"Data Mining: Fool's Gold? Or the Mother Lode?"

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    Richard De Veaux (Williams College) presents "Data Mining: Fool's Gold? Or the Mother Lode?" as part of the MAA Distinguished Lecture Series. This lecture was jointly sponsored with the American Statistical Association in celebration of Mathematics Awareness Month.

    Listen to the full lecture.

    Can government agencies really track what you are doing? Do credit card companies know what you are going to purchase before you do? And what about social networks? How much of your information do you want available - and what are they doing with it? In this talk, I will share some of my experiences as a data mining and statistical consultant for groups as varied as American Express, the National Security Agency, the office of the Attorney General of Vermont, and the Comptroller's Office of New York State. I'll talk about the methods analysts use to mine these large data repositories, what the limits are, and what the future might hold.

    Richard (Dick) D. De Veaux is Professor of Statistics at Williams College. He holds degrees in Civil Engineering (B.S.E. Princeton), Mathematics (A.B. Princeton), Dance Education (M.A. Stanford), and Statistics (Ph.D., Stanford), where he studied with Persi Diaconis.

    Before Williams, Dick taught at the Wharton School and the Engineering School at Princeton. He has also been a visiting research professor at INRA (the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) in Montpellier, France; the Université Paul Sabitier in Toulouse, France; and the Université René Descartes in Paris. De Veaux has won numerous teaching awards including a "Lifetime Award for Dedication and Excellence in Teaching" from the Engineering Council at Princeton. He has won both the Wilcoxon and Shewell (twice) awards from the American Society for Quality and was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) in 1998. In 2006-2007 he was the William R. Kenan Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. In 2008 he was named the Mosteller Statistician of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the ASA.

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