Much to my chagrin, I had to return home to frigid Chicago late Friday night from three days of delightful weather respite at Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose. I've been to each of the five winter Stratas in Silicon Valley, this the first outside the Santa Clara Convention Center. As well it needed to be, what with over 4,500 registrants, more than triple the number of the inaugural.

On “training” Wednesday, my track of choice was “Hardcore Data Science”. Among the heavy academic-like presentations were talks on machine learning advances in continuous speech recognition, visual understanding, the search for repeated structures in time series data, graph mining, and tensor methods for large-scale unsupervised learning. A later Netflix talk, “How to Detect Anomalies in High Cardinality Dimensions and Make The Actionable”, featuring robust principal components analysis, was also outstanding. My mathematical head was spinning.

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