Ishaan Madan


I am a graduate of Northwestern University, having earned a BS in Computer Science from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. My internships at Amobee and World Fuel Services, along with the summer I spent assisting Prof. Martin Gargiulo at INSEAD, have shaped my interest in data engineering. I also have a keen interest in the architecture of at-scale distributed systems, and in particular, their cloud-based implementations. I am excited to continue to grow further in this space this summer as a software engineering intern on Apple’s Data Solutions & Initiatives team.

Below is a list of some of my relevant coursework at Northwestern:
CS 212: Mathematical Foundations Of Computer Science
CS 214: Data Structures And Data Management
CS 310: Scalable Software Architectures
CS 336: Design & Analysis of Algorithms
CS 340: Intro To Computer Networking
CS 343: Operating Systems
CS 345: Distributed Systems
CS 393: Software Construction
CS 496: Systems Programming in Rust

I grew up in Singapore, and am an alumnus of Singapore American School. My high school activities (including Debate and Model UN) took me to Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Delhi, Bangkok, Jakarta, Queenstown (New Zealand), Thimphu (Bhutan), and Dharamsala (India). The experience of having been immersed in both Eastern and Western cultures has been a profoundly enriching experience for me.

I enjoy reading, playing chess, and hanging out with friends, especially ones who share my manic interests in sports and music.

Summer 2020

Apple, Cupertino
Software Engineering Intern

Incoming intern on Data Solutions & Initiatives team. Stay tuned for details!

Summer 2019

Amobee, Redwood City
Software Engineering Intern

My second summer at Amobee was defined by Amobee’s acquisition of Videology and the resulting impact on Amobee’s core production pipelines. On the Platform Data Team (PDT), the focus was to revamp the Data Management Platform (DMP) to include functionality related to handling new types of video-related data. The team's overall goal was to release an alpha version of the next-gen DMP by Fall 2019. My role within that context centered around expanding parts of the intertwined pipelines to make this release possible. In particular, I worked with:

  1. Cask Data Application Platform (CDAP) : Built two custom plugins to map various source-sink combinations using CDAP. This configurability of the plugins provided the PDT developers with data and application abstractions to extend the DMP.
  2. Cloud Dataproc : Optimized code for running jobs on Cloud Dataproc, reducing job runtimes by ~50%.
  3. Apache Oozie : Optimized Amobee’s custom API for the internal Oozie Workflow Scheduler, as part of a wider effort to better manage Apache Hadoop jobs.

Summer 2018

Amobee, Redwood City
Software Engineering Intern

At Amobee (formerly Turn), I was able to understand the ins and outs of ad-serving from the perspective of a demand-side platform. It was truly unique to be able to learn how billions of nodes of consumer data is collected, efficiently stored, made accessible, and then analyzed for the next iteration of ad-serving to be more efficient. Additionally, I witnessed Amobee's acquisition of video advertising firm Videology, and saw the beginnings of this technology being implemented in the world of Connected TV.

During my internship, I worked on the platform side of Amobee, writing code that improved the structure and efficiency of a sub-segment of Amobee's cross-device data. Coding in Scala and Java, I architected a data pipeline to automate the weekly ingest of 1.4 billion nodes of data onto a Spark cluster integrated with HDFS and a Neo4j graph database. Overall, the solution reduced query time by 2 orders of magnitude (from ~3600 seconds to ~30 seconds).


Summer 2017

World Fuel Services (WFS), Miami
IT Analyst Intern

Working in the Business Intelligence pod of a Fortune 500 multi-national company allowed me the opportunity to learn various facets of a large and complex business. The IT function had to constantly respond to various planned and unplanned business scenarios on a regular basis, and I was on the team responsible for improving IT's data analytics capabilities. Specifically, I got to review WFS’s Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence (DW/BI) interfaces to key feeder systems, to ensure that overall data quality was suitable for its intended uses in operations, decision making, and planning.

In particular, I wrote SQL scripts using Oracle SQL Developer, wrote business logic in Python, and learned how to set up visual dashboards on Tableau. I also developed a JavaScript (JS) frontend (including HTML and CSS) tree visualization, utilizing the D3.js library and the Tableau JS API. The project helped transform flat file Tableau output data into a hierarchical, interactive tree structure that was more intuitively navigable by business analysts. This internship introduced me to the world of data management and analytics and was a very valuable learning experience.

Summer 2015

INSEAD, Singapore
Research Assistant

During my senior year of high school, I had the privilege of assisting Dr. Martin Gargiulo, Professor of Entrepreneurship and The Shell Chaired Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Development at INSEAD's Singapore campus.

For six months, I assisted Prof. Gargiulo in the documentation, testing, and configuration of custom software that he built to measure the dynamics of individual working styles and social networks in a typical workplace setting. The system measured the overall effectiveness and productivity of an individual by simulating (setting parameters to describe) the workplace that the individual operated in. The software was based on mathematical models that describe each individual "player" in the simulation. I got to learn the statistical programming language Stata, besides upping my Excel skills significantly. Getting to work closely with Dr. Gargiulo, who took the time to discuss the nuances of the underlying social cognitive models, made this a truly memorable learning experience.

Spring 2020

Undergraduate Researcher, AquaLab, Northwestern University
Starting in September 2019, I began a research project with Professor Bustamante and two PhD students at AquaLab. Building upon the groundwork laid by Smaragdakis et al, the project tracks cross-border data flows with the objective of highlighting violations of national data privacy regulations. The solution implements an in-country web crawling mechanism with OpenVPN, data flow route mapping using RIPE Atlas nodes, and geolocation techniques similar to those described in this paper. We will be submitting the finished work for IMC 2020, so stay tuned to see the final paper in the coming months!

Spring 2019

Rust HTML Parser
For my final project in the Systems Programming in Rust course, I worked with a small group to build a simple HTML Parser in Rust (with inspiration drawn from BeautifulSoup4).

We leveraged the pest crate to create our parsing grammar, and built the structure of our parse tree by implementing Rust iterators.


Spring 2019

Tune Harmonizer
For the final project in my Machine Perception of Audio class, I worked with two other students to build a simple tune harmonizer. The Java program produces a harmonic output based on a given monophonic melody MIDI input. The algorithm selects the optimal harmonizing chords based on a progression matrix of matching probabilities, which are then encoded into the output MIDI file.


Fall 2018

Citizens Police Data Project
As an extension of a data science class I took, I worked with Chicago-based nonprofit The Invisible Institute on their Citizens Police Data Project. The project is a data-driven initiative to further the nonprofit’s mission of enhancing the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable. Unfortunately, the codebase for my project has to remain private, but the associated report is available.


May 2017

Goldman Sachs Stock Pitch Competition

As a freshman, I competed in a stock pitch competition organized by Goldman Sachs' Securities Division (Chicago Office). Sixteen teams – eight from Northwestern and eight from The University of Chicago – were selected to participate. The challenge was to research the prospects of an S&P 500 listed company of our choosing and convince a panel of Goldman executives to invest in the stock. In pitching Nvidia, we researched company strategy as outlined in SEC filings (form 10-K) and industry/market reports, before building out our own Discounted Cash Flow model.

Interestingly, the stock was trading at ~$100 per share at the time of our pitch, and our medium-term price target of $128 was reached merely weeks later. As such, we won the competition, but I have been advised by well-wishers to remember the Wall Street maxim that "Past Performance Is Not Indicative Of Future Results" before applying my stock picking skills going forward.


Apr 2017

Accenture Innovation Challenge
Winner, Northwestern Pool and National Quarter-Finalist

Also during my freshman year, I participated in a national competition organized by Accenture to conduct a strategic review for an internationally known NGO. My team reviewed the organization's existing business processes, conducted market research, and assessed the use of various technologies to revamp processes and re-define the public perception of the brand.

The go-to-market strategy, which was presented to a team of Accenture senior managers, included several recommendations such as the development of a mobile app and a website revamp to enable the organization to better target the millennial segment. Our deliverables included wireframes for the mobile app as well as mockups for the website revamp. We applied case-based problem solving and process mapping techniques as a part of this project, in addition to having to ramp up on communications skills in presenting to the judges. Of the ~250 teams in the nationwide competition, my team made it to the final 16.


Mar 2017

Nielsen Case Competition

In a case competition for Nielsen, my team was given a case to analyze the competitive landscape, market trends, macroeconomic factors, and strategic brand positioning to support the introduction of a Spanish FMCG brand into the US market. We presented an overall market entry strategy along with a one-year sales forecast, marketing plan, and pricing recommendations for product launch. Of the 16 teams in the competition, my team placed second.


Jun 2016 - Jun 2019

Northwestern Capital Management (NCM)
As a member of NCM, I participated in the active management of a $10,000 portfolio housed in Kellogg School Of Management's Asset Management program. On a weekly basis, I, alongside other members, made stock pitches to club board members making the case for investment decisions.