Welcome to the SF Bay BIRT Developer meetup Mark! This should be a great place to learn more about BIRT. If you haven't joined BIRT Exchange at http://www.birt-exchange.org yet, you may want to take a look at the material there to help you get started.
Meet with students, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who are interested in machine learning algorithms. We get together to both study the algorithms and discuss the real-world applications of ML. This is an exciting time for coders that deal with data, so join us!