My Philosophy

Question Everything

network diagram of Twitter connections

Quick answers are easy. Correct ones are not. I'm passionately skeptical, which may sound like an oxymoron, but it isn't. 



Making good decisions requires having good information and reliable methods. I believe in questioning everything - even my own work - because rigorous scientific analysis is more than just applying cookie-cutter formulas to every problem. For eleven years, my work was subject to reviews not only by my peers, but by defense attorneys and their experts, judges, and juries. I treat everything I do as if it might meet that kind of scrutiny. It's easy to make a machine learning model look smart, for example - but it's much harder to make sure it isn't cheating. With so many major decisions based on electronically-generated data, skepticism is a virtue.



Creativity is not the antithesis of  Skepticism. The creative process involves taking something old and looking at it again from a new perspective.  It is cynicism, not skepticism that often stops us from being creative. Brainstorming allows us to put cynicism aside and look at new ways to solve problems. Could Public Health models apply to Cybersecurity? Can Neural Networks learn to monitor each other for confusion?  I believe in studying everything - from Data Science to Ancient History.  Having lots of different academic interests is like having a broad palette of paints: the blank canvass offers many more possibilities to the artist who begins with a variety of hues.