Nina Zumel, Ph.D.
I am a Principal Consultant with Win-Vector LLC, a
statistical research and consulting firm based in San
Francisco. My technical interests include statistical
learning, data visualization and knowledge representation.
I am also interested (at a layperson’s level) in cognitive
science, psychology, and linguistics.
I am generally interested in how to apply computer science
techniques to explain (and more ambitiously, to understand)
human activity. This includes applications such as
understanding a web user’s search or shopping activity, a
person’s movie, restaurant, or music preferences, or how a
design engineer’s activity relates to his or her design
goals (a project I worked on at SRI). While these types of
applications are generally approached from a statistical
learning framework (quite successfully, in many cases), I
am also interested in how cognitive and behavioral science
models can be used to inform computational and statistical
analysis of human activity.
Another of my interests is the pedagogical interface
between basic research and technical practice. Too many
mathematical research papers can only be read by other
specialists - people who could have conducted the research,
and hence written the paper, themselves. If the ideas and
theories generated in this research are to have enduring
value, they have to be accessible to researchers and
practitioners in other areas, who may have new applications
for these theories. In my technical writing, one of my
goals is the synthesis of relevant ideas and theories from
the statistics, computer science, and other research
communities into a form that is understandable by technical
but non-specialist readers who want to solve problems in a
specific application area.
When I’m not working, I write and dance.