Chris Shallue Interview – Discovering Exoplanets with Deep Learning

In this episode I speak with Chris Shallue, Senior Software Engineer on the Google Brain Team, about his project and paper on “Exploring Exoplanets with Deep Learning.”

This is a great story. Chris, inspired by a book he was reading, reached out on a whim to a Harvard astrophysics researcher, kicking off a collaboration and side project eventually leading to the discovery of two new planets outside our solar system. In our conversation, we walk through the entire process Chris followed to find these two exoplanets, including how he researched the domain as an outsider, how he sourced and processed his dataset, and how he built and evolved his models. Finally, we discuss the results of his project and his plans for future work in this area.

This podcast is being published in parallel with Google’s release of the source code and data that Chris developed and used, which we’ll link to below, so if what you hear inspires you to dig into this area, you’ve got a nice head start. This was a really interesting conversation, and I’m excited to share it with you!

The notes for this show can be found at twimlai.com/talk/117
The corresponding blog post for this project can be found at

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