Adapting Machine Learning Algorithms to Novel Use Cases

Abstract: How can an idea from an 18th-century Presbyterian minister be used to estimate the mass density function of galaxies across the Universe? How can a marketing segmentation algorithm protect astronauts traveling to Mars from certain death? How does a Formula 1 race from then 1950's inspire one of the greatest data science use cases for the Internet of Things? How can a violation of the triangle inequality theorem in mathematics lead to a cure for cancer? This workshop will answer these questions, and more, by presenting several examples of one of the key aptitudes of successful data science practice, which is adaptability. In particular, I will present several well-known algorithms (including some that we would not even call "algorithms") that may have been adopted for specific use cases or applied in specific business domains, and then I will show how each one can be adapted to a novel use case that may be less obvious, perhaps producing significantly surprising results in some other domain. Plus, I will suggest some new opportunities that may come from interesting combinations of data and algorithms. The point of these exercises is to demonstrate how data scientists can create even more value, beyond that which is expected, from our data assets and our algorithmic talents.

Bio: Dr. Kirk Borne is the Principal Data Scientist and an Executive Advisor at global technology and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. In those roles, he focuses on applications of data science, data management, machine learning, A.I., and modeling across a wide variety of disciplines. He also provides training and mentoring to executives and data scientists within numerous external organizations, industries, agencies, and partners in the use of large data repositories and machine learning for discovery, decision support, and innovation. Previously, he was Professor of Astrophysics and Computational Science at George Mason University for 12 years where he did research, taught, and advised students in data science. Prior to that, Kirk spent nearly 20 years supporting data systems activities on NASA space science programs, which included a period as NASA's Data Archive Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Borne has a B.S. degree in Physics from LSU, and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Caltech. In 2016 he was elected Fellow of the International Astrostatistics Association for his lifelong contributions to big data research in astronomy. As a global speaker, he has given hundreds of invited talks worldwide, including conference keynote presentations at many dozens of data science, A.I. and big data analytics events globally. He is an active contributor on social media, where he has been named consistently among the top worldwide influencers in big data and data science since 2013. He was recently identified as the #1 digital influencer worldwide for 2018-2019. You can follow him on Twitter at @KirkDBorne.