Making Assumptions – Musings from a Silicon Valley Data Scientist

The following article discusses one of the many things that I have learned as a data scientist. It does not involve any popular new methods or deep learning and perhaps does not sound as cool. It is something much more primary, but absolutely crucial to any scientist’s career.

Whenever a problem is given to someone, and their task is to find the best possible solution, one of the most important aspects is to search through the possible solutions efficiently. However, when presented with a problem, the first step people usually take is to quickly begin searching for a solution. This search happens in a virtual space of possible solutions that are created (delineated) by one’s mind almost automatically. We are able to create this virtual search space very quickly by making many assumptions about the problem.

We have been pushed by evolution to make assumptions in order to survive…

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