Friday, June 27, 2008

To be a leader

Paper number does not really make a lot of sense. To be a leader, you should have a clear focus and have real impact. For example, the only reason why one receives an academic award is that he contributes a lot to a specific research direction but not that he has published hundreds of papers.

The above words are said to be from Bruce Croft (a leading computer scientist in the field of information retrieval), though I could not find his original text.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I really believe that Python, but not Matlab, is the future for scientific and engineering computing. SAGE, a free open-source alternative to Matlab etc., has started to attract attention from the research community. Since it uses Python instead of an obscure language designed for a particular mathematics program, one can write programs that combine serious mathematics with anything else, such as natual language processing.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Right Data vs. Better Models

Yehuda Koren, a member of the famous BellKor team in the Netflix Prize competition, recently wrote an article about the three levels of addressing the Netflix Prize. The insight that deciding what data to model is more important than choosing what model to use seems to be complement to the issue of more data vs. better algorithms. This is also supported by the successful story of Amazon's recommendation systems.