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Scalable and Flexible Machine Learning With Scala @ LinkedIn

Machine learning (ML) turns data into predictions about the real world in an almost magical fashion. In this talk we'll show why Scala is a great language for machine learning practitioners and show the audience of Scala programmers how easy it is to start performing machine learning magic themselves.

Machine learning enthusiasts have historically preferred high-level programming languages due to their ability to concisely describe models and algorithms, but this has often come at the price of performance and production readiness. For example, the ease of rapid prototyping and syntactic sugar of Python have made it a popular choice for ML developers. Scala combines this flexibility with the strengths of the JVM such as performance and seamless interoperability with the mature ecosystem of existing Java software. In this talk we will show how Scala DSLs can improve the effectiveness of machine learning practitioners and even make machine learning capabilities accessible to people without a Scala background.

Scalding has a Hadoop-based DSL that allows code using regular Scala collections to be run as Hadoop jobs with almost no modification. We will show how machine learning code written in terms of operations over Scala collections can therefore be made to work immediately on giant compute clusters over terabytes of data. We will also briefly discuss how Scalding works in order to show how DSLs can be designed in Scala.

About the Speakers
Chris and Vitaly are jointly presenting this talk.

Chris Severs works in the Search Science applied research group at eBay. Chris fell in love with Scala at first sight and has been one of the main drivers of Scala adoption at eBay. He has contributed to the Scalding and Scoobi open source projects and authored an addition to Scalding to provide support for Apache Avro. Prior to joining eBay he was a postdoctoral researcher at The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and then at Reykjavík University in Iceland.

Vitaly Gordon is a senior data scientist on the LinkedIn Product Data Science team where he develops data products that most of you use every day. Prior to LinkedIn, Vitaly founded the data science team at LivePerson and worked in the elite 8200 unit (the Israeli equivalent of the NSA), leading a team of researchers in developing algorithms to fight terrorism. His contributions have been recognized through a number of awards including the “Life Source” award, an award given each year deemed most high-impact in saving lives. Vitaly holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and an MBA from the Israeli Institute of Technology.

As usual, the schedule for the event is:

6:30 - networking, food

7:00 - announcements

7:15 - Chris and Vitaly

9:00 - More networking

We will give away two copies of IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate 12 for personal use, and two copies of JRebel. Two e-copies of "Monadic Design Patterns", published by Artima will also be given away. If you did not register with your full name you will not be eligible to win anything. You can edit your name by going to Members / My Profile / Edit Profile. Tweet to #scalasv to be eligible.

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    • Winston C.

      Thanks a lot of the slide. The talk was awesome.

      March 12, 2013

  • Winston C.

    Can anybody share the slides? I would like to crunch the example codes listed yesterday. Thanks

    March 12, 2013

  • Greg S.

    Will there be a talk like this closer to SF?

    1 · February 27, 2013

    • Elliot J. G.

      Normally I would demand this as well, but this topic is very relevant to my interests and I think I'd be willing to make the trip down to MV. That said, I would much prefer a closer location.

      February 27, 2013

    • Mike S.

      The next leadership committee, whoever they are, will likely be in need of a large venue in SF to host a repeat of this event, should they elect to do so.

      March 12, 2013

  • Alex P.

    Guys, was the livecast recorded and going to be available somewhere?

    March 12, 2013

  • Srikanth V.

    Are the slides for this Meetup uploaded somewhere?

    March 12, 2013

  • chin keong l.

    Fantastic event , Learn so much Ml , scala machine learning = machine learning on caffeine! Thanks

    March 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great event, thank you!

    March 12, 2013

  • tingting pan gennari 潘.

    a lot of great people showed up. great events.

    March 12, 2013

  • Shuang W.

    thanks so much for such a great meetup, will definitely attend again.

    March 11, 2013

  • Sam S.

    Great contents even for a beginner Scala developer like myself, good presentation, enough pizza!

    March 11, 2013

  • Matthew T.

    Good material, thoughtful examples.
    +1 on lazy vals '-)

    March 11, 2013

  • Abhay B.

    My first meetup in the Bay Area - had a great experience. Thanks a lot to the organizers and the speakers!

    March 11, 2013

  • Vitaly G.

    Great attendance

    March 11, 2013

  • Ryan D.

    This meetup was utterly awesome. It was packed full of great content, and presented well. Kudos

    1 · March 11, 2013

  • Jonathan

    Very informative, well orchestrated and superbly fashionable hosting. what a way to end a run Mike - kudos to you and the presenters as well as LinkedIn for sharing so generously !

    March 11, 2013

  • Paco N.

    Wonderful talks!

    March 11, 2013

  • Venky R.

    A huge thank you to all who helped organize this event.

    Very informative session, nicely paced, highly knowledgeable presenters, great venue, fantastic crowd, veg pizza and diet coke. What more could one ask for? :-)

    March 11, 2013

  • mark e.

    All the informational was excellent. Only items missing, more seats (another full turnout) and more veggie pizza.

    March 11, 2013

  • David A.

    The machine learning meetup I mentioned:

    March 11, 2013

  • Jonathan

    Way to pack a room Mike ! (next time more Veggie - JK ;-)

    March 11, 2013

  • Hamilton H.

    Great meetup! Love machine learning, using Scala, its all gotta be scalable...

    March 2, 2013

  • Mohammed G.

    Looking forward to it!

    March 1, 2013

  • Prasad M.

    Looking forward to the talk

    February 28, 2013

  • Ryan M.

    Ryan Medlin here... looks cool..

    February 27, 2013

  • Ryan D.

    I'd love to attend!

    February 27, 2013

  • Ha P.

    Looking forwards to the event

    February 27, 2013

  • Robert G.


    February 27, 2013

  • Michael F.

    Looking forward to connecting with machine learning enthusiasts.

    February 27, 2013

  • Peter P.

    Count me in.

    February 27, 2013

  • Srikanth V.


    February 27, 2013

  • Chick M.

    very interested

    February 27, 2013

  • kasi

    luv machine learning

    February 27, 2013

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  • Artima

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    Free copies of IDEA given away each meetup

  • Clari Inc.

    Space for hosting as well as food and other arrangements on meetups.

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