hilary mason

Hi, I’m Hilary.

Simply: I make beautiful things with data.

I’m a Data Scientist in Residence at Accel, Scientist Emeritus at bitly, co-founder of HackNY, co-host of DataGotham, and member of NYCResistor.


I believe technology should give us superpowers.

I’m currently spending the bulk of my time investigating these superpowers and building new things.

I’m a Data Scientist in Residence at Accel.

After four years as Chief Scientist at bitly, I’m now Scientist Emeritus, advising an amazing team that studies attention on the internet in realtime, doing a mix of research, exploration, and engineering.

I co-founded HackNY, a non-profit that helps talented engineering students find their way into the startup community of creative technologists in New York City.

I’m an enthusiastic member of the larger conspiracy to evolve the emerging discipline of data science.

I’m a native New Yorker and I love this city and the technology community here.

I am an advisor to a few organizations that I adore, including Mortar,, collective[i], and DataKind. I’m a mentor to Betaspring, the Providence, Rhode Island-based startup accelerator, and TechStars New York.

I’m a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Technology and Innovation Advisory Council, which has been a fascinating way to learn how government and industry can work together.

I’ve received a few honors this year, like the TechFellows Engineering Leadership award, and was on the Forbes 40 under 40 Ones to Watch list and Crain’s New York 40 under Forty list. I’ve also been in Glamour, Fast Company, Scientific American, and more, which has made my mother very happy.

I like to give talks, and have spoken about how to replace yourself with a very small shell script, on e-mail hacking, machine learning: a love story, and more.

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  • Clint Robison

    Listened to you talk on the web at the Web2.0 Expo. VERY interesting. I’ve been a programmer in government, startup, big corporation, and freelance for 15 years and have always just “handled” pesky data as outlined in the mockup/schematic. Up until just a few days ago, I viewed data as a mundane task that I would have to sanitize and normalize for my program to meet requirements. Your talk changed my view. I think I went from programmer to “data person” overnight. Lately I’ve been spending alot of time scraping data from local government (arrests, municipal traffic tickets, court information, and traffic data) just for fun and profit. After your talk (and others), I mashed much of that data to Farmer’s Almanac data and found a crime spike on full moons! How cool!! Over the past 10 years in Oklahoma City the highest crime rates occurred on hot weekends following a payday/welfare check disbursements on clear evenings with a full moon. This is so exciting to me. Thank you for your talk. Initially I just stopped to see who the hot chic was but then your bitly analytics captured my attention and started to blow my mind. I just wanted to let you know that you are responsible for really tweaking my interest that will likely result in a career change! Take care.

    • David Westphal

      Wow – that is cool data sifting! What can you tell me about Seattle?

  • Ma’alona

    Loved ‘Machine Learning: A Love Story’! Am even more interested in machine learning now :) Thank you.

  • Hurumph

    OK, data scientist and lover of cheeseburgers is easy enough to understand and connecting hackers with NYC startups is great, but how on earth do you fit the discovery of two new species in to all of this? Was your first degree in the botany of Mount Kinabalu or similar?

    • David Westphal

      Wow – did you really discover 2 new specIes? What are they?

  • Tom Kornblit

    Your awesome. Keep up the good work.

  • Compscipro

    Funny — I didn’t look closely and thought you were holding flowers.  Silly me.  You are holding data — that is adorable!  You did a fantastic job speaking to the eclectic audience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing!  I think it was interesting to all.  Certainly it was to me!  Good job.  Carry on.

  • Jeri Ellsworth

    Love this photo of you!

    • David Westphal

      Must agree…..

  • Christopher

    u made bitly?

  • Michaelbrown077

    Im in love


    Nice bio.

    • David Westphal

      Like the Mayan Wind god??

  • sebastian bachmann

    Thank you for a fantastic presentation on #BigData at the #UN today.

  • Leti

    Hi, I used to go to to get any book, but now I can´t find them. Where can I find them again?

  • David Westphal

    WOW – Just heard your talk on SciFri recently. You are pretty amazing! Your investigations into what large aggregations of data can reveal about us and our lIves, and of their potential benefit for us, and your earnest challenge to those in corporate and government leadership that are infringing upon and exploiting these privacy rights, are apt and quite compelling. And I must say, your breathtaking voice was such a pleasure with which to listen to them……

  • Luis Perez

    Good day Hilary. Amazing profile (I always wondered if I’d regret leaving NYC).
    I think I need your help. Can you seek me out on LinkedIn please? Thank you.

  • Afshin Khadangi

    Love your story dear Hilary, you’re WONDERFUL!!! Best part of your bio which really impressed me was “machine learning: a love story”, YOU’RE BRILLIANT!