#17: Decoding Healthy Meals & Learning the World of Food with Sivan Aldor-Noiman and Erik Andrejko @ Wellio

Ep 17 – Sivan Aldor-Noiman & Erik Andrejko

Humans are not the best decision-makers of what to do when they’re hungry”

-Erik Andrejko


In this episode of the Data Journeys podcast, we have not one, but two guests!

Sivan Aldor-Noiman and Erik Andrejko join me from Wellio: an intelligent platform that uses machine learning and behavioral science to help people plan, shop, prepare and enjoy healthy meals at home.

Wellio is on a mission to decode how meals are prepared and enjoyed at home, both on an individual-level in terms of people’s preferences and on a global-level in terms of semantic & nutritional understanding of food.

Quite interestingly, Sivan began her career in the Israeli army, serving as an instructor for an anti-tank missile unit. Afterwards, she transitioned to school and received her undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master in Statistics from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. At 26 years old she moved to the U.S. to complete a PhD degree in Statistics from The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, she’s spent the majority of her career at The Climate Corporation, which — despite what the name may suggest — specializes in using data science to optimize farming practices.

Erik graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2001 from Arizona State University’s undergraduate Computer Science program before receiving his PhD in Pure Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. He and Sivan first started working together at the Climate Corporation, where he was the VP of Science and Director of Data Science, leading the implementation of large scale statistical machine learning within numerous domains, including climatology, agronomic modeling and geo-spatial applications.

Today, Erik is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Wellio, while Sivan is the Head of Data Science and self-proclaimed Chief Fun Officer.


In this conversation, we dive deep into Wellio’s artificial intelligence for eating, covering topics like:

  • What it means to be a passionate disagreeable giver and how this fits into Sivan being Wellio’s Chief Fun Officer
  • The problem that Wellio is solving and why’s is personally meaningful to Sivan and Erik
  • The approach Wellio takes toward building recommendation systems to understand home chefs and using computer vision techniques to semantically learn food
  • The most (and least) nutritious meals for your dollar, ranked by Wellio’s nutritional density model
  • Why Erik sees trust as the necessary gateway when transitioning from descriptive recommendations to prescriptive recommendations
  • How they learned at The Climate Corporation to help people who know nothing about data science (farmers) understand the power of it for their business


Enjoy the show!

Show Notes: https://ajgoldsteindotcom.wordpress.com/podcast/ep17/

Sivan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sivan-aldor-noiman-297aa421/   

Erik’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erik-andrejko-0900a51b/

AJ’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajgoldstein393/

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