Episode 1: Bayesian Analysis of the Hawaii Missile Scare

I need to write a post about my recent trip to Cuba! But I got back around 7 and I had time to polish up the next Local Maximum episode. In the rest of my discussion with Aaron, we discuss the how Bayes rule can apply to news items like the Hawaii ICBM Scare, the … Continue reading Episode 1: Bayesian Analysis of the Hawaii Missile Scare

The Local Maximum – Check out My New Podcast

Exciting news today! This is the launch day of my new podcast, “The Local Maximum”.  Yes, the day has finally arrived. So far on my guest and solo lineup, I’ll be covering AI, Product Design, Future Technology, and Current Events. The overall blend of topics is still TBD, but I’m going to start with 10 … Continue reading The Local Maximum – Check out My New Podcast

Impress your Friends by Finding the Best Places

Designing the algorithm for Foursquare’s venue ratings is one of the best things I’ve worked on in my career. I hear people tell me that if they want to go to a good place, they make a cutoff on our 1-10 scale, say 8.5, and limit their choices to the select few elite places. To … Continue reading Impress your Friends by Finding the Best Places

The Eclipse Experience

In catching up on my long backlog of potential blog posts, I want to talk about my trip this summer to see the total solar eclipse. I knew this eclipse was coming for years, but I didn’t actually make my travel plans until a few weeks before. That wasn’t the best idea as it turns … Continue reading The Eclipse Experience

Watch this Space in 2018

As the year wraps up, I just wanted to let you all know that I am planning a really exciting new project for 2018 that is going to take my “content-creation” to the next level. If you like to hear about probability, travel, technology, and all the topics I discuss – this will be something … Continue reading Watch this Space in 2018

The Idea of Subjective Probability

I’ve been deep in Bayesian analysis recently, and I want to discuss some of the philosophical foundations. The background here is that there are roughly two camps of statistical thought: the Frequentists and the Bayesians.  They represent very different ways of thinking about the world.  I fall squarely on the Bayesian side. The purpose of … Continue reading The Idea of Subjective Probability

I actually witnessed SQL Injection

SQL injection is one of those hacks you can do on websites with really bad security practices. It can occur whenever your database query includes user input. If the user puts something you don’t expect, they can alter the database in ways that you don’t expect. A funny example – which is kind of famous … Continue reading I actually witnessed SQL Injection

Marsbot and Chatbots

I spoke about Marsbot a number of times on this blog, but I wanted to write my own (short) piece on what we did and why we did it. The short of it is that Marsbot is a personal assistant that tells you about all the best places around you and what to do there. The … Continue reading Marsbot and Chatbots

Talkabot: The bot conference in Austin

Last month, I also attended the Talkabot Conference in Austin, TX. I gave a 30 minute presentation on Marsbot. I guess you could say I am on a national tour! This time, I shifted focus to how we’re adopting everything we’ve learned about user context (location stops, taste likes, time) to send messages that are really … Continue reading Talkabot: The bot conference in Austin

Marsbot Slides for Industry Talk at RecSys 2016

I recently attended the 2016 conference on Recommender Systems at MIT with my Foursquare coworkers Stephanie Yang and Enrique Cruz. We had several contributions – 2 posters and a 20 minute industry talk on Marsbot. Marsbot is a character in your pocket that acts as a text-based service for local recommendations. I’ve been working on … Continue reading Marsbot Slides for Industry Talk at RecSys 2016

Thoughts on Data Science, Local Recommendations, New York City, and Technology Innovation