Humans of Prodigal: Harsh Pareek

Headshot of Harsh Pareek

Harsh Pareek is a Senior Machine Learning (ML) Engineer at Prodigal. 

After graduating from IIT Bombay with a B.Tech in Computer Science, he completed his PhD in Computer Science at UT Austin. 

Prior to Prodigal, Harsh worked as a Research Scientist at Meta, solving the thorny Integrity problems that plague the Facebook News Feed. During his time at Meta, Harsh built a number of ML models to identify low quality or harmful content in News Feed, particularly clickbait, engagement bait, and viral misinformation. 

Harsh's research has been published in top-tier ML conferences, such as the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), and the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Where are you located?

Mountain View, CA

Why Prodigal?

I was looking for something fast-moving in AI, and Prodigal’s small size and AI-first mindset appealed to me.

The opportunity to work with Shantanu and Sangram was definitely a draw. I knew of them from IIT Bombay and really look up to them.

And I was immediately sold on the vision as soon as I read the impact. I could see very clearly the impact Prodigal’s AI can have on many industries. This technology can be world-changing.

When I’m not working,you can find me…

…playing video games. I’m really enjoying Factorio right now. It’s a strategy and building game, where you start from nothing - you’re mining coal, and from there you create a factory. There’s exponential growth. You’re automating everything.

I enjoy it because it’s like programming, but in a game. It’s all about resource management.

What would your co-workers be surprised to know about you?

I’m really into meditation. I did a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and have an active meditation practice.

I started meditating when I was working on my PhD, and found it really helpful for mental clarity. I can tell the difference when I am not meditating regularly.

What’s your favorite Prodigal value?

Definitely radical candor. I’m most comfortable when I can be frank and candid with other people and expect the same from them.

It’s a difficult value, a little risky. But it’s not that you are not tactful, Instead, it is a way of prioritizing communication and that’s part of building a strong team. If radical candor is done well, it can lead to trust and foster a genuine feeling of community.

Want to work with Harsh and the other humans of Prodigal? We're hiring!