Distinguishing Authorship of Beatles Songs through Data Science

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Kensho Technologies

44 Brattle Street · Cambridge

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Right across from Wholesome Fresh and up the stairs above Ann Taylor

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This week, we will hear from Dr. Mark E. Glickman about distinguishing authorship of Beatles songs through Data Science!

The songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the two founding members of the Beatles, have composed some of the most popular and memorable songs of the last century. Despite having authored songs under the joint credit agreement of Lennon-McCartney, it is well-documented that most of their songs or portions of songs were primarily written by exactly one of the two. Some Lennon-McCartney songs, such as "In My Life", are actually of disputed authorship - both Lennon and McCartney individually remembered having written the music. We developed a prediction model based on variable screening followed by logistic regression with elastic net regularization. We applied our model to the prediction of songs and song portions with unknown or disputed authorship.

Dr. Mark Glickman, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, is Senior Lecturer on Statistics at the Harvard University Department of Statistics, and Senior Statistician at the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, a Veterans Administration Center of Innovation. Prior to his joining Harvard, he was Research Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. His research interests are primarily in the areas of statistical models for rating competitors in games and sports, and in statistical methods applied to problems in health services research.

To learn more about Mark, you can visit http://www.glicko.net/ .