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Highlights from the Apache Spark Maker Community Event

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Big Data Evangelist, IBM

The Apache Spark Maker Community Event was a great success. On Monday, 6 June, leading minds in the data science community converged on Galvanize SoMA in San Francisco to network with their peers and participate in an exciting program of news, presentations, demonstrations and discussions. The approximately 1,000 participants who filled several levels of this downtown campus found ample refreshments and fun in store for them at the event. Here are the chief takeaways from the opening evening:

  • Keynote: Ritika Gunnar, vice president of offering management for IBM Analytics, announced IBM Data Science Experience, the first cloud-based development environment for near-real-time high-performance analytics. The solution, currently in open beta, gives data scientists the ability to access and ingest data while delivering insight-driven models to developers. Available on the IBM Cloud Bluemix platform, the Data Science Experience provides 250 curated data sets, open-source tools and a collaborative workspace to help data scientists uncover and share meaningful insights with developers, allowing them to readily develop applications that are infused with intelligence. To learn more about the IBM Data Science Experience, check out the IBM press release or the Data Science Experience solution page. As a teaser, here’s a photo of Armand Ruiz demonstrating IBM Data Science Experience:

  • Expert panel: Moderated by Gunnar, the expert panel included John Akred, CTO of Silicon Valley Data Science; Todd Holloway, director of content science and algorithms at Netflix; Matthew Conley, a data scientist at Tesla Motors; Nick Pentreath, a Spark committer and STC engineer with IBM; Siddha Ganju, a computational data scientist at Carnegie Mellon University; and Dr. Eitel J.M. Lauria, a professor and graduate director at the School of Computer Science and Math and lead data scientist of learning analytics at Marist College. Several participants also offered stand-alone presentations related to the chief themes of the evening: Spark, R, data science and the use of open source tools to build data applications. 

  • Hall of innovation: This event featured a wide range of companies showcasing innovative applications involving Spark, R, Python, Scala and other open source tools and platforms.

If you attended the in-person event at Galvanize, you had the opportunity to play rock–paper–scissors with a cognitively powered robot. If you weren’t there, just tune into the livestream playback to watch the event for yourself. For a good overview of the main themes of the event, watch “Data science: Defining the future of data,” and after you do, try the new Data Science Experience IDE for yourself. Also, don’t forget to explore how Spark, R and open data science can help you build your own apps in less time than ever before.