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Presentation: "Machine Learning == Automated TDD"

Track: Bring your own Language / Time: Tuesday 14:30 - 15:20 / Location: Veilingzaal

There is a lot of hype and mystique around Machine Learning these days. The combination of the words "machine" and "learning" induces hallucinations of intelligent machines that magically learn by soaking up Big Data and then both solving world hunger and making us rich while we lay on the beach sipping a cold one.

Worse yet, the esoteric and mathematical terminology of many Machine Learning textbooks and research papers fuels the mystique, resulting in the persona of the Data Scientist as the 21st century druid that mystically distills insight and knowledge from raw data.

However, just as normal programmers can write code without needing to understand Universal Turing Machines, power domains, or predicate transformers, we believe that normal programmers can use Machine Learning without needing to understand vectors, features, probability density, Jacobians, etc. In fact, the very essence of Machine Learning is creating code from a finite set of sample input/output pairs. This is something that programmers are already deeply familiar with; and in this talk, we will explain how Machine Learning is Test Driven Development performed by code (TDD).

Erik Meijer, University of Delft

Erik Meijer

Biography: Erik Meijer

Erik Meijer is a Dutch computer scientist and entrepreneur. From 2000 to early 2013 he was a software architect for Microsoft where he headed the Cloud Programmability Team. Before that, he was an associate professor at Utrecht University. He received his Ph.D from Nijmegen University in 1992.

Meijer's research has included the areas of functional programming (particularly Haskell) compiler implementation, parsing, programming language design, XML, and foreign function interfaces.

His work at Microsoft included C#, Visual Basic, LINQ, Volta, and the Reactive programming framework (Reactive Extensions) for .NET. He has been involved in over 300 software patent applications of which 101 have been granted.

In 2009, he was the recipient of the Microsoft Outstanding Technical Leadership Award and in 2007 the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award as a member of the C# team.

Meijer lived in the Netherlands Antilles until the age 14 when his father retired from his current job and the family moved back to the Netherlands.

In 2011 Erik Meijer was appointed part-time professor of Cloud Programming within the Software Engineering Research Group at Delft University of Technology. He is also member of the ACM Queue Editorial Board.

Twitter: @headinthebox