Recap: EARL Boston 2017

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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 with the aim of increasing the participation of women at R conferences and increasing the number of women who contribute R packages to the open source community.

The team from Microsoft got to showcase some of our tools namely the Microsoft ML Server and our commitment to support the open language R. Some of the Microsoft earned sessions were:

  1. Deep Learning with R – Francesca Lazzeri
  2. Enriching your Customer profile at Scale using R Server – Jaya Mathew, Emmanuel Awa & Robert Alexander
  3. Developing Deep Learning Applications with CNTK – Ali Zaidi

Microsoft was a sponsor at the event and had a booth at the conference where there was a live demo using the Cognitive Services APIs — namely the Face API — to detect age, gender, facial expression.

In addition, some of the other interesting talks were:

  1. When and Why to Use Shiny for Commercial Applications – Tanya Cashorali
  2. HR Analytics: Using Machine Learning to Predict Employee Turnover – Matt Dancho
  3. Using R to Automate the Classification of E-commerce Products – Aidan Boland
  4. Leveraging More Data using Data Fusion in R – Michael Conklin

All the slides from the conference will be available at the conference website shortly. For photos from the conference, visit EARL’s twitter page.

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