After a brief hiatus, we are very excited to announce our May meetup will feature one of the hottest new languages in statistical computing: Julia (http://julialang.org/). We are delighted to welcome Stefan Karpinski (http://karpinski.org/), one of the creators of Julia, to give an introduction to the language and his perspective on statistical computing.
Julia is a general-purpose, high-level, dynamic language in the tradition of Lisp, Perl, Python and Ruby. It is designed to take advantage of modern techniques for executing dynamic languages with statically-compiled performance. As part of this design, the language has an expressive type system, which programmers may leverage for dispatch and error checking — incidentally providing the compiler with useful type information. Using types is entirely optional, however: "typeless Julia" is a valid and useful subset of the language, similar to traditional dynamic languages, which nevertheless runs at statically compiled speeds.\
Julia is especially good at running Matlab and R-style programs. Given its level of performance, we envision a new era of technical computing where libraries can be developed in a high-level language instead of C or Fortran. We have also experimented with cloud API integration, and begun to develop a web-based interactive computing environment. The ultimate goal is to make cloud-based supercomputing as easy and accessible as Google Docs.
We will also hear from a mix of people who have already started developing in Julia and see some examples of what they have developed.
The meetup will follow our typical schedule: pizza will begin at 6:15pm, Stefan will begin promptly at 7pm, and we will head to The Central Bar around 8:30pm.