I analyze data. Nowadays it's mostly web data, and at scales which would qualify it as "big data". For that I use machine learning (which I was trained in), as well as NLP and IR. I specialize in observing and analyzing human behavior on the web. The resulting insights translate into new features and products, or, alternatively, into academic research.
I have a Ph.D. from CMU, under Andrew Moore, on "efficient implementations of statistical machine learning algorithms". That led to a widely-cited paper on K-Means (with a widely-used software package), and the main application area was astrophysics. After graduation, I joined the machine learning group of the IBM research lab in Haifa. There I worked on machine learning as applied to water management and (separately) to computer hardware virtualization, and was nominated IBM master inventor. Today, I manage a group at the Haifa branch of Yahoo Labs, where I'm a director.
I support open-source software, and in the past I maintained several FreeBSD ports and contributed documentation to the FreeBSD handbook.
- November 2015: I co-organized the live-QA challenge at TREC-2015
- August 2015: I co-organized the webQA workshop at SIGIR 2015.
- December 2013: A post I co-authored was published in the Yahoo labs blog, on UGC as typed on mobile devices.
- October 2012: A paper I co-authored is mentioned in Ha-Aretz (a major Israeli newspaper). It's about the way cancer patients search for information on the web.
- May 2013: My ICML 2000 paper reached over 1000 gscholar citations.
- June 2010: I was local organization co-chair for ICML 2010. Here is an IBM press release with a bad photo.
- June 2009: After 13 years of operation, I shut down LibAgent. It was a web site that helped university students with their library book loans. It had tens of thousands of subscribers. With Nadav Eiron, we hand-coded three tiers (FreeBSD/Apache/Postgres/Perl Mason) and a scraper backend with a mass-mailing system. I also provisioned hardware, configured DNS and firewalls, and did customer service.
- September 2002: I played a very small role in the unearthing of the first online smiley.