Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hello World!

My name is Lev. I'm a computer scientist working on machine learning and theory research.  I recently got my Ph.D. from Yale and am currently at Yahoo! Research.  If you want to learn more about me, you can visit my website.

On occasion, I have things to say that don't fit into 140 characters.  So, I've started a blog.  I expect to blog on a broad variety of topics: machine learning and computer science, science and technology in general, and other issues on occasion.  I'll try to keep my posts short (not much longer than this one) and not too technical, but I hope they'll be at least somewhat insightful and entertaining.   

The title of this blog, "Room for Doubt," is taken from a lecture by Richard Feynman on the value of science, where he talks about the role of doubt in science. 
The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain. 

I hope this blog will leave both literal and figurative room for doubt.  Hence, my posts may be occasionally critical and skeptical, but I don't expect that will be my main focus.  But leaving room for doubt is important, and I couldn't think of a better way to remind myself than to put it in the name of this blog.


  1. I have no doubt your blog will be awesome :) So I look forward to reading it. Plus, I get the honor of being the first to leave a comment :)

  2. Thanks Ilya! I'll try not to disappoint.