About Me
Hey! I'm Matt Jones. I like making things do what they're not supposed to.

I currently lead the anti-spam engineering team at WhatsApp, focusing on scalable ways to detect and prevent abuse for 1 billion users. Prior to that, I spent seven years at Facebook working on anti-abuse systems, from reverse-engineering malware and building high-throughput classification systems to defending new products and leading teams in California and London. Along the way, I protected against malicious ISPs, compromised telephone carriers, and numerous spammers.

Before Facebook, I earned my BS in Computer Science in 2009 from Stanford University. I am interested in building and breaking secure systems, understanding and visualizing large datasets, and sometimes talking about elegant user design.

Otherwise, I enjoy cycling, skiing, sailing, and hiking.

For more blather about me, you can check out my LinkedIn.

I've worked on a number of projects for fun, class, or work. Here's some info about a few of them:
Facebook's Linkshim (2009-2012): A way of keeping Facebook users safe from a number of different attacks, including from malicious URLs and sites trying to track via referrer. See another note about how the referrer-protection part in particular works.
Faster than SIFT Object Detection (pdf) (2009): A project I worked on with Borja Peleato, looking at ways to improve the effective but slow Scale-Invariant Feature Transform. We used generic trees, built on top of random tree classifiers, based on work by Calonder et al (pdf) to search through video for instances of a query object. We were able to improve SIFT speed by 5 times, at the expense of a higher false positive rate. We hope to open-source our implementation, and will post a link here when it's cleaned up a bit and ready for general consumption :-).
Internet Comment Classifier (pdf) (2008): A paper I worked on with Prasanna Vasudevan and Eric Ma, exploring ways to apply machine learning techniques to classifying Slashdot comments. Perhaps our most interesting finding was that we could classify comments as good or bad most accurately using only information about how many times the given user had posted before - discarding all data about the actual comment content. I worked on scraping 700k+ comments, calculating metafeatures, running Na´ve Bayes with different features and class types, and visualizing the results. We'd love to hear any comments you have, so feel free to email mkjones < at > cs < dot > stanford . edu.
Tournaments Facebook App (2007): A facebook application written from scratch in php for Stanford's CS377W class with Blake Cutler and Brent Pirruccello (who's now working on college admission statistics). I did most of the database, object-relational mapping, utility, security, and otherwise backend code, along with a few UI elements. The application lets users set up, administer, and participate in Tournaments for any sport. It was created before and independent of my employment at Facebook.
  • Written from scratch in php
  • Totally object-oriented design
  • Link tracking for metrics and UI analysis to augment Google Analytics
  • Filesystem caching of objects for performance
  • Form IDs on all actions for eliminating double posts and mitigating XSRF attacks
  • Access-controlled invitations
  • AJAX for wall posts and other actions
SendRoses Facebook App (2008): Another facebook application I worked on with Blake Cutler and Brent Pirruccello, written using the same framework I originally developed for Tournaments, above. This, too, was made before and independent of my employment at Facebook.
Framework for Social Web Applications (pdf) (2007): A paper I wrote alone, also for CS377W, discussing what makes a high-quality social application that benefits all parties involved.
Photography for fun and for class. I took intro to photo and had a lot of fun shooting and developing on black and white film using my dad's old Canon T90 ("The Tank"). However, shooting film is O(n) time and cost for the number of pictures you take. In search of a more cost-effective strategy, I bought a digital SLR, which is O(1) cost but still O(n) time (though with a much lower constant). Check out my flickr photos!
Intel Paper Semifinalist (pdf) (2004): I did research on the behavior of bronze powder when vertically vibrated at relatively high frequencies, including the appearance of and cause for certain patterns. The resulting paper was a Semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search. More info, including my friends' projects, at my Intel page.
Intel Papers
The following are some papers written by friends of mine in the Chem-Phys program at Evanston Township High School and submitted to Intel STS / Siemens-Westinghouse / other outlets for high schoolers doing original research. If you're interested in the program, reading more papers, or maybe doing one yourself, check out Mark Vondracek's high school research website at ETHS.

If you want me to put yours up here, just shoot me an e-mail, mkjones at cs dot stanford dot edu.

Intel Papers

Some of the same students that do research through the Chem/Phys program at ETHS also made a sick video about the program, presumably for a senior project. Check it out.