Monthly Archives: October 2013

The second course that I have to design

I was lurking co-workers’ blog posts when I realized that I had to pick a topic for my second course as requirement for the program. This time the course can be designed for the graduate level (the first one actually also was it, though).

In the last months, I have spent a considerable amount of time reading about big data, data mining, machine learning, and statistical analysis; as well as art history, woman rights movements, and representation of body parts. All of them for my current research on human representation of face in world painting, that it is expected to materialize in an abstract for DH 2014 first, and in the first chapter of my disseration later. Second and third chapters of my thesis may include an authorship attribution study of a very famous Spanish novel, and a computer-based sentiment and meter analysis of the set of a specific kind of poetry plays.

All this work is being carried out thanks to the extensive documentation and reading of primary and secondary sources, as well as by dealing with considerable amounts of data generated mainly ad-hoc for this purposes. In the proccess, I started to follow a certain workflow, 1) data collection and curation, 2) data cleansing, 3) auto annotation of meta data, 4) data formating, and finally 5) data analysis employing a varying set of tools and concepts borrowed from Computer Sciences.

Consequently, that made me think that my second course for this PhD will be on Data for the Humanities Research. So, let’s talk to my super visor to see if he is as happy as I am with this topic 😀

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Tha amazing GraphConnect and Drivers Hackathon

Back in a morning of september I got an e-mail. At a first glance the e-mail seemed to me like it was written to a different person. The sender was Emil Efren, one of the guys behind Neo4j, and he was inviting me to San Francisco. After reading it like three times I realized that the e-mail was actually sent to me. They were asking all the Neo4j drivers’ authors to a two-day hackathon in San Francisco, in their office in San Mateo, and then to the GraphConnect conference. And what it was even more awesome, they was going to take care of everything, from transportation to accomodation, and even meals. I don’t really know if that is a common practice in the real world market out of college, but comparing that to our PhD student situation in which we have to beg for our $400 per term for attending conferences, and only in the case that we are speakers, the gesture from Neo4j is even nicer.

The day came, so I went to San Francisco in a flight from mi city with a short stop in Toronto. During the flight I met an old woman who has a real character, and she told me everything about her and her daughter, who was a partier and free spirit that had gone to Burning Man for the last 15 years. And what a coincidence, they were from London Ontario too!

When I first arrived to SFO, I lead myself straight to Neo4j office in San Mateo. But the taxi driver was an annoying and unpolite asian man who started to yell at me because I didn’t know how to reach my destination. I was like, wat? Man, you are the taxi driver, calm down! After arriving two hours after the first meeting had started, I joined the group in the discussion about the future data types in Neo4j. After that we introduce ourselves and the discussion kept going. It wasn’t one of those sponsored things where the company who organizes it already know every single detail of the implementation and the whole event is just a farce. Not at all. The Neo4j team really wanted to know our opinions, and when debated, they even adopted some of our thoughts! I have to say that I loved that :)

The rest of the day, as well as the following day, was for planning and coding the individual milestones for our respective drivers. But we also had some time to hang out a bit with the rest of team. And everything accompained with meals and a special dinner the day before the conference that included real jamón serrano! I was amazed for finding that random product in a dinner in San Francisco.

The Hackathon attendees: Back row: Nigel Small, Tobias Lindaaker, Max DeMarzi, Jason McAllen, Stefan Armbruster, Michael Hunger, Tatham Oddie, Andreas Ronge, Elad Olasson, Philip Rathle, Javier de la Rosa Front row: Josh Adell, Aseem Kishore, Peter Neubauer, Matt Luongo, Wes Freeman

In that dinner, with all the team, drivers authors, and speakers of the GraphConnect, we took the picture that you can see under these lines. And I almost forgot, I got a prize to the most innovative community contribution 😀

The GraphConnect conference  started the next day. And I really liked it because the talks were very varied, from some technicals introductions and discussions, to real world cases where graph databses had proven to be a better solution than relational databases. I also had the pleasure to meet in person and talk a bit to Josh Adell, Matt Luongo, Aseem Kishore, Elad Olasson, Peter Neubauer, Kenny Bastani, Andrés Taylor, Max de Marzi and Alberto Perdomo. Real great people.

But all good things come to an end. So even when the night of the conference all the gang went to a party in Embarcadero, my flight was really early next morning, so I went to bed soon. Although I still had the chance to rent a bike with Josh and go close to the Golde Gate Bridge and the sidewalk. A very enjoyable ride, I must say.

And that was all. They ended saying that it might be a good tradition to see us every year. So, let’s see how things goes in 2014 for Neo4j and neo4-rest-client 😀

This time I got closer to the bridge. Next time I’ll cross it, I promise!

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