Experfy: It’s great to have you on Experfy, Rebecca. Could you tell us a little about yourself and what you have done?
Rebecca: I am a mathematician, statistician, consultant, programmer, lecturer, researcher and developer of educational materials. The short version of my story is that I have a BA and MA in mathematics; and Ph.D. in applied mathematics with emphasis in statistics.
Since graduating in 2006, I have developed new theories in regression that do not require the assumption of an independent/dependent relationship and models co-dependent variables in addition to those independent/dependent relationships with a high degree of accuracy and can detect deficiencies in the model. Furthermore, the mapping of the bivariate probability distribution of co-dependent variables is readily detected using this method.
My primary area of interest in the application of statistics is environmental studies and health. I have written several text on computing and mathematics/statistics and many articles in areas of meteorology and health.
The long version starts with my parents. My love for mathematics started with my mother who would play math games with me as early as the age of three and typesetting started with my father; shortly before I was born and after he served four years in the Air Force, my father was a typewriter salesmen for Royal.
He had an old Royal typewriter that I still have today, now antiquated this started a love for typesetting which lead to computers.
The first computer my father brought home was an IBM Portable PC; and from that time on, I spent much of my time studying mathematics and learning computing skills; both typesetting and coding. I began my formal training in computers in sixth grade; nearly thirty-five years ago. In high school, I learned BASIC on what we lovingly referred to as a “trash-80”.
BASIC is a language that is no longer mainstream; however, lead to Visual Basic which is a fundamental language. In university, my main area of study was Mathematics; at that time machine learning and artificial intelligence was not fully defined. Mathematics has been a passion of mine my whole life. In 1996 I graduated with both my BA and MA in Mathematics at the University of South Florida (USF) through their accelerated program; and I studied at Florida State University (FSU) for a year, before taking some time off, then returned to USF, finishing my Phd. in Applied Mathematics with emphasis in statistics.
I had always considered myself a Mathematician, and then a Statistician; however, I learned much about computers through courses such as FORTRAN and taught courses on using technologies such as creating websites through FTPs, writing HTML code, and mocking up text in Latex.
I fell in love with the many dialects of Mathematics and languages used in Computing: this includes Logic, Sets, Counting and Combinatorics, Probability, Statistics, Geometry, among other topics in Mathematics; and coding languages used in Excel, R and Unity; and now having developed the Knowledge and Reasoning for Experfy and the AI track, I have a greater appreciation for machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and the internet of things..
Thus, in addition to developing Implicit Regression (Non-response analysis and Rotational analysis); I want to redefine the educational text from a linear based printed form to a networking of terms and concepts in a three-dimensional virtual world (using Unity); and write interactive lecture notes and diagnostic apps (using shiny – R).
Experfy: Wow, that’s great! What are the emerging technologies you think will redefine industries and creative a massive impact?
Rebecca: The emerging technologies I think will redefine industries and create a massive impacts are app and gaming software. Such software, have and will continue to redefine industries. Used by the military as well as in the field, three dimensional learning/training platforms coupled with Artificial Intelligence are continuing to improve and propel technologies.
Gaming is also used as educational tools for the masses; Triseum has a game out called Variant: Limits that includes topics in calculus; Roblox has Royal High School that teaches typing skills to name one.
Unity is a physics engine that I believe can revolutionize how we learn and teach; This 3D gaming platform is extremely versatile; I have used it to create a neural network of terms that automatically fill the scene with links to related terms, related interactive elements and the definition of the primary term on the GUI.
Once all the interactive elements are in, Wooten’s Interactive Statistics Dictionary will allow students to not just read over experiments, but perform them in a 3D virtual world.
The statistical platform R is used to run data analysis and generate high quality graphics; you can create Apps using the library Shiny as well as combine and create animated graphics. However, while I do the majority of my data analysis using R; there is a lot for which I prefer Excel. I use Excel to clean data, reorganize data and have used it many times to automatically mock-up information and embed it into code run in R; and Excel is my go between when I need to have data converted from a text file into a CSV file.
Experfy: Do you think it is important for professionals to re-skill/up-skill themselves in emerging technologies?
Rebecca: What I think is important for professionals today in terms of re-skill/up-skill themselves with emerging technologies is that technology has become common place with the Internet of Things.
Using technology is a sign of the times. Smart houses have devices that can tell you the weather, play Jeopardy, tell you a joke or recite facts from a knowledge base. Automatic and voice activated thermal devices can regulate the indoor temperature, so on and so forth. Such technologies are changing the way we live.
During this, the age of information, transmitting Information is fast and free. Computer software will need to continuously improve and we need more people who can develop these new technologies. Moreover, general computer skills are also necessary in the workforce; if you want a professional look for your resume.
To advertise your business or that you mow lawns, computers can be used to create, print and distribute this information. Technology is everywhere, regardless of if you attend college or went straight into the work force, you very well may find yourself with a hand held device to look up stock as a sales clerk, place an order at Chick-Fil-a, or to answer an incoming call; and each device has multiple types.
For professional running, these companies to be competitive and for their business to run efficiently, need to be aware of emerging technologies.
Technology will help them grow their careers and business in terms of management. Technologies are useful for inventory management, predictive analysis, assets management, among other management sciences that maximize productivity and profits while minimizing outside costs and shortages. These are useful technologies for owners, supervisors and everyone involved in the process to ensure their business is operating efficiently.
My concern with millennials is not so much that there are technologies that millennials need to catch up with, it is the underlying languages and logic. Many people can use a calculator; however, how many can reprogram it or improve upon its functionality.
We live in the age of information; our goal is to turn data into information into knowledge. Viewing the world through a kaleidoscopic lens, data analyst require multiple perspectives to obtain a full understanding of the subject phenomenon; and even then there is uncertainty. Have we included the right explanatory variables, do we have the correct model, is the data reliable, is the relationship seen direct (cause and effect) or indirect (a common response due to a lurking variable), did we use the best statistical methods to fit the model, how does this relationship change over time, among others. It is the uncertainty and existing limitations that distinguishes mathematics from statistics and the artificial intelligence of an algorithm from human intelligence.
Experfy: That’s some great insights you got there Rebecca. This is surely going to help our readers plan their future with all the emerging technologies that are getting introduced. Great to have you!