Portrait of Jonathan Larson

Jonathan Larson

Principal Data Architect


Jonathan Larson is a Principal Data Architect at Microsoft Research working on Special Projects. His applied research work focuses on petabyte-scale data infrastructure, data science applications, network analytics, and information visualization.  He has applied experience in cyber-security, anti-human trafficking, fraud analytics, mobile device analytics, media management, retail analytics, organizational analytics, and real estate.

At Microsoft, Jonathan leads a team of developers and data scientists focused on researching new approaches to scalable network machine learning.  This work has led to shipping entity recommendation engines directly within Bing, new interfaces to enable organizational analytics, deployment of tools to combat tech fraud, and algorithms / tools to better understand news provenance.  Previously, he led a team that focused on the intersection of artificial intelligence and business intelligence for scalable interaction with data. This work extended Power BI from structured numerical analysis to enable text, meta-data, and other unstructured data use cases. It was designed for both novice and expert users at low cost. The team shipped a suite of new data interfaces through Power BI in 2016. The Power BI visuals, which have all been open sourced, include the Network Navigator, Time Brush, Table Sorter, Attribute Slicer, Cluster Map, Facet Key, and Strippets Browser. The team has also shipped two “solutions templates” for social brand management and news analytics in 2016 and a news based template in 2017.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Jonathan was Chief Scientist and Technical Fellow at Sotera Defense Solutions on assignment to DARPA, and led a variety of data science and big data efforts across several programs.  In recognition of this work, his team received the Department of Defense Joint Meritorius Unit Award.  DARPA programs Jonathan worked on have been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Rolling Stone, SXSW, and TEDx.  Jonathan also served as Director of Research and Development at ATS, a natural language processing firm near Seattle.  At ATS, he oversaw development of a graph analysis engine product, was Principal Investigator for a Small Business Innovation Research grant, and led a joint research project with Washington State University.  Jonathan has also led large-scale data science efforts as a consultant for Google, Zillow, and the US Army.  He has started three separate corporations, worked a private funded incubator, and also served as a key contributor at Potomac Fusion, where his contributions helped lead to a successful acquisition by Sotera Defense Solutions.  At Sotera, Jonathan also led the open source release of a distributed graph analytics processing library and the Data Wake browsing history analysis toolkit.