Julia Ma

I am currently a software engineer on the Google Surveys team, which provides a platform to get opinions from the internet population.

My previous team at Google was Google Shopping, or Product Listing Ads (PLA). I was on the UI team, where we were responsible for the product ads shown on google.com. If you've ever searched for a product on Google, you've seen the shopping ads. One of my biggest launches was a revamp of the product entity card (see image).

Here are blog posts about some of my launches:
Mobile/tablet carousel
Product ratings in UK/France/Germany
Product review card
Product entity card

Machine Visionary

My sister, Elisha, wanted to learn how to use machine-vision APIs, and my husband, Eyal, loves puns. So we thought, why not make machines *have* vision? What would a machine imagine for the future?

We hacked together a demo where, given an image URL, the machine returns a motivational-poster-like image with a quote. The machine vision algorithm is applied to the image to extract descriptor words. The machine then harvests Wikiquotes from famous "visionaries" and replaces the words with corresponding parts-of-speech words that were extracted.

This was for SF Science Hack Day 2016. Source code.

Interest Networks

How are people's interests related? By exploring people's interests from LinkedIn profiles, we have created an interest graph to understand these relationships. The graph nodes are interests (hiking, painting, design), color-coded by category. Links between nodes appear when interests co-occur in multiple profiles. By looking at the graph, we can see which interests are more commonly shared among people, and whether these interests are in the same category (that is, similar to each other). This allows us to form hypotheses about how and why certain interests co-occur more often than others, and measure the diversity of a person's interests.

Sherwin Wu created the network visualization. See it in action here.

This was my thesis for my Master's degree from the MIT Media Lab.

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Full network of interests

Chisraeli cups

Laser-etched two Hebrew-Chinese ambigram names. Glass blown by me. Laser operated by Eyal Shahar.

Glass Julia fractal

Eyal and I took a glass fusing class. We laser-etched stencils for the various layers of the fractal and carefully shook glass powder on each layer. Then it goes, again carefully, into the annealer to be fused.

Elizabethan E-collar

This is Zoey, who we catsat for a month. During that time, Zoey had a wound that had some complications, so she had to wear an e-collar. Turns out that the "e" in e-collar stands for "Elizabethan", which was amusing to me since an "Elizabethan collar" is already a thing!! So I made Zoey an Elizabethan e-collar, or EE-collar.

Plaster mask

Labyrinth is one of Eyal's favorite movies, and he especially loves the masquerade ball scene where Sarah is surrounded by these crazy beautiful masks. We have also been attending various steampunk events (Edwardian Ball, Dickens Fair) and keep seeing the same mask vendors. So when We Players (one of our favorite local theater groups) hosted a mask-making workshop, we immediately signed up and learned how to use plaster sheets. We also took a trip to Venice (motivated by my desire to visit Murano, the birthplace of Venetian glassblowing), talked to Venetian mask-makers, and took many pictures of inspirational masks.

This is the mask I made for We Player's Capulet Ball.

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