Since 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project to help you connect with the music you love. Our team of musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics… and more! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.
Join Pandora for a geeky night on September 25, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm to learn about how Pandora music & comedy analysis, curation, and algorithms work together to personalize the listening experience that you love.
Our line-up will include an awesome girl geek panel on the power of mentorships and your career path!
We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you soon!
Pandora Girl Geek Dinner Agenda
5:30pm – 6:30pm Check in + mingling
6:30pm – 6:40pm Welcome w/ lightning welcome by Maira Benjamin
6:40pm – 7:00pm Comedy analysis by Kelly Anneken, Pandora’s Comedy Curator
7:00pm – 7:45pm Playlist Science + Q&A by Maria Chavez Cantu, Pandora’s Sr. Software Engineer of Android Mobile Development
7:45pm – 7:50pm Closing/thank you by Brenley Brotman, Pandora’s Director of Tech Recrutiing
7:50pm – 8:30pm More networking time
2101 Webster Street
Oakland, CA 94612
Plenty of free street parking after 6 pm!
Twitter hashtag for the event: #PandoraGirlGeekDinner
Twitter handles for the hosts: @Pandora_Radio @BayAreaGGD
Pandora Girl Geek Speaker Bios
Maira Benjamin (Manager of Music Engineering, Pandora)
Maira Benjamin has over 20 years of experience in the realm of software development. She’s worked in different industries: Digital Imaging, Databases, Insurance, Finance, Travel, and Music. She’s held a variety of positions with different focus areas of Technical Support, Maintenance, New Development, Consulting, and Management. Currently, she is the Manager of Music Engineering at Pandora. She’s written a technical book titled, “C++ and Corba Programming.” She has presented papers at an AI conference, an HP conference, and specific company-focused conferences. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics from U.C. Berkeley and has taken classes towards a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from Mills College in Oakland. She’s currently studying Machine Learning. Maira’s particular passion is diversity in technology. She is of mixed heritage: Hispanic and Black. Her interest in technology has meant that she has worked in all-male teams and until recently, she has usually been the only female engineering manager. She’s worked with inner city kids mentoring and introducing them to STEM concepts.
Kelly Anneken (Comedy Curator, Pandora)
Kelly Anneken is Pandora Radio’s first and only Comedy Curator. Kelly oversees acquisition, ingestion, programming, artist and label relations, and library maintenance for all standup comedy content on Pandora in addition to driving internal initiatives aimed at growing the Pandora Comedy brand. Before joining Pandora as a Comedy Analyst in 2010, Kelly was a 13-year retail customer service veteran, youth theatre teacher, and aspiring standup comedian. Kelly has gone on to co-found Femikaze, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to developing female comedy talent and audiences, and Hobo Pancakes, an absurdist online humor journal. For her work with Femikaze, Kelly was awarded one-half of the East Bay Express’ “Best Feminist Comedy Duo” award in 2013. She continues to perform standup comedy as often as possible and has self-released a comedy EP, Twenty Minutes to Sell. Kelly has also had the privilege of moderating panels and discussions on behalf of SF Sketchfest, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and Book Passage. She plans to one day “run the world,” as prophesied by Beyoncé.
Maria Chavez Cantu (Sr. Software Engineer of Android Mobile Development, Pandora)
Maria Chavez Cantu has over 15 years experience in all aspects of Development’s life cycle. In that time, she has served may roles: architect, product manager, lead, developer, QA. And has worked for many companies: from startups to corporations across different industries: Database, Finance, Insurance and Music as a full stack engineer : db, scalability, middle ware, front-end, CE, mobile. Currently she is a Senior Software Engineer of Android Mobile Development at Pandora. A first-generation Mexican-American and California native, Maria’s particular passion is encouraging Latinas to go to college. Her goal is to inform Hispanic girls that college is a possibility for everyone and one of the ways she does this, is by talking to groups of young girls, sharing her story of cultural struggles and perseverance.