Ryan Varley - CV

[email protected], ryanvarley

I am a late stage astronomy PhD student looking to move into a data science role in an exciting team. I have a strong background in python, signal processing, machine learning and building products - both in the form of python packages and in web apps. I enjoy solving problems end-to-end, from the initial data collection, mining and cleaning through to analysis and visualisation and turning the result into production ready code. I am looking to join a team allowing me to leverage many of these skills, and continue to learn new ones.

Work Experience

S2DS Data Science Fellow

August 2015, S2DS (Science to Data Science)

An intense five week data science workshop to aid the transition from academia to data science. The course focuses on working on industrial project as part of a team and has lectures covering a wide array of topics such as statistics, NLP, spark and marketing. For my project I am working with Growth Intelligence to improve their machine learning classification when using only positive and unlabelled data.

3rd Year PhD Student (Astronomy)

September 2012 – Present, University College London

My PhD work focuses on the analysis of time series data from stars with orbiting planets (exoplanets). The challenge is to isolate the small planet signal (of order 10-4) from the stellar signal taken by instruments not calibrated to this level of precision. The data is noisy, non-continuous and contains unconstrained instrumental systematics. I have developed data reduction and signal-processing routines to process the data and an instrument simulator to compare these methods and isolate and characterise the systematics, along with the flaws and caveats in our processing techniques. I also performed a study on the observability of exoplanets with next generation ESA space telescopes candidates like EChO and ARIEL.

Web Developer (self)

January 2011 – present

In January 2011 I started an Apple focused technology blog MacGazette.com with a writer friend, which ran until mid 2012, designing the sites and managing the host server. I built plugin like sections for WordPress, which were sold on the Pagelines store. With the designer Scott Abbott I built websites for the businesses Inert Productions and Elmwood Playground.

IT Consultant (part time)

2009 – 2011, Select Financial Solutions North East
Working 1-2 days a week during summer and winter university holidays.

Entering the business I was new to finance and technology in a business setting. The company wanted implement a system to log client details and interactions along with the ability to see all their clients’ assets and common funds between clients. I built a database system that held all client records, with a communication log and the database of the assets and their values in a searchable table. This resulted in much better records of client interaction and improved business as clients’ with funds performing poorly can quickly be identified.


STEM Ambassador

July 2015 – present, STEMNET

STEMNET (the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) creates opportunities to inspire young people in STEM.

I am currently involved in setting up a code club at a local school starting September

Regional Contact

June 2015 – present, Get-Well Gamers UK

Get-Well Gamers UK is a charity that takes donated video games and consoles to hospitals across the United Kingdom

The role involves being the contact for donations in your area, increasing the awareness of the charity in this area and talking with local hospitals.


PhD (Astronomy) - Currently Studying

Astronomy Exoplanets 2012 – 2015 (expected) University College London

MSci Natural Sciences (First Class Honours)

Astrophysics and Molecular and Cell Biology 2008 – 2012, University College London

During my degree I studied two disciplines, Physics and Biology, which specialised over the degree into Astronomy and Molecular and Cell Biology. Learning both gave me two different experiences in approaches to problem solving and critical thinking. Gravitating towards astronomy and working with data, my 4th year project was on comparing analysis techniques of an exoplanet observation, for which I received the Brian Duff Memorial Prize 2012 (Best 4th Year project in the department).


  • Machine Learning (Coursera - Stanford University) - Ongoing
  • Statistical Inference (Coursera - Johns Hopkins)
  • Reproducible Research (Coursera - Johns Hopkins)
  • Exploratory Data Analysis (Coursera - Johns Hopkins)
  • Getting and Cleaning Data (Coursera - Johns Hopkins)
  • R Programming (Coursera - Johns Hopkins)

Technical Skills


  • Python (Advanced) [+numpy, scipy, pandas, sklearn]
  • R (Intermediate)
  • Matlab (Intermediate)
  • SQL (Intermediate)
  • bash scripting (Intermediate)
  • HTML5 (Intermediate+)
  • Javascript / jQuery (Intermediate)
  • PHP (Intermediate+)
  • C++ (Basic)
  • Java (Basic)


  • Data munging
  • PCA / ICA
  • Regression and model fitting
  • Time Series analysis
  • Exploratory Analysis
  • Statistical Inference
  • Residual Analysis
  • Data Visualisation

Other Computing

  • Server administration (CentOS, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Apache, Nginx)
  • Amazon EC2 and S3
  • SQL, redis
  • Source control (git)
  • Test driven development
  • Property-based testing
  • Continuous integration
  • Code profiling and optimisation
  • API Exploitation

Hobbies and Interests

Traveling, photography, web development, computer gaming and baking