Reflections on the ROpenSci Unconference

I had an amazing time this week participating in the 2018 ROpenSci Unconference, the sixth annual ROpenSci hackathon bringing together people to advance the tools and community for scientific computing with R. It was so inspiring to be among such a talented and dedicated group of people — special kudos goes to the organizing committee for curating such a great crowd. (I heard there were over 200 hundred nominations from which the 65 or so attendees were selected.)The idea behind the unconference is to spend two full days hacking on projects of interest to the community. Before the conference begins, the participants suggest projects as Github issues and begin discussions there. On the first day of the conference (after an icebreaker), the participants vote for projects they’d be interested in working on, and then form up into groups of 2-6 people or so to…
Original Post: Reflections on the ROpenSci Unconference

Let me tell you what you missed at BUILD

If you weren’t able to attend last weeks’ BUILD conference in Seattle, you can always catch up on the keynotes and the session talks online, or read this recap by Charlotte Yarkoni. Or, if you have 45 minutes on Wednesday next week you can join Tim Heuer and me as we recap some of the biggest announcements of the conference, and few things you might have missed as well.  We’ll focus mainly on the AI and Machine Learning related announcements, including: The webinar will be at 10AM Pacific time on Wednesday, May 23 when you’ll also have the opportunity to ask us live questions. You can register for the webinar below, which will also give you access to the on-demand recording if you can’t make the live sessions. We hope to see you there!Azure Webinar Series: Top Azure Takeaways from Microsoft…
Original Post: Let me tell you what you missed at BUILD

Mind Bytes: Solving Societal Challenges with Artificial Intelligence

By Francesca Lazzeri (@frlazzeri), Data Scientist at Microsoft Artificial​ ​intelligence​ ​(AI)​ solutions​ ​are playing a growing role in our everyday life, ​​and​ ​are​ ​being adopted​ ​broadly, in private and public domains. ​ ​While​ ​the​ ​notion​ ​of​ ​AI​ ​has​ ​been around​ ​for​ ​over​ ​sixty​ ​years, real-world​ ​AI scenarios and applications​ ​have​ ​only​ ​increased​ ​in​ ​the​ ​last​ ​decade​ ​due​ ​to​ ​three​ ​simultaneous events: ​ ​​improved​ ​computing​ ​power, capability​ ​to​ ​capture​ ​and​ ​store​ ​massive​ ​amounts​ ​of​ ​​​data, and faster​ ​algorithms.   AI solutions help determine the commercials you see online, the movie you will watch with your family, the routes you may take to get to work. Beyond​ ​the​ most popular apps, ​these​ ​systems​ ​are​ ​also​ ​being​ ​implemented​ ​in​ ​critical areas​ such as​ health care, immigration policy, ​finance, ​and​ the ​workplace. The design​ ​and​ ​implementation​ ​of​ ​these AI ​tools​ ​presents​ ​deep societal​ ​challenges​…
Original Post: Mind Bytes: Solving Societal Challenges with Artificial Intelligence

Speed up R with Parallel Programming in the Cloud

This past weekend I attended the R User Day at Data Day Texas in Austin. It was a great event, mainly because so many awesome people from the R community came to give some really interesting talks. Lucy D’Agostino McGowan has kindly provided a list of the talks and links to slides, and I thoroughly recommend checking it out: you’re sure to find a talk (or two, or five or ten) that interests you. My own talk was on Speeding up R with Parallel Programming in the Cloud, where I talked about using the doAzureParallel package to launch clusters for use with the foreach function, and using aztk to launch Spark clusters for use with the sparklyr package. I’ve embdeded the slides below: it’s not quite the same without the demos (and sadly there was no video recording), but I’ve…
Original Post: Speed up R with Parallel Programming in the Cloud

Registration and talk proposals now open for useR!2018

Registration is now open for useR! 2018, the official R user conference to be held in Brisbane, Australia July 10-13. If you haven’t been to a useR! conference before, it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and mingle with other R users from around the world, see talks on R packages and applications, and attend tutorials for deep dives on R-related topics. This year’s conference will also feature keynotes from Jenny Bryan, Steph De Silva, Heike Hofmann, Thomas Lin Pedersen, Roger Peng and Bill Venables. It’s my favourite conference of the year, and I’m particularly looking forward to this one. This video from last year’s conference in Brussels (a sell-out with over 1,1000 attendees) will give you a sense of what a useR! conference is like: The useR! conference brought to you by the R Foundation and is 100% community-led.…
Original Post: Registration and talk proposals now open for useR!2018

eRum 2018 to be held in Budapest, May 14-18

The main international R user conference, useR!, is typically hosted in Europe every other year. Back in 2016 when useR! was held in the USA, an alternative conference was held in Poland. Next year (when the useR! conference will be in Australia) the tradition continues, and the 2018 eRum (European R Users Meeting) will be held in Budapest, Hungary on May 14-16. Around 400-500 attendees are expected, and the program committee is sure to put together an excellent collection of workshops and talks. If you’d like to contribute, workshop proposals are due on January 14, and abstracts for talks and posters are due on February 25. You can submit your proposals here. Conference registration will open in early January, but you can follow @erum2018 on Twitter to be notified or simply check at the URL below for ticket information. eRum 2018:…
Original Post: eRum 2018 to be held in Budapest, May 14-18

R/Finance 2018, Chicago June 1-2

The tenth annual R/Finance conference will be held in Chicago, June 1-2 2018. This is a fantastic conference for anyone working with R in the finance industry, or doing research around R in finance in the academic sector. This community-led, single-track conference always features a program of interesting talks in a convival atmosphere. If you’d like to contribute a 20-minute presentation or a 5-minute lightning talk, the call for papers is open though February 2, 2018. If you’d like to attend, registrations will open in March 2018. Microsoft is proud to be a continuing sponsor of R/Finance 2018. You can a summary of lat year’s conference here, and watch recordings of the talks on Channel 9. For more on the 2018 conference, follow the link below.  R/Finance 2018: Overview
Original Post: R/Finance 2018, Chicago June 1-2

Highlights from the Connect(); conference

Connect();, the annual Microsoft developer conference, is wrapping up now in New York. The conference was the venue for a number of major announcements and talks. Here are some highlights related to data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence: Lastly, I wanted to share this video presented at the conference from Stack Overflow. Keep an eye out for R community luminary David Robinson programming in R! You can find more from the Connect conference, including on-demand replays of the talks and keynotes, at the link below. Microsoft: Connect(); November 15-17, 2017
Original Post: Highlights from the Connect(); conference

Recap: EARL Boston 2017

By Emmanuel Awa, Francesca Lazzeri and Jaya Mathew, data scientists at Microsoft A few of us got to attend EARL conference in Boston last week which brought together a group of talented users of R from academia and industry. The conference highlighted various Enterprise Applications of R. Despite being a small conference, the quality of the talks were great and showcased various innovative ways in using some of the newer packages available for use in the R language. Some of the attendees were veteran R users while some were new comers to the R language, so there was a mix in the level of proficiency in using the R language.   R currently has a vibrant community of users and there are over 11,000 open source packages. The conference also encouraged women to join their local chapter for R Ladies…
Original Post: Recap: EARL Boston 2017

Two upcoming webinars

Two new Microsoft webinars are taking place over the next week that may be of interest: AI Development in Azure using Data Science Virtual Machines The Azure Data Science Virtual Machine (DSVM) provides a comprehensive development and production environment to Data Scientists and AI-savvy developers. DSVMs are specialized virtual machine images that have been curated, configured, tested and heavily used by Microsoft engineers and data scientists. DSVM is an integral part of the Microsoft AI Platform and is available for customers to use through the Microsoft Azure cloud. In this session, we will first introduce DSVM, familiarize attendees with the product, including our newest offering, namely Deep Learning Virtual Machines (DLVMs). That will be followed by technical deep-dives into samples of end-to-end AI development and deployment scenarios that involve deep learning. We will also cover scenarios involving cloud based scale-out and…
Original Post: Two upcoming webinars