage team. In the past he has worked for edX, Jumpstart, himself, and Brandeis' Student Union.

He is an avid reader, runner, programmer and cyclist. Recent reads include "Charletan", "A Bridge Called My Back", "The Social Animal", "Hillbilly Elegy", "Redefining Realness", and "On Christianity and Liberalism".

Though not currently looking for new employment, he is always interested in hearing about hard problems that impact peoples' lives.

Portfolio
Senior Thesis Code Result
A senior honors thesis on the graph isomorphism problem, and the ways that that problem impacts related questions of random graph generation, theoretical analysis of associated problems, and an invariant for analysis called the "cycles" invariant, which counts the number of closed walks through each vertex in a graph. Work primarily uses C (for computationally expensive operations) and Matlab (for visualization and small set analysis). In May 2016, this work received Highest Honors from Brandeis University, and won the "Computer Science Prize for Outstanding Achievement".
CalcU Code Result
CalcU is a scalable, responsive and accessible web application that serves as a course aid for Calculus students. It scrapes the web for calculus resources, and uses user feedback alongside out of the box machine learning to direct students to problems, questions and content that best fits their learning needs and current understandings. Received a competitive SPARK grant to hire three interns for a summer of work, completed in August of 2015.
Draw Me CSS! Code Result
A tool for the dynamic generation of CSS styles which draw the borders of elements on the page to allow "pipe" animations to make it appear that the page is being drawn before the viewer (this page uses this library). Started small scale, trying to just get a single little circular border to work, then expanded up, adding support for border colors, thicknesses, dash-styles, animation speeds, animation delays, different edges, and different animation directions. To include every one of these options across every possible permutation would be a 3MB CSS file (not-optimal), so I built a web service that dynamically calculates the styles that are on each page, and only includes those styles. The result is a magical animation, which can be added to an existing bordered webpage in just minutes, with a CSS file that is typically under 1KB. Completed in July of 2016.
GradyDocs Code Result
Grady Docs: GoogleDocs, but shittier! I worked on this project to teach myself NodeJS on a relatively easy problem. The project attempted to emulate the functionality of "GoogleDocs", which is a platform that allows collaborative editing across multiple computers (among many other things). The final result uses a data-driven client-side editing methodology alongside websockets on the backend to deliver solid real-time simultaneous editing. Built in NodeJS over AWS, on a single server (without DB support). The problem is that a couple of people actually were trying to use it for shared text document storage (and my solution was highly inefficient in terms of storage, logging every change), so the server time became materially expensive and I periodically clear the server, so do not expect this project to be stable (or use it for anything other than fun). Started and completed over the winter holiday, December of 2015.
Student Union Code Result
In the summer of 2015, I was tasked with creating a new Student Union website, which I did using a simple static page generator, to allow someone else to do the updates. Though this solution worked for the 2015-2016 academic year, unfortunately, it became apparent at the end of that year that the solution was too rigid to fit the ever changing needs of a student organization with a wide range of functions and sub-groups. To combat this, I created a web application which allows dynamic WYSIWYG editing of static pages, using GithubPages as the true static page server, and a Google App Engine backend to force authentication and allow metadata storage and page updates. The result has been widely used by all members of the Student Union, and provides a secure, version controlled way for every member to update, create and delete pages with no technical experience. Completed in April of 2016.
WSMD? Result
A tool for the indecisive, built in 2 hours as a challenge. November of 2015.
AI Science Test Code
A machine-learning project for an AI class which competed on Kaggle and got in the top 20 out of 500+ teams. Simply used TensorFlow alongside some clever parameter domain space testing, using Wikipedia as a corpus text. My first experiment in ML. September of 2015.
Flux Code Result
An art project which animates a projection a simple sinusoidal iterative path by differentiably traversing the parameter space of the sinusoidal model. Uses variable degrees of multi-threading to fit within memory constraints, and uses physics to find closed orbits in the parameter space. The resulting GIFs are stitched together randomly to make a seemingly never-ending stream of random motion. The code is very clear, and the iterations of the project were preserved as they were written.
... Many More
These are just the most recent highlights of my coding life. To check out the full range of what I have worked on in the last few years, check out my github profile, or my resume.