After his graduation from CU in 2015 in Applied Mathematics, student Zack Thoutt has made great strides in his professional career. As an Applied Math major with minors in Economics and Biochemistry, he had an impressive skillset that was quickly put to use by major startups in the tech industry.
He began his career, the summer before his senior year, at a company that focused on helping people trace their own genealogy. Originally called Mocavo, the company was eventually acquired by a similar company called Find My Past. For Mocavo he was a data scientist and worked on machine learning projects to expand site growth and user outreach. Now, he works as a full stacks developer to build analytics software at a company trying to rethink the auto industry.
“As a full-stack developer, I work across our entire technology stack. I help build our web apps, scrape websites, host our apps, design our interfaces, and train machine learning models to assist our ordering team. My degree laid the foundation for me to expand my knowledge and learn all of these skills,” said Thoutt.
Back in August of 2017, Zack Thoutt caught media attention for his attempt to create and predict the unfinished 6th novel of Game of Thrones using Artificial Intelligence. He became a full-stack software engineer after graduating from CU and tried writing with AI as a side project. "The math that I studied influenced my decision to explore the artificial intelligence space. Once you have a good understanding of linear algebra, probability, statistics, and calculus, you can pretty much understand any artificial intelligence research paper if you have the patience to sit down and read it thoroughly,” said Thoutt. You can read more about this his project here.
When he isn’t working for startups or revolutionizing the future of AI and taking over the internet, he likes to embrace his passion for nature. As part of the alpine club during his undergraduate years at CU, he found his love for the outdoors early. He and his wife aim to take two hiking trips a year to get away from work and the stresses of everyday life. “When I'm not traveling, hiking, or learning, I like to do yoga and spend time with my wife, border collie (Skutull!), and family who all live in the Boulder area. We are quite a crowd (over 30 people), but I can't imagine life without my close, wonderful family,” said Thoutt.
Over the past years, his travels have brought him to exotic destinations like Iceland, New Zealand, and the Alps. He also blogs about upcoming technological trends and started an adventure travel company with his wife, in hopes that others will share similar adventures. The company matches people to their ideal vacation through a set of specific algorithms and questions.
Out of his entire time at CU, he says that the most valuable part of his experience was the amazing people he met. “My degree laid the foundation for me to expand my knowledge and learn all of these skills. It taught me the building blocks necessary to understand complex topics and how to learn quickly and efficiently. I also developed a lot of great relationships during my degree--some with fellow students and a few with grad students and professors. I think these relationships are what I value most from my degree because they have connected me to an amazing, talented group of people in the Boulder area who share my interests and are genuinely good people,” said Thoutt