David Alvarez Melis

I'm a PhD Candidate in the EECS department at MIT, working with Tommi Jaakkola. I'm broadly interested in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, particuarly in settings involving structured data. Some topics that I am currently (or have been) working on:

Before coming to MIT, I spent a year at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, working with Ken Church and others in the Speech Recognition Group.

Even before that, I completed a BSc in Applied Math at ITAM (Mexico City) where I was advised by Carlos Bosch and an MS in Math at the Courant Institute, NYU, where I was advised by Mehryar Mohri.


MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
Stata Center, Bldg 32-G496
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: d_alv_mel_[at]_mit_[dot]_edu (humans: remove underscores).

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Some course projects:


Explaining is understanding.

The following extract is from David Goldstein's book on Feynman:

"Feynman was a truly great teacher. He prided himself on being able to devise ways to explain even the most profound ideas to beginning students. Once, I said to him, "Dick, explain to me, so that I can understand it, why spin one-half particles obey Fermi-Dirac statistics." Sizing up his audience perfectly, Feynman said, "I'll prepare a freshman lecture on it." But he came back a few days later to say, "I couldn't do it. I couldn't reduce it to the freshman level. That means we don't really understand it."

Some current and past courses I have TA'd: