Search Engine Marketing

I work at SmarterTravel Media where I analyze the performance of their internet marketing portfolio and develop solutions to improve yields.
When I'm investigating data, the place I like to start is by building the right visualization. Looking at the data is the first step toward being able to understand it. I like to build visualizations and prototypes in R, although occasionally I've built some data exploration tools in javascript with javascript graphing libraries when they were intended for wider use.
Given the quantity of keywords we had, the amount of search data available was pretty massive. But still, one of the biggest challenges was accounting for things about which we had very little or no data at all, or where the data available had no predictive power.

Cognitive Science

I studied Cognitve Science at MIT. Cognitive science tries to understand how the brain processes the world around us and how one basic unit (the neuron) can combine to create the behavior we see in people. So a cognitive scientist might study vision, language, morality, the process by which any of these develop in children, or situations where they fail to develop. Unlike chemistry or physics, doing new work in cognitive science doesn't have to include an expensive machine or mastering laboratory techinques. As an undergrad, I was able to engage with problems at the "forest" level, not just the "trees," which involved a lot of thinking about how to read the results of someone else's work; about how to design an experiment to test a hypothesis; about how to interpret and visualize data; and about how to present those results persuasively.
Along the way I spent a lot of time in TedLab, where I analyzed the permissible orderings of sentences/ideas in a text (discourse analysis). My project with Michael Frank looked at cross-situational learning. I presented the paper at the Conference of the Cognitive Science Society in 2009.
I also spent time in neuroscience labs. In 2006, I worked in the lab of Nancy Hayes at UMDNJ as a SURP student. My project looked at whether neurogenesis increased in mice who were trained on the morris water maze. In 2008, I worked with Liora Las in the lab of Michale Fee. We were studying activity in the ventral tegmental area of the songbird. I learned to do a little brain operation on the birds.
Before 2008, I studied linguistics. I wrote a phonology paper on the distinction between the vowel sounds in the words "Merry", "Marry", and "Mary" which I presented at the Cornell Undergrad Linguistics Colloqium.
My cognitive science coursework at MIT included Statistics, Computational Neuroscience, Computational Cognitive Science, Sensation and Perception, Psycholinguistics, Lab in Higher Level Cognition, Lab in Visual Cognition, Abnormal Language
Actually I've been doing science even longer than that, just ask Prof. Nick Agostino.