On this episode of The Artists of Data Science, we get a chance to hear from Marco Andreoni, a statistician and data scientist who has a master’s degree in mathematics and machine learning, as well as a master’s degree in mathematics and cryptography.
He is the lead data scientist at Quantyca, where he covers every part of the data lifecycle from ingestion, storage, analytics, web applications, cloud storage and beyond.
Marco shares with us his passion for teaching other statistics in a more meaningful way. This led him to create Flash statistics, a way to make statistics more accessible to people. Marco brings an interesting perspective into sharing knowledge in a creative way, that all of our listeners should develop to be competitive!
Some notable segments from the show
[9:01] Marco’s inspiration for creating flash statistics
[16:42] An episode of flash statistics that is an absolute must for data scientists to watch
[17:21] The most misunderstood topic in statistics
[22:33] Whether data science is more of an art or science
[32:00] The importance of creativity
[36:00] Tips on communicating effectively
Where to listen to the episode
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, YouTube, or on your favorite podcast platform.
Marco's journey into data science
Marco’s always been good at math, but he didn’t know much about statistics. Luckily, he met some great professors while in college, which gave him advice and passed on knowledge regarding statistics.
[3:13] To be honest, when I started my university studies at Polytechnic of Milan, you know, 2011, I didn't even know statistics. I have to be honest, I've always been good at math. That's why you have chosen mathematics and engineering, so simple. Luckily during the five years of the of my university, the first three years and then the last two years or so, I was really lucky, I had the opportunity to meet amazing professors. They share their knowledge with me and they turn me on onto statistics. And that's simply why I've chosen my measure of my master's degree in applied statistics. Really I wish you'd meet a person like them on your way because they are able to explain complex ideas so easily and to share passion about their job. So that's where everything started.
Key takeaways from the episode
Relation of cryptography and data science
[5:59] Privacy is crucial in data science. Protecting and masking your data is important to every data scientist, and cryptography is the field of protecting and masking messages. This is how cryptography will interplay into data science now and in the future.
[9:01] Marco’s inspiration for flash statistics started without a precise goal in mind. He wanted to challenge himself to make statistics more accessible. So he connected his passion for drawing with statistics to create flash statistics. It started off as a fun experiment, and ended up being a successful project.
Most misunderstood statistics topic
[17:57] Most people have a difficult time understanding P-values. When doing hypothesis testing, you never accept the null hypothesis. Rather, you check if there is evidence to reject the null hypothesis.
Data Science: art or science?
[22:34] A data scientist must be competent, creative, and communicative. A data scientist must follow the scientific approach, in order for the field of data science to have more scalability and reproducibility.
Importance of creativity
[32:00] Creativity is crucial. I believe it comes into play in two important ways: the way you communicate with others and the model you choose. If you are someone that does not see him or herself as a creative, just observe the experts and learn, then repeat their methodologies.
Tips on communicating effectively
[36:00] The audience is more impressed with your results, not your process. Just cover the main points of your results, and don’t stress on all the details.
[21:03] “You don't need to memorize every single equation...But you must know the underlying idea.”
[31:23] “Only if you measure something, you can control something”
[35:00] “Focus on the process, the result takes care of itself”
The one thing that Marco wants you to learn from his story
[39:31] Creativity makes it easier to share both simple and complex concepts.
From the lightning round
Future of flash statistics
Marco wants to keep developing flash statistics episodes and even some books, with the hope of providing people a more meaningful platform to appreciate statistics.
What would you put on a billboard
Marco’s motto in life is “Give do ways to things”. Essentially, he only focuses on what matters most, without spending energy on useless issues.
Marco is motivated by working with skilled and qualified people interested in sharing knowledge. This allows him to perform at his best.
Advice to 18 year old self
Marco decided that he would not give his younger self any advice, since he firmly believes in learning through experience.
Marco recommends reading “Win” by Novak Djokovic.
Books and other media mentioned in this episode
“The Creative Calling” by Chase Jarvis
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The transcript for this episode can be found here.