Planning ahead: using Markov decision processes to optimize your life

Public group


UNC Charlotte Center City

320 E 9th St · Charlotte, NC

How to find us

Tell Security at the Lobby Reception Desk that you are here for PyDataCharlotte meetup

Location image of event venue



Have you ever found yourself in a situation where there were multiple courses of action with different potential outcomes? How do you decide what to do? In this talk, Eric Cotner will discuss Markov decision processes (MDP's); a quantitative framework for determining an optimal sequence of actions. We'll learn how to set up an MDP, what kinds of situations they can be applied to, some of the math behind it, and finally, an easy way to solve simple MDP's using the python package `pymdptoolbox`. If you're interested in applying optimal decision making to your life or work, you won't want to miss this!

Speaker Bio:

Eric Cotner is a former theoretical physicist who studied exotic dark matter candidates such as Q-balls and black holes during his graduate school years. More recently, he has turned his attention to data science; specifically prescriptive analytics. He works as a data scientist at American Tire Distributors in Huntersville, where he focuses on supply chain and logistics problems such as optimizing delivery routes and modeling inter-warehouse product flow. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, astronomy, and scuba diving. He holds a PhD/Masters/Bachelors in Physics from UCLA/UCLA/UCSD.
Venue Sponsor:

A huge thanks to UNC Charlotte - SCHOOL OF DATA SCIENCE for hosting us!

Event Parking:

There are a number of pay-to-park options within walking distance of Center City. Seventh Street Parking Deck is a short walk through First Ward Park. Visitors can pay to park by the hour. Additional pay-to-park options can be found on the Preferred Parking website. The closest of these is 422 E 9th Street on the corner of 9th and Brevard Street. Other
nearby lots are at 8th & College, 9th & College, and 9th & Tryon. There are metered spaces on Brevard and 8th Street to pay during the day. These meters are free after 6 pm weekdays and all day on weekends.

Light Rail:

Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of light rail options when visiting Center City. Center City is a half a block from the 9th Street Station. Free parking is available at nine of the eleven light rail Park and Ride locations. Sugar Creek Station and Scaleybark Park and Ride locations are the closest to 9th Street Station. Standard CATS rates apply.


For questions about this meetup, please message through the Meetup site or email [masked]