Below is a little personal info, and my blog is found in the menu (top left).

I have just finished a 9.5 month trip vagabonding around Asia and South/Central America with my wife Amy:

Work

You can find my resume here.

I now work as a Data Scientist, using machine learning to create efficiencies that help people and organisations succeed.

Before my data science career, I completed a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and worked as a cognitive neuroscientist.

Interests

Topics mainly within these areas: data science, investing, the human brain, markets, economics, human behaviour, psychology and sustainability.

I love focusing on understanding problems and opportunities with large impact/scale, hypothesis formation and testing, modelling and engineering to make solutions that help people or increase efficiency.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of my faviourite principles/directives for getting what you want is:

  • Know your strengths and use them often. Know your weaknesses and partner with others who have complementary strengths.

So, I’ve made an effort to start identifying my own strengths and weaknesses, by reflecting and also asking people who I’ve been involved with over the years.

Themes emerged, in terms of my strengths and weaknesses, from the feedback of people I’ve worked closely with over the years.

Strengths:

  • Interpersonal

    • My ability to listen intently to people and ask questions has lead to meaningful relationships with a range of people of different ages and backgrounds. I’ve been told by both colleagues and family that my friendly demeanour, combined with my willingness to listen and get to know people has considerably helped the well-being and state of mind of colleagues, friends and family.
    • I enjoy finding out what motivates individuals and what their talents are, then promoting them by helping to allocate their skills in an effective manner.
    • Drive to share knowledge and teach, coupled with an ability to explain things in different ways depending on people’s level of current understanding.
  • Understanding and defining problems

    • I get a kick from working to understand how discrete issues/details/tasks fit within broader contexts/systems/strategies, which is related to the fact that in my careers so far I’ve most enjoyed ‘big picture thinking’ but inevitably spent a lot of time in the details as well.
    • A general sense of curiosity, coupled with an ability to look at things from a different perspective to most can differentiate my ideas from others. This has also been described to me as “an enviable ability to think differently - ‘outside the box’ - about various/a wide range of things and come up with unusual, different ideas/solutions.”
  • Delivery / ‘getting the job done’

    • Perseverance - I’m good at latching onto a problem/task and wrestling with it until a solution is reached, and ensuring related tasks are completed.
    • Willingness and enthusiasm to learn new skills as required.
    • Ability to drive projects with enthusiasm, and to take on a leadership role when needed.

Weaknesses:

  • Providing answers when “put on the spot” without having first considered an issue

    • I am a “slow thinker” and am relatively poor at thinking quickly if ‘put on the spot’ to provide answers before having considered an issue deeply.
    • I believe this has always been the case for me. For example, this weakness was clearly evident during university when my assignment grades would usually be top of the class or at least the top 3, but my grades on unseen timed exams would not.
  • Spelling accuracy and reading speed

    • I am poor at spelling and a relatively slow reader.
    • This has been a weakness since childhood, but thankfully later it did not stop me from excelling during highschool/university since I was able to use other strengths to get around this.
  • Worrying and imagining too many ways things could go wrong

    • I have an innate tendency to worry too much about some things, even though history shows that most of these things did not matter in hindsight.
    • A principle that I try to keep in mind because of this is “don’t sweat the small stuff”.

Mission Statement

What to do with my life?

Being in a privileged position with a choice of many worthy things that I could spend my effort on, and only limited time on earth, prioritisation and goal setting becomes an important, and difficult, task.

To help, I created a high level personal “mission statement” as a guiding ‘north star’ used to check in and see if the way I spend my time is in line with how I want to live.

My mission is to:

  1. Ensure my family is happier for my presence than my absence.
  2. Act to either improve the world or at least cause no harm.

To help with my mission/s I will aim to do the following:

  1. Always keep learning, growing and refining my mind.
  2. Always either maintain or improve health/fitness.
  3. Work to solve impactful problems.
  4. Save diligently, invest wisely, and be generous with the results of that.
  5. Protect time to relax/unwind.
  6. Enjoy time with friends who I care about and who enrich my experience.
  7. Strive to understand the world/reality accurately.

Contact

Reach me via twitter (@DanielPNewman) or LinkedIn.