Sep 26, 2014

Super WoW, I loved KDD 2014!

I used to think KDD was a super hyped-up conference, but boy was I wrong until I actually attended it. This was my first time attending KDD (2014) and I did enjoy quite a few of the sessions - some of the research as well as industry sessions.  The funny part is that people tend to think that industry sessions are much more interesting than the research sessions, but that was not the case at all. The research sessions were equally interesting. What really intrigued me was the fact that they adopted the theme "Data Science for Social Good" and had really good keynote and invited speakers to actually support this theme. Highlight of some of the invited talks and keynote sessions from KDD 2014:

Dr. Nigam Shah
-Talks about using data mining in medicine for finding actionable insights
-So you have made a discovery, what do you do with that information? How do you make this actionable?

Dr. Oren Etzioni
-Talks about the future - that its way beyond deep learning and classification in general
-We need a more complete human-like knowledge base (common sense knowledge and reasoning)

Dr. Eric Horvitz
-Talks about predictions for potentially preventable outcomes and other projects in the healthcare domain

Dr. Eric Schadt 
- Talks about some really cutting edge work in personalized medicine and he thinks the future in all of this is HCI and visual analytics 
- You have done all the analysis, so how do you present this information so that it can actually be interpreted and used by different groups of people

I also attended a few of the tutorials, but unfortunately I found the tutorials not interesting at all. I guess the effectiveness of tutorials is one part material and one part presentation. I have limited patience for presentations that are a drag....but if you can sit through some of those there is quite a large selection of tutorials to choose from. 

I think people should stop attending for profit 'summits' like "Text Analytics Summit" and "Sentiment Analysis Summit"" and start attending conferences like KDD and CHI that actually have a lot of substance and learning opportunities. 

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