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Introduction

When I was growing up, I was enamored with the “Foundation trilogy” by renowned science fiction writer and professor Isaac Asimov. A prominent character in the story line was Hari Seldon, a mathematics professor who developed a scientific field called “psychohistory” that combined history, sociology, and mathematical statistics, allowing him to predict the future in probabilistic terms. As a result, I was hooked on the concept of prediction at a very young age, so becoming a data scientist was a profession that felt quite natural for me. And machine learning is a tool that I liken to Seldon’s Prime Radiant, a device ...

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