It’s the New Year and we’re kicking off 2019 with our first LondonR! The meetup took place on the 15th of January, and we were delighted to have about 100 people in attendance. With excellent speakers lined-up and a free bar for networking, we started 2019 with a BANG!

Please find all the presentations here.

Dawid Kaledkowski, ClickMeeting – Using sport package to predict speedway results

Dawid came all the way from Gdansk, Poland to talk to us about sport – the R package for online update algorithms that he authored. Dawid introduced us to his passion (and what is apparently the most popular Polish sport) –  speedway –  and to how you can use update algorithms to predict its results. Not only did he build a package to predict those results, but he also spent a good part of 3 years on building the most comprehensive database with speedway results. The talk finished with a lively discussion on algorithm and predictors’ specifics sprinkled with words of admiration for his devotion to speedway.

Colin Magee – R is for Racing

Colin made sure that we keep our racing hats on by sharing his passion for… horse racing! He told us about Ada Lovelace’s weakness for gambling and predicting horse race results before he moved onto his own take on horse race analytics. It turns out – surprise, surprise – R is a fantastic tool for data scraping, munging and feature engineering. And if it wasn’t clear to our audience already, Colin made it obvious in his live-coding demos! Colin is going to share more hints and tips on building accurate predictive models in his upcoming book, ‘R is for Racing’. We’re looking forward to reading it!

Dan Joplin, SparkBeyond – Automating fun: A choose your own adventure talk

It was definitely the most interactive and entertaining presentation of the evening. Dan went above and beyond to make sure that the audience saw all of his 81 (!) slides. He took us through the intellectual journey of how to build a tool that automatically finds the optimal pub-crawl route from point A to B. It would have been quite a typical talk if it was not for Dan offering quiz questions to the audience at various points where we could choose what approach to use in the next stage of the project. So not just entertaining but also very educational.

After the talks, we held our usual networking drinks – it was a great end to another fascinating LondonR. We hope to see you at our future meetups – join our mailing list or check out our website for more information.