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Senior Applied ML Scientist (Recommendation And Ranking)

Remote, Canada (PST Working Hours Preferred)

With millions of diners, tens of thousands of restaurants, and 25+ years of experience, OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is an industry leader with a unique insight into the world of hospitality. We champion restaurants, bars, wineries, and other venues around the world, helping them attract guests, manage capacity, improve operations and maximize revenue.

Every employee at OpenTable has a tangible impact on what we do and how we do it. You’ll also be part of a global network that includes OpenTable and KAYAK's portfolio of travel brands including Swoodoo, checkfelix, momondo, Cheapflights, Mundi and HotelsCombined.

Hospitality is all about taking care of others, and it defines our culture. You’ll work in a welcoming and inclusive environment, and get the benefits, flexibility, and support you need to succeed.

We are currently on the lookout for an individual who is deeply passionate about Machine Learning. You will collaborate with a team of experts and engineers utilizing ML to elevate the quality of OpenTable's offerings.

The ML team at OpenTable is faced with two distinct challenges that present unique opportunities:

  • As the premier online restaurant reservation provider, OpenTable facilitates over 25 million diner reservations monthly across roughly 60,000 restaurants worldwide, backed by an extensive database of diner and restaurant information spanning over two decades.
  • Despite OpenTable's extensive reach, our team remains agile, with just over 1,000 employees globally, including a compact ML team of nine members, eager to expand.

Joining our team ensures your projects are backed by ample data and usage for significant impact, offering the chance to work on diverse and engaging projects throughout the company. However, the limited size of our team necessitates critical thinking and prioritization. If you find these challenges appealing, we are keen to hear from you.

Please note that visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

In this role, you will:

  • Researching and developing ML models, as well as collaborating with engineers to productionize them
  • Engineering new features and implementing data pipelines that enhance ML models.
  • Designing and analyzing the outcomes of online experiments.
  • Contributing to the internal ML libraries and assisting in the development of tools for training, evaluation, debugging, and interpretation of models.
  • Keeping abreast of ML research to apply its advancements effectively and communicate these to your colleagues.

We invite applications from candidates who:

  • Have a profound understanding of and experience in Machine Learning, including:
  • Algorithms (e.g., Deep Learning, NLP, GBDT)
  • Evaluation Metrics (e.g., precision, recall, AUC) and the design of effective metrics evaluations
  • Loss Functions (e.g., Categorical Cross-Entropy, Hinge, Focal, etc.)
  • Standard Practices (e.g., preventing data leakage, avoiding overfitting, encoding categorical features for Deep Learning or GBDT models)
  • Possess knowledge of data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented design
  • Have a strong proficiency in Python and practical experience with ML/scientific computing libraries (NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, XGBoost, TensorFlow/PyTorch)
  • Are committed to continuous learning and self-improvement
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate effectively within a team environment

It would be advantageous to have:

  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: learning to rank, recommendations, NLP/LLM, computer vision
  • Participation in a Machine Learning project or contribution to an open-source ML library demonstrating your research, implementation, and evaluation capabilities based on academic papers, or relevant publications
  • A track record in Machine Learning projects or Kaggle competitions showing your ability to analyze data, innovate features, and enhance ML model performance significantly beyond basic benchmarks
  • Familiarity with reinforcement learning, multi-armed bandit algoritms
  • Experience with Spark, SQL, and Airflow
  • A graduate degree in ML, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Economics, or a related technical field
  • Some Java experience

Benefits:

  • Paid Time Off - 20 days a year
  • Birthday/celebration PTO - 1 day
  • Flexible sick time off
  • Paid volunteer time
  • Annual company week off
  • Parental Leave Benefits
  • Dental & Vision Insurance
  • Life & Disability Insurance
  • Group RRSP and DPSP
  • Major Medical Insurance (dependent care options)

There are a variety of factors that go into determining a salary range, including but not limited to external market benchmark data, geographic location, and years of experience sought/required. The range for this remote Canada based role is $147,000-$200,000 CAD.

In addition to a competitive base salary, roles are eligible for additional compensation and benefits including: annual cash bonus, equity grant; health benefits; flexible spending account; retirement benefits; life insurance; paid time off (including PTO, paid sick leave, medical leave, bereavement leave, floating holidays and paid holidays); and parental leave and benefits.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

OpenTable aspires to be a workplace that reflects the diverse communities we serve and a culture that is inclusive and welcoming. Hiring people with different backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and ideas is critical to innovation and to how we deliver great experiences for our users and our partners. Representation matters.

We ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform job responsibilities, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

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