A Lunch with Strangers

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scatter_plot_3dFIELD REPORT

As a member of the Los Angeles Machine Learning Meetup group, I had the distinct pleasure today of having lunch with a bunch of data scientist strangers. This was the 3rd installment of this type of meetup organized by the group and I think it is a very good concept to gather in an informal setting. The idea is to come together for a leisurely lunch at the Colorado Center in Santa Monica, Calif. and “talk Machine Learning, large scale systems, data science and other stuff.” It was a pretty diverse group of actual machine learning practitioners, data scientists, data analysts, academics and others wanting to get into the field. Conversation swayed from big data installations to R to algorithms to how to change a bike chain. Some of chatted about LinkedIn’s algorithm for members to endorse the skill-sets of other members. The weather was lovely and I had a great time.

The meetup was organized by Vaclav Petricek, a data scientist from eHarmony. The high-tech campus  venue is a pretty great place to meet, having a superb food court and being home to other notable companies like Riot Games, Hulu and HBO. I’ve spent considerable time at the Colorado Center in the past year or so. One of my strongest memories of being around the campus is how the Riot Gamers walk around (most with tats and piercings) the campus in their company-sponsored hoodies trying to look all menacing. But in all fairness, Riot Games is fully entrenched in machine learning with their every growing data assets.

Daniel – insideBIGDATA Managing Editor

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