The potential of being good

Yesterday I happened to hear talks by two excellent speakers, both on major data mining applications in industry. One common theme was that both speakers gave compelling and easy to grasp examples of what data mining algorithms and statistics can do beyond human intelligence, and how the two relate. The first talk, by IBM’s Global Services Christer Johnson, was given at the 2011 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research (see video). Christer Johnson described the idea behind Watson, the artificial intelligence computer system developed by IBM that beat two champions of the Jeopardy quiz show. Two main points in the talk … Continue reading The potential of being good

Mathematics, statistics, and machine learning

Today’s Wall Street Journal featured an article called New Hiring Formula Values Math Pros, talking about how Bay area companies “are in hot pursuit of a particular kind of employee: those with experience in statistics and other data-manipulation techniques.” Let’s take a look at a few more quotes from the article: “Being a math geek has never been cooler” “[companies] need more workers with stronger backgrounds in statistics and a related field called machine learning, which involves writing algorithms that get smarter over time by looking for patterns in large data sets” This article, like many others, is confusing very … Continue reading Mathematics, statistics, and machine learning