Data science is an increasingly popular field of study that’s relevant to every industry. When Maria Puertas Calvo was a student, she never imagined that one day she would pioneer data science techniques to detect security threats. She started her Microsoft career on the Safety Platform team, developing algorithms to identify Microsoft accounts that send spam emails. She then worked on machine learning to detect account compromise in real-time for Microsoft accounts.
Maria now leads the data science team for security in the identity division, working on several problems: protecting users from account compromise, protecting our own infrastructure from fraud and abuse, and making sure that spammers and bots don’t create accounts that will harm people or other organizations. Her work has been so critical that her team is doubling in size, expanding from Redmond to Dublin and Atlanta.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Alex Simons, Corporate Vice President of Identity Program Management, sat down with Maria to learn more about her groundbreaking work and inspiring story. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.