I just participated in a webinar entitled “Machine Learning for Hackers” by two current Ph.D. students, psychologist John Myles White of Princeton and political scientist Drew Conway of New York University.

To be honest, I was underwhelmed by their presentation. The MLH title had me anticipating exposure to the latest machine learning techniques, or perhaps ingenious applications of ML methods in business, or maybe even a new software implementation from open source “hackers.” Instead, most of the hour was devoted to the vanilla statistical methods of linear and logistic regression implemented in core R. You need only Google “linear regression with R” and “logistic regression with R” to see how those topics have already saturated the predictive analytics knowledgebase.

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