Category Archives: Analytics

Google IO Developer Keynote

The Denver Google Developer Group set up a meeting to watch the simulcast broadcast of the keynote by Sundar Pichal and related speeches.  The meeting was held over at GoSpotCheck, a startup doing retail inventory verification using AI and machine learning.

The keynote echoed the expected themes: vision, audio, and AI.  Google is developing the building block technologies to increase the amount of AI and machine learning tools that can be deployed.  This means that they not have AI training boards that can do petaflops of computations, they have new libraries for audio and vision, they have expanded TensorFlow to include more than just tensors/neural nets (i.e., other machine learning algorithms like random forest and support vector machine), and they are creating TensorFlow libraries that will run with javascript.  This means that AI models can be pushed down to Android cell phones and tablets and can also call upon their off-the-shelf tools that they have developed.

Bottom line: Between Caffe2,  TensorFlow, Python, and R, there are an abundance of open source tools to do machine learning.

On the meeting side, I met some great people doing interesting development, and I even won a Google laptop bag as one of the raffle prizes!

Completed Masters in Data Science

I finished my Masters degree in data science from Northwestern University this past week.*  I had a fabulous team for my final Capstone project class.  The group wanted to work on a text mining project, so I recommended using a dataset over at Kaggle on the Meyers Briggs Temperament Indicator.  Our goal was to identify which personality archetype a person was based on a single sentence of a posting.

The the video presentation that we created follows. My portion about the data and model development begins about seven minutes into the presentation:

I handled the modeling portion of the project, and so I created models in both Python and R.  The neural network models used both TensorFlow and Keras, running on the GPU card in my computer.  In addition, I created a naive Bayes and Support Vector Machine set of models.  Then I combined these models into an ensemble, and my final ensemble was significantly better than a random guess.

Now that I have finished the program, I am now looking for data science work.  If you know of an engaging opportunity, please contact me.

*The program has now been renamed Masters of Science in Data Science, but because of my entry date into the program, the name of my degree is Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics.

DNA in Action

I have seen many relatives in Finland.  Here’s a second cousin (whose name I’ll withhold for privacy).  What do you think….is there a family resemblance?


The trip was a very interesting one.  I saw my DNA in its many forms, but not obscured with American culture.  And I came away understanding a great deal about myself.  I met many people with whom there was a near-instant bond that transcended culture.  It was obvious within minutes that we were alike even though separated by 100 years and two different cultures.

I’ve always been one to think in contingencies.  Not only have a plan B, but a plan C and plan D.  And I found in Finland a culture that thinks the same ways.   And it became apparent that the climate is so harsh in the winter that failure to think that way killed off those who did not.  It’s no surprise that I have this quality; it’s not really luck, but rather the result of thousands of years of necessity embedding itself as a DNA rule.

If you have a unique heritage, I strongly recommend the experience of visiting the motherland.  You will walk away understanding a considerable amount about why you think the way that you do and what parts of you are from culture and what parts of you are hard-wired.

Thanksgiving Daybreak

It’s just another day here in Dubrovnik, but I know it is Thanksgiving in America. Daybreak was pretty, so I am posting a photo. I really enjoy opening the window to the sounds of the seagulls in the morning. They soon fly off to live their seagull lives and you don’t hear them until the following morning.


Hike in Dubrovnik

We went for an hour hike up the hill behind Dubrovnik to the fort built by the Napoleonic army in 1810 (a relatively new structure). The Homeland War Museum in it was good, and discussed how the Serbs and Montenegrins attacked Croatia after they declared independence in 1991. The most unbelievable fact was that the Serbs actually dropped bombs on the old walled city of Dubrovnik. I think it might not be too strong to say that bombing an UNESCO world heritage site that is largely unusable as a modern military location is just about a crime against humanity in my mind, and right up there with the Taliban destroying ancient relics like the Buddahs carved in stone in Afghanistan. Fortunately, the damage was minor in the case of the Dubrovnik bombing, but it is stunning to think that military commanders could conceive that this was a reasonable military action. Anyway, the day was beautiful at about 65-70 degrees, with a light wind and sunny. Here are some photos taken as we came down the hill near sunset.



Kate was having fun: