Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category
Data Science is one of the most exciting developing fields in technology today. Ever expanding data sets and increasing computing power allow statisticians and computing scientists to explore new business opportunities that were simply not possible merely a few years ago. Although their applications are new, the ideas and techniques that form the underpinnings for this evidence-oriented discipline have a solid foundation in hundreds of years of scientific development. In order then to understand the new science of data, one must first understand the science of science.
The Scientific Method, the unintended effects of repeated significance testing and Simpson’s paradox: this talk will focus on the practical applications of the theoretical constructs that lie at the heart of Data Science; and expand on some potential pitfalls of statistical analysis that you are likely to encounter when venturing into the field.
If you’re interested, feel free to sign up for either event. I’ll also post slides and additional thoughts here afterwards.
Although I am really excited about the new challenges and opportunities that await me in the sexiest job of the 21st century, I must say this new title bothers me ever so slightly. It somehow seems so redundant.
If you’re not using data, is it really science?
I’m not really interested in an exposition of your facts. I don’t very much care to learn about your reasons.
First, show me your evidence.
Once we’ve established what you think you’ve seen, we can talk about what you think it means. Supported by sufficient proof, your theories and derived truths should be much easier to express; sometimes they may even be self-evident.
Then we can both decide what to believe.
Contrary to what it may seem like, I have been busy writing; just not for this particular blog.
An answer in an art-rock allegory.
Imagine you are carving a statue out of a huge chunk of solid rock. Before you begin, the rock is just a rock. After you are done, the rock is gone and replaced by a marvelous (one would hope) piece of art.
As you are chiseling away you start to wonder: with which exact blow of the hammer does the rock suddenly transform from stone into sculpture? Why do we not suddenly see art appear where there was only a boulder before?
Individual animals are like chips falling to the ground as mother nature patiently carves up new marvels. Species are imaginary constructs we use to group individual pieces of the puzzle, but they can only hint at the true nature of the masterpiece they were hewn from.
When considered up close, each animal is neither rock nor art.
London on a Thursday afternoon. The man sitting a few feet away from me reminds me of that infamous security guru whose work I greatly admire; a man who I’d been reading about for years.
Actually, he looks a lot like Bruce Schneier.
But I hesitate; he seems so normal. No cohort of press, no masses of screaming fans and no burly bodyguards; if I can muster the courage I can simply walk up to him and ask.
So I did.
I don’t want to be rude, but is it you?
In retrospect, that was probably one of the most moronic questions I have ever put forward to anyone ever. But Bruce seemed unfazed. I probably wasn’t the first star-struck geek dazzled by his appearance.
Yes, I am him.
Completely flabbergasted I mumbled something about that I read his blog. He asked if I had also read his latest book. I was ashamed to admit that I had not. Someone took our picture and we shook hands.
He had a pretty firm grip and a mighty powerful handshake; that’s when I was certain that this was the man who already has a backup plan for when a 2nd person discovers that P = NP.
Real-life handshake authentication.