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A picture of Geneviève Patterson

Geneviève Patterson

Head of Applied Research (VSCO)

in developer, mac, researcher

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm the Head of Applied Research at VSCO. I take recent (or sometimes old) academic research and adapt it for user-facing features in the VSCO app. We have a small team and grad interns. Sometimes I work with outside researchers and PhD students too!

What hardware do you use?

I have a MacBook Pro myself, but except for the simplest inference-time tasks I'm using Google Collab Pro notebooks and p2.xlarge and p2.8xlarge EC2 instances. I had a half dozen 1080 and 1080 Ti GPUs in a couple workhorse machines when I worked in a physical office. That became too complicated at the beginning of last year. Using cloud GPUs is easier for user data in S3.

And what software?

I'm an emacs person and am using TabNine for autocomplete. Someone near and dear to me loves Magit, so I might get into that soon 😅

I'm mostly setting up my models in PyTorch, but I don't know if that matters so much anymore. I think it's more convenient for warping pretrained models into some strange shape that I need for output or mobile device constraints.

For network debugging I like Postman.

For iOS development I use XCode, although I can't say there's any love lost there.

Probably the oddest thing about my setup is that I like to rotate my terminal prompt randomly. I use oh my zsh, and set up my .zshrc to pick a prompt from my list of favorites at random. It's a nice surprise every time I open a new prompt.

What would be your dream setup?

I sort of hate desks. Especially the same desk everyday. I wish I had a "random" function that would give me a different place to work every morning from my list of favorites. I used to like working from a hammock chair at my old MSR office with a view of the Charles River, but after a couple days I wanted that to be randomized too! I want to have a different visual perspective all the time. I think that's important to get my creative brain working.