Geeks of the world: unite!
3 juni 2019 [06:00], 1274 views
Door Véronique Van Vlasselaer

Geeks of the world: unite!

How to go from image data to a fully working web application driven by an image classification model.
This week it is finally time! We, the SAS geeks, will leave our dusty desks filled with empty coffee cups, half full water bottles of which nobody knows to whom they belong and since how long they are a breeding ground for all kinds of germs.

Consequently, the small miniature football players of Bruges and Anderlecht on Anthony’s desk (one of our geeks) will not play their weekly football game. For non-football fans like me, it’s truly a relief to know that no tears will be lost by the less ‘well-playing’ team. And that the everlasting discussions on whether it was offside or not, are temporarily buried (for the ones who are wondering: yes, apparently, it’s possible that small miniature football players can be positioned offside).

What I will miss however, is the frantic browsing through our Bomb Defusal Manual – currently lurking at me from my desk – used during our internal competition on the computer game ‘Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes!’, a game that challenges our geeky nerves by solving riddles against time before the bomb explodes. A true recommendation for every geek who has at least one social connection – the game requires at least two people to play.

Geek you said?
This seamlessly obliges me to devote some words on the term Geek, which is often misunderstood by many. I have to admit that historically the term geek comes from the German word ‘geck’ which literally translated means crazy, but I want to seize the opportunity today to revamp the term. Geeks are no longer the socially awkward, nerdy creatures residing in a basement afraid of being exposed to broad daylight only thinking in zeros and ones. Geeks are the new, high-promising drivers of our society: they are extremely passionate, curious and with an unfathomable desire to make things work. Their enthusiasm is fed by inspiring innovations and unimaginable ideas from the tech world. Their energy is charged by cherry-picking the most mind-boggling elements from those ideas and blending this into a new uber-idea. And if you are a geek, you know that it is typically in our nature to have this unsustainable urge to start working on this uber-idea and prove to anybody who wants to listen that it’s not merely an idea but something that actually works in practice. Geeks unmistakably live according to the rule Inspire and Be Inspired! 

Geeks unite at the SAS Analytics Forum and at SAS Curiosity Forum!
And that is exactly the reason why we give up our comfortable habitat this week. The time has finally come where we will broadcast all our expertise and insights we have gathered from the marvelous world of Machine Learning and AI. We will organize the Talk of the Geeks at the SAS Analytics Forum in The Netherlands on June 6th and at the SAS Curiosity Form in Belgium on June 13th, two not-to-be-missed events. We have been counting down* to this moment for a couple of months now and have prepared an exquisite program to pass all our findings to you, our fellow geeks. Especially for you and as an illustration of the opportunities arising with Machine Learning, we have developed an app that calculates your geekiness score (i.e., a probability on how geeky you are) based on your profile picture. Behind the scenes an image recognition model is running to define how many of your characteristics are inextricably linked to geek.

During the talks we will deep dive into the technical details on how to go from image data to a full working web application driven by an image classification model. And as cherry on the cake, the app is available for all of you to find out yourself how much effort is required from you to become the world’s uber-geek: a need to know for every (wanna-be) geek!

*When geeks talk about counting down, they mean counting down in their own geeky way. Not using these fancy clocks with the perfect layout and the optimal font advertised on the official website of the SAS Forum, but in good old-fashioned code. For the geeks amongst us, please run the code below to know how many days, hours and minutes you still have to wait for the kick-off of 2019’s Talk of the Geeks! And as a true geek, if you have an alternative to compute this, please share!

data _null_;
 TalkOfTheGeeks_Netherlands = '06JUN19:13:45:00'dt;
 TalkOfTheGeeks_Belgium = '13JUN19:13:35:00'dt;

 secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_NL = TalkOfTheGeeks_Netherlands - datetime();
 secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_BE = TalkOfTheGeeks_Belgium - datetime();

 DAYS_NL = floor(secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_NL/86400);
 HOURS_NL = mod(floor(secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_NL/3600),24);
 MINUTES_NL = mod(floor(secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_NL/60),60);

 DAYS_BE = floor(secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_BE/86400);
 HOURS_BE = mod(floor(secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_BE/3600),24);
 MINUTES_BE = mod(floor(secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_BE/60),60);

 if secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_NL > 0 then do;
  put "You still need to wait " DAYS_NL " days, " HOURS_NL " hours and " MINUTES_NL " minutes for the SAS Analytics Forum in the Netherlands.";
  end; else put "The SAS Analytics Forum in the Netherlands is already finished!";

 if secsToImpatientlyWait_TotG_BE > 0 then do;
  put "You still need to wait " DAYS_BE " days, " HOURS_BE " hours and " MINUTES_BE " minutes for the SAS Curiosity Forum in Belgium.";
  end; else put "The SAS Analytics Forum in Belgium is already finished!";
run;

Hope to see you there!

   Véronique, passionate geek since 2012.

The Talk of the Geeks is a geeky SAS show with starring geeks Jos Van Dongen, Joline Jammaers, Rens Feenstra, Tom Stock, Anthony Severeyns, Joran Roor, Tuba Islam, Jaimy Van Dijck, Véronique Van Vlasselaer, Rik de Ruiter, Edwin Van Unen, Kaat Tastenhoye & Peter Tobac.

Over de auteur

Véronique Van Vlasselaer is Customer Advisor Decision Science at SAS Belgium & Luxembourg. She is a data science enthusiast with an infinite passion to operationalize business decisions supported by insights from data analysis, machine learning and AI.

Véronique Van Vlasselaer graduated magna cum laude as Master Information Systems Engineer at the faculty of Business and Economics, KU Leuven (Belgium). For her master thesis topic “Mining Data on Twitter”, she received the best thesis award from the faculty’s student branch.

In October 2012, Véronique started as Ph.D researcher with prof. Bart Baesens at the department of Decision Sciences and Information Management. Her main research topics include social network analysis, fraud detection and net lift modeling. She obtained her Ph.D in 2015.

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