Short URLs, Big Data: Machine Learning at Bitly – Hilary Mason (

September 16, 2011 all-day

Bitly is a URL shortening service, gathering hundreds of millions of data points about the links people share every day. I’ll discuss the data analysis techniques that we use, giving examples of machine learning problems that we are solving at scale, and talk about the differences between industry, startup, and academic research.
Hilary Mason is the Chief Scientist at, where she finds sense in vast data sets. Her work involves both pure research and development of product-focused features. She’s also a co-founder of HackNY (, a non-profit organization that connects talented student hackers from around the world with startups in NYC. Hilary recently started the data science blog Dataists ( and is a member of hacker collective NYC Resistor. She has discovered two new species, loves to bake cookies, and asks way too many questions.

Center for Language and Speech Processing