Justin Ziniel



Justin, taken in Colorado

Hi!  I'm Justin, a Staff Software Engineer in IBM's Watson Group.  Watson is the supercomputer that understands human language, and beat top-ranked human challengers in the popular TV game show, Jeopardy!.  My job is to design algorithms that improve Watson's ability to understand and answer questions.  To do this, I draw on skills like machine learning, natural language processing, statistics, information retrieval, and computer science.  But really, my job is about finding ways to solve complex and often ill-defined problems.  Software is the medium I use to do that, but I like to think that the problem solving skills I use are no different than the skills used by artists, inventors, and other creative professionals.

For as long as I can remember, I've had an intense (colossal?) curiosity about how things (tangible and intangible) work.  I find it incredibly satisfying to be able to grasp the "magic" behind cell phones, airplanes, movie special effects, suspension bridges, you name it.  This quirk probably goes a long way towards explaining why I have a PhD in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University, and why I almost wrecked my girlfriend's car by being preoccupied with a blinking light on a traffic light control box.

This site is mostly just a place for me to project the various thoughts swirling around in my head.  I'm not sure what brought you here, but I hope you find it worthwhile!


The documents distributed by this server have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


Thoughts I've Had*

*that I've written down for you to read