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Forever learning and helping machines do the same.

Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category

Predictive Analytics World London

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In October I’ll speak at Predictive Analytics World in London. Once again, I’ll be talking about Data Science.

Special Featured Sessions at Predictive Analytics World London

You can register for the event on the site. Slides are already available online.


Written by Lukas Vermeer

September 9, 2013 at 17:24

Posted in Data Science, Meta

Tagged with

Data Science: for Fun and for Profit

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In the next few weeks I’ll be giving two talks on the topic of Data Science at Xebicon and another event affiliated with Xebia. There is an abstract of my spiel available on the Xebicon site.

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.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

May 17, 2013 at 10:37

Posted in Data Science, Meta

Tagged with

A New Kind Of Science?

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I am no longer a Corporate Ninja. As of a few weeks ago I can now call myself “Data Scientist at“.

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?

Written by Lukas Vermeer

May 2, 2013 at 17:20

Posted in Meta

Tagged with

Evidence-Based Everything

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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.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

December 4, 2012 at 13:14

Posted in Meta, Psychology

Tagged with , ,

Picture Imprefect

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Picture yourself with a new job at: Oracle

Yes, I can indeed very easily picture myself with a job at Oracle. I hear they are doing some pretty cool stuff around marketing and personalization.

Personalization is difficult. I’ve written before about the uncanny valley where personalized results are so off the mark that they have an adverse effect. The trough of disillusionment where companies pretend to know their customers, but fail to deliver on that promise.

For instance, you would think LinkedIn would know I already work for Oracle.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

June 5, 2012 at 11:17

Posted in Marketing, Meta, Oracle

Tagged with , ,

Art-Rock Allegory

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Contrary to what it may seem like, I have been busy writing; just not for this particular blog.

[ Crossposting from Quora where I tried to answer the question “Why hasn’t anyone ever seen an an animal give birth to an animal of a different species?” ]

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.

Art rock.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

May 13, 2012 at 19:47

Posted in Meta

Tagged with , , , ,

Handshake Authentication

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Bruce And Me

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.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

March 16, 2012 at 17:37

Posted in Meta

Tagged with ,

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