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Learn. Network. Do. (Fall 2013): Location Analysis

  • Oct 23, 2013 · 6:30 PM
  • INFORMS Headquarters

Come be a part of the Fall 2013 edition of "Learn. Network. Do." presented by INFORMS Maryland. All are welcome!

Topic: Location AnalysisAbstract: Meetup organizers have to face a problem that's common to many other organizations. Where should I put my event, or factory, or chain of convenience stores, or cell phone tower? You could pay consultants many thousands of dollars to give you recommendations, or you can figure it out over a weekend using R! In this presentation, we use home and work ZIP codes that Data Community DC collected from Meetup attendees to solve two location analysis problems: What is the best single location for one of our Meetup events? What are the best 3 locations that are convenient for everyone at least sometimes? Techniques that will be discussed include: working with latitude/longitude data, constructing geometric cost functions, mapping, continuous optimization, global optimization, and dynamic report generation. R packages used include: knitr, plyr, reshape2, ggplot2, ggmap, and DEoptim.


Harlan Harris has a PhD in Computer Science (Machine Learning) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and postdoctoral research experience in experimental psychology and cognitive science. He currently works as a solutions architect for Sentrana, Inc., in Washington, DC. Harlan is the co-founder and co-organizer of the Data Science DC Meetup, is the co-founder and President of Data Community DC, and recently wrote a short e-book about data scientists called Analyzing the Analyzers. Follow him on Twitter at @HarlanH.

Alan Briggs recently joined Elder Research, Inc. as a Data Scientist in their Analytics group. He currently assists with the development of predictive analytic capabilities for national security clients in the Washington DC Metro area.  Prior to joining Elder Research, Alan worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a Senior Consultant in their Cloud Analytics capability; and before that, he worked for UPS as an engineer and delivery route planner. He holds a Master’s Degree in Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University and a B.S. in Business Management from Emory & Henry College. His academic and professional interests revolve around the application of advanced logistics engineering concepts to optimization and data analysis in unconventional problem sets.


Learn: 6:30PM - 7:15PM Join us to hear all about the uses of location analysis.

Network: 7:15PM - 7:45PM Meet new people and talk to others interested in location analysis over free food!

Do: 7:45PM - 8:30PM+ (Stay longer if you want to keep hacking!) Join us for some hands-on tutorials! Walk away with code and knowing how to do location analysis.

• Food and drink will be provided.

• Please bring a computer with with Wi-Fi access.

• An update will be sent out later regarding how to set up your computer for this event.


"Learn. Network. Do." is a quarterly event with 3 core principles.

Learn: A presentation on a general topic of interest. As the formal presentation piece, this will include a powerpoint or similar presentation.

Network: Leveraging the presentation as a stimulus, bring in free food/drink and facilitate some light networking while shifting gears for the next phase.

Do: Bring a computer and walk through a hands-on, step by step tutorial on the presentation topic. This may include distributing a dataset and codebase for use in an open source software packages. For more managerial problems, this may mean breakout sessions or small-group work. (It is okay if you are not familiar with the technologies used.)

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