Currently

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP, LMU Munich).

Contact me at tom.sterkenburglmu.de.

Research interests

Philosophy of induction, inductive logic, Bayesian epistemology;
foundations of statistics and machine learning, philosophy of probability and randomness;
algorithmic information theory, algorithmic randomness, computability theory.

My PhD project was on the foundations of machine learning. More specifically, I investigated the computability-theoretic approach to probabilistic "universal prediction" (initiated by Solomonoff) as a link between Carnap's project of inductive logic and modern approaches in machine learning.

Picture by Kasper Vogelzang.

Previously

In the first week of April 2018, I visited the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine, with support from an LMUexcellent grant.

In September and October 2017 I was a visiting fellow at the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS, Tilburg University).

From February till May 2017 I visited the Center for Formal Epistemology at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, which was facilitated by the Leverhulme Trust-funded network The Scientific Approach to Epistemology.

I did my PhD at both the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI, the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands) and the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen, under supervision of Peter Grünwald and Jan-Willem Romeijn, respectively. This work resulted in my PhD dissertation on Universal prediction, that won me the Wolfgang Stegmüller Award.

I hold an MA and PhD in Philosophy (University of Groningen, cum laude), a MSc in Logic (Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam, cum laude), a MSc in History and Philosophy of Science (Descartes Centre, Utrecht University, cum laude), and a BSc in Artificial Intelligence (VU University Amsterdam, cum laude). I intend to finally obtain my driver's license soon.

Outreach

In November 2018 the philosophy blog Bij Nader Inzien published a piece of mine on "the epistemology of machine learning" (in Dutch).

In July 2018 I gave a talk on the epistemology of machine learning for the Machine Learning Meetup organized by the Munich Student Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

In February 2016 I gave a public lecture at the academic cultural centre SPUI25 on "the dream of automated science" (in Dutch).

In December 2014 the opinion platform deFusie published a piece of mine on the "the myth of big data" (in Dutch).

In February 2014 I talked about my PhD project on Swammerdam, the science show of the local radio station Amsterdam FM (in Dutch).

I was interviewed about my PhD project for the October 2013 edition of Babel, the magazine for the Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. Find a copy of the story here (page 6, in Dutch).



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Last update: 11-2018.