One of the cornerstones of the technology revolution, Stanford now offers some courses for free via distance learning. One of the more exciting courses is of course- machine learning
About The Course
This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, datamining, and statistical pattern recognition. Topics include: (i) Supervised learning (parametric/non-parametric algorithms, support vector machines, kernels, neural networks). (ii) Unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning). (iii) Best practices in machine learning (bias/variance theory; innovation process in machine learning and AI). The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications, so that you’ll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.
Professor Andrew Ng is Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, the main AI research organization at Stanford, with 20 professors and about 150 students/post docs. At Stanford, he teaches Machine Learning, which with a typical enrollment of 350 Stanford students, is among the most popular classes on campus. His research is primarily on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics, and most universities doing robotics research now do so using a software platform (ROS) from his group.
- When does the class start?The class will start in January 2012 and will last approximately ten weeks.
- What is the format of the class?The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated quiz questions. There will also be standalone quizzes that are not part of video lectures, and programming assignments.
- Will the text of the lectures be available?We hope to transcribe the lectures into text to make them more accessible for those not fluent in English. Stay tuned.
- Do I need to watch the lectures live?No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.
- Can online students ask questions and/or contact the professor?Yes, but not directly There is a Q&A forum in which students rank questions and answers, so that the most important questions and the best answers bubble to the top. Teaching staff will monitor these forums, so that important questions not answered by other students can be addressed.
- Will other Stanford resources be available to online students?No.
- How much programming background is needed for the course?The course includes programming assignments and some programming background will be helpful.
- Do I need to buy a textbook for the course?No.
- How much does it cost to take the course?Nothing: it’s free!
- Will I get university credit for taking this course?No.Interested in learning machine learning-
Well here is the website to enroll http://jan2012.ml-class.org/
Jaspersoft is planning to launch its version 4.2 to the world.
Upcoming Webinar: Introducing Jaspersoft 4.2
Date: September 29, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Whether your building business intelligence (BI) solutions for your organization or for your customers, one thing is likely: your users want access to information anytime, anywhere. The challenge is getting the right information, to the right person, on the right device, without breaking your budget.
You can see precisely what we mean at the Jaspersoft 4.2 launch webinar on Thursday, September 29th.
Join us and see how Jaspersoft 4.2 can deliver superior choice for organizations looking to deliver information to end users, wherever they are. Jaspersoft is focused on providing modern, usable, affordable BI for everyone.
● Discover the new product capabilities that will improve BI access for your users
● See Jaspersoft 4.2 live demos
● Join Japersoft experts and fellow technology professionals in a real-time, interactive discussion.
Register to reserve your seat, today!
Here is an interview with Eberhard Miethke and Dr. Mamdouh Refaat, of Angoss Software. Angoss is a global leader in delivering business intelligence software and predictive analytics solutions that help businesses capitalize on their data by uncovering new opportunities to increase sales and profitability and to reduce risk.
Ajay- Describe your personal journey in software. How can we guide young students to pursue more useful software development than just gaming applications.
Mamdouh- I started using computers long time ago when they were programmed using punched cards! First in Fortran, then C, later C++, and then the rest. Computers and software were viewed as technical/engineering tools, and that’s why we can still see the heavy technical orientation of command languages such as Unix shells and even in the windows Command shell. However, with the introduction of database systems and Microsoft office apps, it was clear that business will be the primary user and field of application for software. My personal trip in software started with scientific applications, then business and database systems, and finally statistical software – which you can think of it as returning to the more scientific orientation. However, with the wide acceptance of businesses of the application of statistical methods in different fields such as marketing and risk management, it is a fast growing field that in need of a lot of innovation.
Ajay – Angoss makes multiple data mining and analytics products. could you please introduce us to your product portfolio and what specific data analytics need they serve.
a- Attached please find our main product flyers for KnowledgeSTUDIO and KnowledgeSEEKER. We have a 3rd product called “strategy builder” which is an add-on to the decision tree modules. This is also described in the flyer.
(see- Angoss Knowledge Studio Product Guide April2011 and http://www.scribd.com/doc/63176430/Angoss-Knowledge-Seeker-Product-Guide-April2011 )
Ajay- The trend in analytics is for big data and cloud computing- with hadoop enabling processing of massive data sets on scalable infrastructure. What are your plans for cloud computing, tablet based as well as mobile based computing.
a- This is an area where the plan is still being figured out in all organizations. The current explosion of data collected from mobile phones, text messages, and social websites will need radically new applications that can utilize the data from these sources. Current applications are based on the relational database paradigm designed in the 70’s through the 90’s of the 20th century.
But data sources are generating data in volumes and formats that are challenging this paradigm and will need a set of new tools and possibly programming languages to fit these needs. The cloud computing, tablet based and mobile computing (which are the same thing in my opinion, just different sizes of the device) are also two technologies that have not been explored in analytics yet.
The approach taken so far by most companies, including Angoss, is to rely on new xml-based standards to represent data structures for the particular models. In this case, it is the PMML (predictive modelling mark-up language) standard, in order to allow the interoperability between analytics applications. Standardizing on the representation of models is viewed as the first step in order to allow the implementation of these models to emerging platforms, being that the cloud or mobile, or social networking websites.
The second challenge cited above is the rapidly increasing size of the data to be analyzed. Angoss has already identified this challenge early on and is currently offering in-database analytics drivers for several database engines: Netezza, Teradata and SQL Server.
These drivers allow our analytics products to translate their routines into efficient SQL-based scripts that run in the database engine to exploit its performance as well as the powerful hardware on which it runs. Thus, instead of copying the data to a staging format for analytics, these drivers allow the data to be analyzed “in-place” within the database without moving it.
Thus offering performance, security and integrity. The performance is improved because of the use of the well tuned database engines running on powerful hardware.
Extra security is achieved by not copying the data to other platforms, which could be less secure. And finally, the integrity of the results are vastly improved by making sure that the results are always obtained by analyzing the up-to-date data residing in the database rather than an older copy of the data which could be obsolete by the time the analysis is concluded.
Ajay- What are the principal competing products to your offerings, and what makes your products special or differentiated in value to them (for each customer segment).
a- There are two major players in today’s market that we usually encounter as competitors, they are: SAS and IBM.
SAS offers a data mining workbench in the form of SAS Enterprise Miner, which is closely tied to SAS data mining methodology known as SEMMA.
On the other hand, IBM has recently acquired SPSS, which offered its Clementine data mining software. IBM has now rebranded Clementine as IBM SPSS Modeller.
In comparison to these products, our KnowledgeSTUDIO and KnowledgeSEEKER offer three main advantages: ease of use; affordability; and ease of integration into existing BI environments.
Angoss products were designed to look-and-feel-like popular Microsoft office applications. This makes the learning curve indeed very steep. Typically, an intermediate level analyst needs only 2-3 days of training to become proficient in the use of the software with all its advanced features.
Another important feature of Angoss software products is their integration with SAS/base product, and SQL-based database engines. All predictive models generated by Angoss can be automatically translated to SAS and SQL scripts. This allows the generation of scoring code for these common platforms. While the software interface simplifies all the tasks to allow business users to take advantage of the value added by predictive models, the software includes advanced options to allow experienced statisticians to fine-tune their models by adjusting all model parameters as needed.
In addition, Angoss offers a unique product called StrategyBuilder, which allows the analyst to add key performance indicators (KPI’s) to predictive models. KPI’s such as profitability, market share, and loyalty are usually required to be calculated in conjunction with any sales and marketing campaign. Therefore, StrategyBuilder was designed to integrate such KPI’s with the results of a predictive model in order to render the appropriate treatment for each customer segment. These results are all integrated into a deployment strategy that can also be translated into an execution code in SQL or SAS.
The above competitive features offered by the software products of Angoss is behind its success in serving over 4000 users from over 500 clients worldwide.
Ajay -Describe a major case study where using Angoss software helped save a big amount of revenue/costs by innovative data mining.
a-Rogers Telecommunications Inc. is one of the largest Canadian telecommunications providers, serving over 8.5 million customers and a revenue of 11.1 Billion Canadian Dollars (2009). In 2008, Rogers engaged Angoss in order to help with the problem of ballooning accounts receivable for a period of 18 months.
The problem was approached by improving the efficiency of the call centre serving the collections process by a set of predictive models. The first set of models were designed to find accounts likely to default ahead of time in order to take preventative measures. A second set of models were designed to optimize the call centre resources to focus on delinquent accounts likely to pay back most of the outstanding balance. Accounts that were identified as not likely to pack quickly were good candidates for “Early-out” treatment, by forwarding them directly to collection agencies. Angoss hosted Rogers’ data and provided on a regular interval the lists of accounts for each treatment to be deployed by the call centre dialler. As a result of this Rogers estimated an improvement of 10% of the collected sums.
Mamdouh has been active in consulting, research, and training in various areas of information technology and software development for the last 20 years. He has worked on numerous projects with major organizations in North America and Europe in the areas of data mining, business analytics, business analysis, and engineering analysis. He has held several consulting positions for solution providers including Predict AG in Basel, Switzerland, and as ANGOSS Corp. Mamdouh is the Director of Professional services for EMEA region of ANGOSS Software. Mamdouh received his PhD in engineering from the University of Toronto and his MBA from the University of Leeds, UK.
Mamdouh is the author of:
"Credit Risk Scorecards: Development and Implmentation using SAS" "Data Preparation for Data Mining Using SAS", (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) (Paperback) and co-author of "Data Mining: Know it all",Morgan Kaufmann Eberhard Miethke works as a senior sales executive for Angoss
Angoss is a global leader in delivering business intelligence software and predictive analytics to businesses looking to improve performance across sales, marketing and risk. With a suite of desktop, client-server and in-database software products and Software-as-a-Service solutions, Angoss delivers powerful approaches to turn information into actionable business decisions and competitive advantage.
Angoss software products and solutions are user-friendly and agile, making predictive analytics accessible and easy to use.
Here is an interview with Beth Scultz Editor in Chief, AllAnalytics.com .
Allanalytics.com http://www.allanalytics.com/ is the new online community on Predictive Analytics, and its a bit different in emphasizing quality more than just quantity. Beth is veteran in tech journalism and communities.
Ajay-Describe your journey in technology journalism and communication. What are the other online communities that you have been involved with?
Beth- I’m a longtime IT journalist, having begun my career covering the telecommunications industry at the brink of AT&T’s divestiture — many eons ago. Over the years, I’ve covered the rise of internal corporate networking; the advent of the Internet and creation of the Web for business purposes; the evolution of Web technology for use in building intranets, extranets, and e-commerce sites; the move toward a highly dynamic next-generation IT infrastructure that we now call cloud computing; and development of myriad enterprise applications, including business intelligence and the analytics surrounding them. I have been involved in developing online B2B communities primarily around next-generation enterprise IT infrastructure and applications. In addition, Shawn Hessinger, our community editor, has been involved in myriad Web sites aimed at creating community for small business owners.
Ajay- Technology geeks get all the money while journalists get a story. Comments please
Beth- Great technology geeks — those being the ones with technology smarts as well as business savvy — do stand to make a lot of money. And some pursue that to all ends (with many entrepreneurs gunning for the acquisition) while others more or less fall into it. Few journalists, at least few tech journalists, have big dollars in mind. The gratification for journalists comes in being able to meet these folks, hear and deliver their stories — as appropriate — and help explain what makes this particular technology geek developing this certain type of product or service worth paying attention to.
Ajay- Describe what you are trying to achieve with the All Analytics community and how it seeks to differentiate itself with other players in this space.
Beth- With AllAnaltyics.com, we’re concentrating on creating the go-to site for CXOs, IT professionals, line-of-business managers, and other professionals to share best practices, concrete experiences, and research about data analytics, business intelligence, information optimization, and risk management, among many other topics. We differentiate ourself by featuring excellent editorial content from a top-notch group of bloggers, access to industry experts through weekly chats, ongoing lively and engaging message board discussions, and biweekly debates.
We’re a new property, and clearly in rapid building mode. However, we’ve already secured some of the industry’s most respected BI/analytics experts to participate as bloggers. For example, a small sampling of our current lineup includes the always-intrigueing John Barnes, a science fiction novelist and statistics guru; Sandra Gittlen, a longtime IT journalist with an affinity for BI coverage; Olivia Parr-Rud, an internationally recognized expert in BI and organizational alignment; Tom Redman, a well-known data-quality expert; and Steve Williams, a leading BI strategy consultant. I blog daily as well, and in particular love to share firsthand experiences of how organizations are benefiting from the use of BI, analytics, data warehousing, etc. We’ve featured inside looks at analytics initiatives at companies such as 1-800-Flowers.com, Oberweis Dairy, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and Thomson Reuters, for example.
In addition, we’ve hosted instant e-chats with Web and social media experts Joe Stanganelli and Pierre DeBois, and this Friday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m. ET we’ll be hosting an e-chat with Marshall Sponder, Web metrics guru and author of the newly published book, Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics. (Readers interested in participating in the chat do need to fill out a quick registration form, available here http://www.allanalytics.com/register.asp . The chat is available here http://www.allanalytics.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=241039&piddl_msgid=439898#msg_439898 .
Experts participating in our biweekly debate series, called Point/Counterpoint, have broached topics such as BI in the cloud, mobile BI and whether an analytics culture is truly possible to build.
Ajay- What are some tips you would like to share about writing tech stories to aspiring bloggers.
Beth- I suppose my best advice is this: Don’t write about technology for technology’s sake. Always strive to tell the audience why they should care about a particular technology, product, or service. How might a reader use it to his or her company’s advantage, and what are the potential benefits? Improved productivity, increased revenue, better customer service? Providing anecdotal evidence goes a long way toward delivering that message, as well.
Ajay- What are the other IT world websites that have made a mark on the internet.
Beth- I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to UBM TechWeb sites, including InformationWeek, which has long charted the use of IT within the enterprise; Dark Reading, a great source for folks interested in securing an enterprise’s information assets; and Light Reading, which takes the pulse of the telecom industry.
Beth Schultz has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor. Most recently, she brought her expertise to bear writing thought-provoking editorial and marketing materials on a variety of technology topics for leading IT publications and industry players. Previously, she oversaw multimedia content development, writing and editing for special feature packages at Network World. Beth has a keen ability to identify business and technology trends, developing expertise through in-depth analysis and early-adopter case studies. Over the years, she has earned more than a dozen national and regional editorial excellence awards for special issues from American Business Media, American Society of Business Press Editors, Folio.net, and others.
If you type the words “business intelligence expert” in Google. you may get the top ranked result as http://goo.gl/pCqUh or Peter James Thomas, a profound name as it can be as it spans three of the most important saints in the church.
The current post for this is very non business -intelligence topic called Wager. http://peterjamesthomas.com/2011/07/20/wager/
It details how Peter, a virtual friend whom I have never met, and who looks suspiciously like Hugh Grant with the hair, and Ajay Ohri (myself) waged a wager on which cricket team would emerge victorious in the ongoing test series . It was a 4 match series, and India needed to win atleast the series or avoid losing it by a difference of 2, to retain their world cricket ranking (in Tests) as number 1.
Sadly at the end of the third test, the Indian cricket team have lost the series, the world number 1 ranking, and some serious respect by 3-0.
What is a Test Match? It is a game of cricket played over 5 days.
Why was Ajay so confident India would win. Because India won the one day world championship this April 2011. The one day series is a one day match of cricket.
There lies the problem. From an analytic point of view, I had been lulled into thinking that past performance was an indicator of future performance, indeed the basis of most analytical assumptions. Quite critically, I managed to overlook the following cricketing points-
1) Cricket performance is different from credit performance. It is the people and their fitness.
India’s strike bowler Zaheer Khan was out due to injury, we did not have any adequate replacement for him. India’s best opener Virender Sehwag was out due to shoulder injury in the first two tests.
Moral – Statistics can be misleading if you do not apply recent knowledge couple with domain expertise (in this case cricket)
2) What goes up must come down. Indeed if a team has performed its best two months back, it is a good sign that cyclicality will ensure performance will go down.
Moral- Do not depend on regression or time series with ignoring cyclical trends.
3) India’s cricket team is aging. England ‘s cricket team is youthful.
I should have gotten this one right. One of the big and understated reasons that the Indian economy is booming -is because we have the youngest population in the world with a median age of 28.
India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% hovers below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan; and, by 2030, India’s dependency ratio should be just over 0.4
India’s population is 1.21 billion people, so potentially a much larger pool of athletes , once we put away our laptops that is.
the total population of the United Kingdom was 58,789,194 (I dont have numbers for average age)
Paradoxically India have the oldest cricket team in the world . This calls for detailed investigation and some old timers should give way to new comers after this drubbing.
Moral- Demographics matters. It is the people who vary more than any variable.
4) The Indian cricket team has played much less Test cricket and much more 20:20 and one day matches. 20:20 is a format in which only twenty overs are bowled per side. In Test Matches 90 overs are bowled every day for 5 days.
Stamina is critical in sports.
Moral- Context is important in extrapolating forecasts.
Everything said and done- the English cricket team played hard and fair and deserve to be number ones. I would love to say more on the Indian cricket team, but I now intend to watch Manchester United play soccer.
You can go to https://code.google.com/apis/console/b/0/
Unlike Android and other free stuff these APIs are very promising for revenue generation as some of them are very unique to Google itself, and already some are being offered on a Pricing Tier. There are 18 APIs in total with 3 APIs having Pricing while the rest are in beta stages.
I am just listing down all the APIs in one place – Continue reading “Google APIs”