Sr. Data Scientist

Irvine, CA (Option to be remote)

Full Time Senior-level / Expert
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Senior Data Scientist | Acorns

At Acorns, we're building a financial wellness system that enables everyday Americans to save and invest every day. We are transforming the category and recruiting a team that is relentless at fulfilling our mission. The Acorns team comes together every day to deliver a revolutionary product to its customers, the up-and-coming. If you thrive in an environment where you can push yourself beyond all previous thresholds of possibility, come join us at Acorns.

The Acorns Data Science team is growing. Acorns is actively seeking a motivated, detail-oriented, and solution-focused Senior Data Scientist who will report to the Head of Data Science.  The data science team is focused on solving problems that directly affect customers and the Acorns business, including allocation, personalization, growth propensity, retention, and fraud and risk detection.  This person will be initially focused on leading the development of fraud models.  We know that solving problems with data is an art and a science. Data Scientists at Acorns are as good at communicating and collaborating as they are at building machine learning solutions and writing code.  At Acorns, Data Scientists have broad latitude around data and you will collaborate with groups including: Analytics, Engineering, Product Management, Marketing, Operations, Risk, and Business Development.

This role has the option to be remote or based in our Irvine, CA or New York, NY offices.

You are not expected to have experience with all listed requirements. If you feel passionately about Acorns' mission, vision and values, please apply.  

Within 1 month, you will:

  • Learn Acorns products, data warehouse, and how data fits into the products.
  • Become familiar with the DS processes and tools.
  • Meet people across the company with whom you would likely work.

Within 3 months, you will:

  • Become integrated into the process of building models and DS solutions.
  • Work on a model development or Data Science Solution with a colleague.
  • Make production quality code commits into the team’s repository.

Within 6 months and beyond, you will:

  • Lead technical development of data science projects of defined scope that include 2-3 junior data scientists. 
  • Be capable of completing all parts of a model development including data validation, feature generation, sampling, feature selection, generating performance definitions, and analyzing performance. 
  • Be capable of comparing different modeling approaches, and deciphering pros and cons of those approaches.
  • Lead the development of design documents for the projects for which they are responsible.
  • Complete review of standard data investigation, and carries out additional investigations as needed. Look at relationships in between fields. Evaluate the suitability of data for a DS solution and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Carry out code reviews for the entire project team, and ensure high quality of code with an eye for process improvement.
  • Deliver a complete model package for model implementation. 
  • Support the implementation through meetings with engineering teams. 
  • Ensure all project documentation is complete and accurate.
  • Assist with delivery and communication with leadership from other teams that are stakeholders of the solution. 
  • Make recommendations for next steps in the solution development. 
  • Mentor team members, and utilize project discussions to increase education of more junior team members.
  • Actively participate in discussions on new technical approaches.  Identify papers and topics that are relevant to the team.

What you will bring to Acorns:

  • Empathy for our customers’ financial situations and the desire to help our customers in need of personalized products and services.
  • The ability to uphold the values of transparency, honesty, and support for the team.
  • An ability to explain complex problems in a simple way.
  • Capability to build algorithms that touch statistics and machine learning.
  • Knowledge of scalable and efficient methods for large scale data analysis and model development.
  • Pride in your work.
  • MS / PhD in a relevant field.  MS / PhD a plus.
  • Relevant fields include: Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Operations Research, Physics, Statistics
  • Five (5) years of experience in detecting fraud. 
  • Extensive experience in at least one of the following: Python, Scala, Java, Spark, C and R.  Experience with Databricks or notebooks a plus.  More languages and DS tools is a plus.
  • Experience analyzing large datasets and generating features to capture interactions in the data.
  • Experience comparing modeling solutions and ability to determine the more effective solution.
  • Experience with building data science solutions using at least 3 statistical and machine learning techniques, and exhibit technical depth in at least 1 technique.
  • Strong problem solving skills and ability to gain insights from data.
  • Proven ability to interact and collaborate with engineering and product teams.
  • Good communication and presentation skills.
  • Fraud detection experience in the financial industry.

What we offer:

  • Competitive salary and stock options
  • A comprehensive benefits package to meet the needs of you and your family
  • Flexible paid time off
  • Numerous career possibilities that allow you to grow with Acorns
  • Talented and motivated team members who care deeply about one another, our mission and our customers.
  • The rare opportunity to create a new world. We inspire one another every day to do meaningful work that solves big societal challenges.

About Acorns:

Acorns is the leading micro-investing app in the U.S. It allows users to round up their daily purchases and automatically Invest the Change® into a low-cost, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds offered by some of the world's top asset managers (including Vanguard and BlackRock). Founded in Newport Beach, Calif., by father and son team Walter and Jeff Cruttenden, Acorns provides a simple entry-point using the Acorns app on iPhone or Android. Customers accumulate fractional shares in one of five portfolios constructed by world-renowned Nobel Laureate economist Dr. Harry Markowitz. Acorns' smart portfolio algorithms automatically work in the background of life, helping users build wealth naturally, pennies at a time. From Acorns mighty oaks do grow.


With benevolence and courage, we look after the financial best interests of the up-and-coming; beginning with the empowering step of micro-investing.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

Acorns believes diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental obligations that strengthen our team. We need a diverse, multi-disciplinary team to build a meaningful company and culture.


  • Lead with heart
  • Make bold decisions
  • Always build trust
  • Never stop growing
  • Find a way
Job region(s): Remote/Anywhere North America
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