Anthony Goldbloom is cofounder and CEO of Kaggle, a platform for machine-learning competitions. Almost 500,000 of the world's top data scientists compete on Kaggle to solve important problems for industry, government, and academia. Kaggle has catalyzed breakthroughs in areas ranging from automated essay grading to automated disease diagnosis from medical images. Before cofounding Kaggle in 2010, Anthony was an econometrician at the Australian treasury.
In this article, we describe a deployed educational technology application: the Criterion Online Essay Evaluation Service, a web-based system that provides automated scoring and evaluation of student essays. Criterion has two complementary applications: (1) CritiqueWriting Analysis Tools, a suite of programs that detect errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, that identify discourse elements in the essay, and that recognize potentially undesirable elements of style, and (2) e-rater version 2.0, an automated essay scoring system. Critique and e-rater provide students with feedback that is specific to their writing in order to help them improve their writing skills and is intended to be used under the instruction of a classroom teacher. All of these capabilities outperform baseline algorithms, and some of the tools agree with human judges in their evaluations as often as two judges agree with each other.