How to Put your Meetup on the Map (Literally)

This meetup, we go back to our roots!!! We will discuss an application of R programming, involving visualization, maps, optimization and reporting, using data from

We are excited to welcome our member, and Data Community DC Co-Founder and President Dr. Harlan Harris to talk about a project he has been working on with Alan Briggs.

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 is a Data Scientist with Elder Research, Inc. assisting with the development of predictive analytic capabilities for national security clients in the Washington DC Metro area. Prior to joining Elder Research, Alan worked in cloud analytics at a large government consulting firm and as an engineering and delivery route planner at UPS. He holds a Master’s Degree in Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering focusing in Logistics Engineering from North Carolina State University and a BS in Business Management from Emory & Henry College. He is actively involved in the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) where he serves as vice-president and president-elect of the Maryland chapter. With primary academic and professional interests in optimization, modeling and simulation, Alan seeks to apply advanced logistics engineering concepts to unconventional problem sets.

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  • Harlan H.

    My walkthrough is here: There's a GitHub link at the top if you'd like to pull the source (Rmarkdown) and data and play with it! I'll get Alan's slides up presently...

    Great to see everyone!

    2 · October 25, 2013

  • Nevin H.

    The PhD meetup delivers top content once again; thanks, Harlan! I would only hope Harlan would consider a few more iterations of his statistics, including subsets of the attendee data such as New Attendees, People who attend 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 times per year, people who attend 2 | 3 | 4 times in a row, etc. Likewise, you might want to consider whether time of year or topic is as big a determining factor as location. Plenty of work left to do on this one.

    October 25, 2013

  • Ryan H.

    Last minute cancellation -- just leaving the office. Can we get slides? Definitely interested.

    October 24, 2013

    • Sean Moore G.

      Yes, they'll be posted here in these comments.

      October 24, 2013

  • Omar A.

    Not going to be able to make it (traveling from the office in Springfield). Is the content going to be available online?

    October 24, 2013

  • Abhijit

    Can someone pick up a bag of ice tonight and hand me the receipt. Abhijit

    October 24, 2013

  • brian

    Just heard of R, and me being very adventurous, i want to learn more about it. Hope this is the right place.

    October 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm a student who begins study data analytics and R.The meetup will be helpful to learn more

    October 23, 2013

  • Alex P.

    Is this the same as "Learn. Network. Do." at: ???

    October 21, 2013

    • Harlan H.

      Slightly different format, but yes.

      October 21, 2013

  • Max

    You're so meta, Harlan!

    1 · September 5, 2013

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