Last weekend I gave a talk at PyData Chicago! It was called “Evolutionary Algorithms: Perfecting the Art of ‘Good Enough’” (props to my thesis advisor, Stefano Allesina, for the catchy title). It was heavily based on my blog post and workshops I’ve given. Heuristic optimizers are a fun topic for me because they are so general and useful, but they’re not really a hot topic, and I think a lot of people have just never encountered them. They’re a great addition to a data scientist’s toolkit.
It was my first tech talk, and a lot of fun. It was very different from giving an academic talk. It was nice to give a talk that was about getting people excited about a technique, rather than to present results of a specific study. I’m very proud of the fact that I got to talk about managing Skyrim loot as an example of an optimization problem (it’s quite literally a knapsack problem!).
You can take a look at the slides here:
And the talk itself here: