About

CV / Resume 🔹 hi@fredbenenson.com 🔹 @fredbenenson

Fred is currently employed at Y Combinator working on their admissions team.

Previously he was Kickstarter's second employee and worked there from 2009 until 2016 focusing on data, engineering, research, and everything in between. In 2015 he became their VP of Data, managing a team of data scientists and analysts developing and deploying online machine learning classifiers, recommendation engines, and analytics infrastructure.

Before joining Kickstarter, he worked as Creative Commons’ representative in NYC, and taught at ITP, where he graduated in 2008.

In 2010 Fred published Emoji Dick, a emoji translation of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. In 2013, the book became the first emoji book acquired by the Library of Congress. He is also the author of "How to Speak Emoji" published by Ebury Press, a Penguin / Randomhouse UK imprint.

He studied philosophy and computer science in undergrad, and was influential in the students for free culture movement, a copyright reform organization. He's written for Bookforum, WIRED and 2600.


The Tetris Effect Book Review - Bookforum - 2016
Browsing your website does not mean I want your spam – 2016
Why Graphics Cards are Hacking the Future – 2016
Humanity UX – 2016
On the next 2,271 days – 2016
Websafe 2k16 – 2016
This is the story of analytics at Kickstarter Kickstarter – 2016
Lunch Roulette Kickstarter – 2014
Creator Video Analytics Kickstarter – 2012
The Year of the Game Kickstarter – 2012
Blockbuster Effects Kickstarter – 2012
Shortening the Maximum Project Length Kickstarter – 2011
The New Creator Dashboard Kickstarter – 2011
Soul-Crushing Realism Is a Videogame Hit WIRED Magazine, 2011
Hidden Treasure: Lost Photos From the Set of American Graffiti WIRED Magazine, 2011
Trends in Pricing and Duration Kickstarter – 2010


SQL Styleguide – 2016
virgil.dog / source – 2015
Kumquat a reporting tool for rendering RMarkdown files inside Rails – 2015
Lunch Roulette is a command line tool for generating diverse lunch groups from a list of staff – 2014
Cause Caller an empirical test of participatory democracy // ITP Thesis – 2008


How to Speak Emoji Ebury Press // Penguin Randomhouse UK – 2015
Emoji Dick – 2010


MoMA / PopRally – 1, 2, 3, 4
DFA Records – Hercules and Love Affair, LCD Soundsystem
Wikipedia – Aaron Swartz, Jonatham Lethem, Tonka Beans, more
Kill Screen Magazine


The Emoji Translation Project – 2015
SOPA shirt – 2011
Hackers Party – 2010
Emoji Dick - 2009


@emojidreams – 2014
@robodrudge – 2012


a16z Podcast: The Meaning of Emoji – 2016
The Ringer Tech Podcast with Molly McHugh – 2016
Slack Variety Pack Episode 28 – 2016
How to Speak Emoji Chicago Humanities Festival – 2016
MoMA R&D Salon 11 Unfair/Fair - Copyrights and Us – 2014
I Have No Words: Emoji and the New Visual Vernacular Eyebeam – 2014
Skynet via the Darknet: How We're Unwittingly Training the Next Gen of Strong AI Ignite – 2012
A Startup's First Dataist DataGotham – 2012
Crowdsourcing: Innovation and/or Exploitation? SXSW – 2011
Can you Copyright a Tweet? SXSW – 2010


Interview on "mathwashing" – 2016
Interview with Popular Science – 2015
Meet the guy trying to turn emoji into a legitimate, usable language – 2015
NPR Marketplace – 2015
WNYC – 2014
Interview with The Guardian – 2013
Emoji Translation of Moby-Dick Accepted Into Library of Congress TIME Magazine – 2013
The New Yorker's 'Eustace Tilley' Made With iPhone Emoji Icons ABC News – 2012
Revenge of the Cyberpunks – 2010
Graduate Student and Halloween Enthusiast Gothamist – 2006
Code Warriors Village Voice – 2006


Rhizome.org board member & Seven on Seven co-founder
Founder Students for Free Culture – 2004
HackNY Judge – 2011