September 2015 Items of Interest

September Meetups:

757 Python User’s Group

There will not be a September meeting of the 757 PUG.

Tidewater Analytics: Tuesday, 08 September

7:00 pm at 757 Creative Space, 259 Granby St. Suite 250, downtown Norfolk.

There will be a general overview of machine learning and an overview of Kaggle competitions, with a discussion about the formation of a Tidewater Kaggle group.

757 R User’s Group: Tuesday, 15 September

6:30 pm at 757 Creative Space, 259 Granby, Suite 250, downtown Norfolk.

The topic will be Hadley Wickham’s data manipulation package, dplyr.

Tidewater Big Data Enthusiasts: Tuesday, 22 September

7:00 pm, Tuesday, 22 September at 757 Creative Space, 259 Granby St. Suite 250, Norfolk

Dr. Chuck Cartledge, computer scientist and adjunct professor at Tidewater Community College, is kicking off the area’s newest meetup on Big Data.

MOOCs and other educational venues:


Mining Massive Data Sets

A great compliment to Tidewater Big Data Enthusiasts.


Introduction to R Programming

A free course. Interesting to note that this is sponsored by Microsoft. As many may know, Microsoft bought Revolution Analytics a few months ago. This furthers their advance into R and analytics.

Open Education:

Introduction to Excel VBA Programming

I think Excel in general, but Excel VBA in particular, is one of the most under rated and under used tool in data analytics. I’ve done a bunch of Excel VBA programming over the years, and really like it. Although I migrated from the Microsoft ecosystem quite some time ago, I’d highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in analytics and has access to current Excel applications. This will fit particularly well with Cathy Green’s December presentation on Excel 2013.

And somewhat related to this, a Reddit post with resources for becoming an Excel master.

Books and such:

 Mastering RStudio

Although not released yet, this seems as though it will be a nice little book to have.

Intermediate Python

One of the biggest complaints in Python land is that although there are tons and tons of good beginners’ books, there is an absolute dearth of good intermediate books.

I downloaded and scanned this particular book, and I’d say it’s decent. I would have liked more depth in some areas, but it’s good and worth having.

Fluent Python

As with “Intermediate Python,” above, this fills a niche that’s been needing filling. I just got my copy, and really like it.


Hadley Wickham at the DC Statistical Programming Meetup

Wow! This is a big deal. Hadley Wickham will be speaking at a Meetup in DC on Wednesday, 16 September. The topic will be, “Creating Fluent Interfaces in R”, which he describes as follows:

A fluent interface lets you easily express yourself in code. Over time a fluent interface retreats to your subconcious. You don’t need to bring it to mind; the code just flows out of your fingers. I strive for this fluency in all the packages I write, and while I don’t always succeed, I think I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.

This should be great, and transferable to other programming languages. I plan on going.

Interview with Hadley Wickham

Not a particularly extensive interview, but he does offer some interesting insights into Big Data as well as career planning advice for aspiring Data Scientists.

The blog on which that interview exists also has some interviews with other Data Scientists that are worth checking out.

Curated List of Data Science Blogs

This is a pretty good list. I subscribe to many of the individual blogs.

 Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle

This is always a fun, interesting, and informative product to check out. Not that Gartner is spot on, but enough business leaders pay attention to this that it sometimes turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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