My educational background:
I hold a PhD in Statistics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as well as a dual MSc in Applied Mathematics (from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Warsaw University); my studies focused on statistical modeling of risk with applications in credit risk. In addition, I have been following MOOC courses on anything related to data science.
Where my passion for big data comes from:
Originally, from my belief that – beautiful as it is – mathematics is a tool, only as relevant as the real life problems it can solve. That approach drove me to applications of probability, then statistics – and big data (when the sheer size of the data is part of the challenge) is the new frontier.
What is the most innovative or cool application of big data you have seen?
Inceptionism – I am really interested in deep learning, I enjoy a less serious approach to science, and I loved the title of an article from The Guardian discussing the (occasionally scary) gallery of images: ‘Yes, androids to dream of electric sheep’. Art, IT, machine learning and a Philip Dick reference – hard to beat such combined level of awesomeness.
Tell us a bit about your life away from work:
My wife and two sons take quite a prominent place. In the parts that are purely for me, I enjoy martial arts, sailing and reading. I have a fairly broad taste, but science fiction and historical non-fiction would probably be somewhere near the top of my favorite genre list.
A piece of advice I live by:
Always remember that real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.