Science, Managing Money and Playing Music

He found you a date on, now can he fix your credit, too?

The Science To Managing Money and Playing Music To Express Creativity

J. Galen Buckwalter, 58, is now chief scientist at Payoff Inc., a Costa Mesa-based lender that specializes in consumers with high-interest-rate credit card debt. His job includes developing online personality tests to help the company understand how individual customers handle their money.

g_buckwalter-b1a2860a88a0e2a99150393dcf81d60bChief Science Officer

Chief Scientific Officer
eHarmony, Inc

From May 2014 – Present (2 years 2 months)Greater Los Angeles Area
Developing classical and gamefied psychometric assessments and profiling methods to minimize risk associated with financial loans. Applying valid psychometric measures to expand the range of persons who can qualify for loans with acceptable risk profiles. Developing a team of scientists to apply machine learning to psychometric based risk profiling. Patenting unique IP being developed around these methods.

Prior to the launch of eHarmony worked in collaboration with Dr. Neil Clark Warren to develop and validate the patented process for assessing and matching couples for long-term relationship satisfaction. The lead inventor on the patent for this matching process. After the launch of eHarmony, developed a world class R&D Department as the company’s original Chief Scientific Officer.

The overarching goal for my career is to use advanced analytics with increasingly complex data to understand and optimize the functioning of multidimensional systems. I firmly believe the pace of discovery from big data will increase exponentially when the analytic process is driven by ever-evolving theories. To quote my colleague, David Herman, PhD, “Data science is not machine learning.”

Current interests include:
1) Algorithmic personality detection: Using the Five Factor Model (FFM) and the more recent HEXACO models as the “gold standard” I am exploring both NLP techniques and deep learning methods with images to quantify personality from social media conversations.
2) Personalizing online interactions with personality typologies: Using a proprietary FFM typology developed at Payoff that identifies 10 types of financial personality we are developing personalized interactions to enhance self-understanding, to improve engagement, to decrease default rates and to increase savings.
3) Defining the prevalence, etiology and treatment for Acute Financial Stress (AFS): Stemming from the psychometric work needed to understand financial personality, we identified a profile of symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from financial stress and trauma.

Arianna Huffington sits in their board….