Los Angeles area R user group
On Dec. 6, 2012 I attended another great evening event with the Los Angeles area R user group. This was my second meeting with the group and I was looking forward to the topic matter: “Real-time dashboards with Node and R.” As a data scientist, my development environment of choice is R (with a little Octave thrown in for good measure – Octave is an open source Matlab derivative), so I’m always looking for ways to extend my knowledge of R and different ways to apply it to machine learning. This meeting served this purpose very well.
I arrived at the meeting venue early over at Adconion Media Group in Santa Monica. Silicon Beach, of which Santa Monica is part, is really heating up with interest in Big Data. Adconion is a fantastic Meetup venue, easily accessible, great parking, high tech appeal, and somewhat recognizable if you ever watched “Curb Your Enthusiasm” since this is the same office park where Larry David’s office is located. Adconion supplied the wide selection of pizza and soft drinks (Thank you!). The first hour is a meet-and-greet with all the attendees; 74 registered this time. I met a bunch of like-minded data scientists like a Caltech Ph.D. candidate in computational neuroscience, and another who uses R for sentiment analysis on publicly traded companies for investment managers.
Once the lecture began, the group was led through a fast-paced example of using Node and Google Chart Tools along with a Twitter sentiment analysis algorithm in R to yield a “happiness” indicator for countries around the world. The globe map used color coding to indicate general “happiness.” Click HERE for a demo that presents “How popular is fast food.” The presenter, Dr. Dirk Neumann was a data scientist and founder of social supercomputing startup Opani. He received a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech.
As I mentioned in my previous field report for this group, I highly recommend it for anyone in the field. The presentation content tends to be fairly complex, but it’s a good way to push your personal envelope.