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.