Looking back: PyData 2016

On the 12th and 13th of March the Qualogy Data Science team attended the first-ever PyData conference in the Netherlands. This conference brings together users and developers of data analysis tools using Python, R and Julia. The venue was located in Amsterdam North on the river IJ, a perfect setting for an interactive meeting featuring over 300 attendees, both from academia and industry.

The meeting featured many interesting talks, workshops and tutorials on a variety of topics in data management, processing, analytics and visualization. One of my personal highlights was Qualogy’s own Rodrigo Agundez, who gave a daring 90-minute tutorial on how to create a face recognition system using Python’s OpenCV library.

In a packed main hall Rodrigo engaged the audience with a step by step recipe for face recognition from a live video feed, based on three different methods: Eigenfaces, Fisherfaces and LBPH. Rodrigo tweeted afterwards about a ‘super nice experience’, relieved that the live demo had worked flawlessly.

Smart Office and UNGP

At Qualogy’s stand attendees were invited to try out by themselves the face recognition software for Qualogy’s new Smart Office. At the same time they could discover which famous actor they resembled. A second demo at the stand featured a social media analysis for the United Nations Global Pulse (UNGP), a collaboration project with Leiden University.

In this project a huge set of Twitter messages had been automatically classified using natural language processing techniques into one of several topics defined by the UN. In addition, machine learning methods were applied to predict the sender’s gender, which is not registered in Twitter profiles. An interactive visualisation allowed attendees to explore how often men and women in different countries across the world tweeted about these UN topics.

Watch the video

Overall, I highly recommend this meeting to all data enthusiasts. I’m already looking forward to next year’s PyData conference! For an impression of PyData Amsterdam 2016 see the official conference video