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A Statistician's Life, Celebrating Black History Month »

[1 Feb 2023 | Comments Off on Lester Mackey | ]

Lester Mackey’s interest in statistics unfolded when he was a student immersed in the Ross Mathematics Program, an intense eight-week summer curriculum in number theory designed to expose teenagers to proof-based mathematics. His interest in machine learning was piqued, however, when he competed for the million-dollar Netflix Prize during his senior year in college. His team lost by twenty minutes, but the experience opened the door to his future. “Every day,” Mackey noted, “I reflect on my good fortune at finding a field (machine learning) and a job (researcher) that I truly love. My work scarcely seems like work, as it’s exactly what I would be doing even if no one was paying me.”