Twitter Sentiment: Health Predictions: Python, R Text Mining Tutorials

The event will include presentations by two local professors, Professor Alan Mislove of Northeastern University and Professor Ben Liu of University of Massachusetts Lowell, each presenting their leading-edge research on utilizing Twitter to provide real-time insights on both the mood and health of the country.  Next, two beginner tutorials (one using Python given by Shankar Ambady, and another with R) will be given to help audience members tap into Twitter and other APIs, and then apply text mining programs.

(1) Professor Alan Mislove will be presenting "Pulse of the Nation:  U.S. Mood Throughout the Day Inferred from Twitter".  This research was featured last year on many national news outlets including CBS News, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and many others.  A description of the project including several visualizations (such  as a time-lapsed video) can be found here:

(2) Professor Ben Liu will be presenting "Predicting Flu Trends using Twitter Data".  From the research paper's abstract: "In this paper we present the Social Network Enabled Flu Trends framework, which monitors messages posted on Twitter with a mention of flu indicators to track and predict the emergence and spread of an influenza epidemic in a population.  The models predict data collected and published by CDC, as the percentage of visits to “sentinel” physicians attributable to ILI in  successively weeks."  The research paper may be found on Professor Liu's website:

( 3) Shankar Ambady of Session M will give a tutorial on the Python NLTK (Natural Language Tool Kit).  Shankar had previously presented a comprehensive overview of the NLTK  last December at the Python meetup.  The Python NLTK is a very powerful collection of libraries that can be applied to a variety of NLP applications such as sentiment analysis.  His presentation from last December may be found here (click on Boston Python Meetup Materials) : 

(4) Also, a tutorial on using R for text mining will also presented. This tutorial is being co-developed by the Boston Predictive Analytics group and the Greater Boston useR Group (R Programming Language):

The tentative schedule is:

6:45 - 7:00 - R/Text Libraries

7:00 - 7:40 - Python/NLTK

7:40 - 7:50 - Break - Will ask audience if/when to have

7:50 - 8:20 - U.S. Mood Throughout the Day Using Twitter

8:20 - 8:50 - Predicting Flu Trends Utilizing Twitter

The reason for the order is to first introduce some basic concepts with the thought this can help set the stage for the large-scale, research studies.

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  • Abhijit S.

    Missed this meeting. Hopefully this topic or variations of it will be presented in the near future

    July 14, 2011

  • Jeffrey B.

    Kudos to John Verostek for putting together a great event. I learned a lot and really enjoyed meeting and chatting with everyone. Looking forward to the next one!

    June 23, 2011

  • Guru

    Is it possible to pass on all the presentation slides across or to personal ids ?

    June 23, 2011

  • Darrel B.

    Very useful low-level tutorial perfect for beginners to R while still highlighting the capabilities of a new package.

    June 23, 2011

  • John V.

    Hmmmm...this might be scraped for future sentiment analysis - event and chatting with folks was fun, awesome, exhilirating, cool, loved it, best ever, WOW!!!

    June 23, 2011

  • Alok B.

    John pulled together an amazing event - great venue, food, drinks, comfortable surroundings, wifi(!). But most importantly a great mix of theory and practice in this excellent 101 to data mining and its practice

    June 23, 2011

  • Julian W.

    Really enjoyed Alan's talk on implicit FB data as well as my first exposure to the R language.

    June 23, 2011

  • Barlow K.

    Excellent by all the speakers - really liked the ppts.

    June 23, 2011

  • Emily

    Great! Learned some new things in the tutorials and the talks were interesting

    June 23, 2011

  • Adam B.

    Great presentations!

    June 23, 2011

  • Gaurav M.

    Really helpful presentations....would love the slides for all of the presenters if possible.

    June 23, 2011

  • Mark S.

    Content was very interesting. Ran long so I had to leave before the last presentation.

    June 23, 2011

  • matt c.

    It was a great intro to R and python statistical and visualizing. Also some decent deep dives into using real data to do mood calcs and predictive flu. Thank you

    June 23, 2011

  • matt c.

    thank you for posting the parking info.

    June 22, 2011

  • John V.

    Please note that parking related information has been posted to the discussion / message board.

    June 22, 2011

  • John V.

    Thanks - have updated the above event description with a tentative schedule.

    May 31, 2011

  • Jared C.

    Looking forward to this! How long will the session be? I don't see an ending time.

    May 31, 2011

  • Lynn C.

    I'm in if you can get it organized!

    April 28, 2011

  • Kirk M.

    Sounds cool. Careful on the date though with memorial day and the June useR meetup. I would love to go.

    April 27, 2011

  • John V.

    Looking at the last week in May / first week in June. Will depend on presenter schedules, and meeting place availability.

    April 27, 2011

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