David McNeely-White

Colorado State University · david.white.679@gmail.com

I'm a PhD student studying under Dr. Ross Beveridge.

My work focuses on understanding convolutional neural network (CNN) feature spaces. Most recently, we have learned that face recognition models converge to the same outputs after rotation, even when those models don't share training data or CNN architecture. This research has been applied in the DARPA Active Interpretation of Disparate Alternatives (AIDA) program.

Previously, I contributed to the DARPA Communicating with Computers (CwC) program, which focused on DIANA, an intelligent avatar described here.

I also help with Kat McNeely-White's research in various ways, most recently building a tool for running MINERVA2 memory simulations.


Old publications


Applied Science Intern


I apply computer vision techniques to improve the experience of Amazon customers in collaboration with a cross-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers. Most recently, this involves exploring the use of self-supervision and vision transformers on a massive dataset of images in a unique domain.

May 2021 - Present

Graduate Research Assistant

Colorado State University

I co-developed, maintained, presented, and published a multi-modal virtual assistant named Diana. I focused on gesture recognition, user perception, and performance optimization (C#, Python 3, Unity engine, TensorFlow, MS Kinect, funded by DARPA CwC).

I collaborated with CU-Boulder and Brandeis Univ. on the creation of a multi-model embedding-based knowledge base for participation in the DARPA AIDA program. My chief contribution was the extension of my MS thesis work to facilitate cross-CNN face identification and correlation (Python 3, TensorFlow, Java).

May 2018 - May 2021

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Colorado State University

Beyond grading, proctoring, and occasional lecturing, I taught small workshop-style labs and provided regular one-on-one instruction. The classes I assisted were intermediate C++ programming and advanced DBMS. At the end of the first class, one particular student told me they “couldn’t have done it without me.”

August 2017 - May 2018

Freelance Developer

Child Development Research Group (Univ. of TN)

I defined, designed, developed and maintained a web app for managing child participants and associated parents for the purpose of conducting childhood development research (C#, SQL, .NET/MVC, HTML/CSS/JS).

May 2016 - January 2020

Mid Software Developer

Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc

Working on a small, cross-functional, partially remote team, I co-developed adaptive web-based surveys for the purpose of improving patients’ medical outcomes (e.g. pain management, mobility). I was known as a powerhouse and always pushed for using modern design and development tools. While we all wore many hats, I particularly loved back-end optimization and refactoring (C#, SQL, .NET/MVC, HTML/CSS/JS).

January 2016 - July 2017

Junior Software Developer

Pilot Corporation

I worked on multiple small teams developing console and web applications using .NET/MVC.

July 2014 - January 2016

Research Intern

Joint Institute for Computational Science (Univ. of TN)

I maintained and expanded computational frameworks in support of computational physics research.

June 2013 - July 2014

Research Intern

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

In the Material Science and Technology Department, I assisted with the development of scientific instruments, the processing and analysis of experimental materials, and the proposal and presentation of research (Article).

May 2011 - Sep 2012


Colorado State University

Master of Science - Computer Science

Coursework includes computer vision, machine learning, AI, and distributed systems.

GPA: 3.97

August 2017 - May 2020

Maryville College

Bachelor of Arts - Computer Science

Including most of a Chemical Physics degree.

GPA: 3.71

August 2010 - May 2014


Programming Languages
  • Very Comfortable
  • Python 3
  • C#
  • SQL
  • Still Learning
  • C++
  • Java
Programming Tools
  • Very Comfortable
  • TensorFlow
  • Jupyter
  • NumPy
  • Matplotlib
  • Git
  • *NIX terminal environments
  • .NET
  • Still Learning
  • OpenCV
  • Unity Engine
  • Hadoop
  • HDFS
  • Writing & Presenting Research
  • Agile Development & Scrum
  • Cross Functional Teams


My near-term goal is to work in industry solving problems using cutting-edge research and tools. I'm most interested in machine learning and computer vision, but I'm also excited by problems relating to high-performance, distributed systems.

When the weather is good, I enjoy camping and cycling here in Colorado, and restoring old motorcycles. Otherwise, you can find me tending to my many houseplants or gaming with my wife.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Robert B. France Fellowship in Computer Science (2021-22)
  • Outstanding Research - BICA Society
  • ACM President - Maryville College (2 yrs)
  • Jerry L. Pietenpol Computer Science Award - Maryville College (2014) 1
  • Jerry L. Pietenpol Computer Science Award - Maryville College (2013) 1
  • First Stand - Maryville Community Orchestra

1Recognizes the most outstanding and most promising junior or senior student majoring in computer science