Kaggle Days as a part of Cloud Next ’19 gathers great reviews!

Kaggle Days, our premiere offline event for seasoned data scientists and Kagglers, made its Stateside debut in San Francisco during Google’s Next conference in April 2019. Previous editions took place in Europe (May 2018 in Warsaw, January 2019 in Paris).

The signature 2-day events are produced by LogicAI with partnership from Kaggle. LogicAI is a boutique data science consultancy company owned by Kaggle fans and Grandmasters.

Kaggle Days San Francisco took place on April 10-11th at the prestigious Fairmont Hotel in Nobb Hill.

Why this edition was different?

A few things made this edition unique! It was the first one US-based event, and LogicAI and Kaggle team organized it within exceptionally short period of time.

Despite the late nights and fast-paced planning, the event was a major success. But don’t take our word for it. See what our participants think:

“Smooth organizing and great content. Thank you!”

“Great event! Can’t wait for the next one!”

“More please!”

“What a fantastic event, worth the 10+ hours of travelling. Amazing organizers and community members!”

“What started out as an inquisitive trip to San Francisco to learn more about data science turned into the best conference experience I have had.”

What is the most important part of Kaggle Days?

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Maria Parysz (CEO, LogicAI) and Paweł Jankiewicz (CTO, LogicAI) giving an opening speech

There would be no Kaggle Days without the Kaggle community! After each event we’re completely amazed by Kagglers’ willingness to share, learn and get to know each other. People register as participants and leave as inspired and motivated Kagglers and data scientists.

This article by Heads or Tails (First Kaggle Kernel Grandmaster) sums it up perfectly.

“I had high expectations – which were exceeded spectacularly. Kaggle Days was a blast!”

Heads or Tails

Day One

300 participants gathered on Wednesday morning and kicked-off the event with an opening speech by Maria Parysz (CEO and co-founder at LogicAI, Kaggle Days President) and Paweł Jankiewicz (CTO and co-founder at LogicAI, Kaggle Grandmaster). This was followed by Anthony Goldbloom (CEO, Kaggle) and Wendy Kan’s (Data Scientist, Kaggle) keynote speech.  

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Wendy Kan (Data Scientist in Kaggle) on stage 

The first day was full of high-level (and high-energy) content: presentations, workshops and brainstorming sessions (see full agenda here).

Participants who wanted to take part in workshops and brainstorms had pre-register beforehand (each brainstorm had a limited number of spots to ensure the highest quality conversation). Those not interested in workshops or brainstorms could attend a full roster of presentations on the main stage.

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Anthony Goldbloom (CEO of Kaggle) in conversation “Behind the $1M Zillow Prize” with Jasjeet Thind and Andy Martin from Zillow

To speak, we invited Kaggle Grandmasters and also Google experts. Among them, creator or Keras and AI legend, François Chollet.

The San Francisco edition broke records in terms of the number of speeches, workshops, and brainstorms. We gathered 22 top Kagglers and data scientists to lead high-level hands-on sessions.

“The workshops and mentoring session were amazing and helpful at a practical level” – Kaggle Days Participant

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François Chollet giving the presentation “The secret of productive developers tools (and what it has to do with winning Kaggle competitions)”

The first day ended with a teaser announcement about the competition to follow on Day 2. Participants were told only the topic and had to wait until the next morning for the dataset and to ask any additional questions.

Day Two “The Competition” — Humans Won!

The competition was revealed as a “Manufacturing Defect Prediction” challenge. Participants teamed up in groups of up to three people had 8.5 hours to predict the outcome of a quality control test on a batch of manufactured parts.

We had prepared a few surprises for the participants. First was Google team, called Google AutoML, joining the competition in order to test AI software (check out article ). For most of the competition, AutoML was in the first place. However, after the final leaderboard was revealed the machine took second, and all humans felt relieved!

The second surprise was a small change – in metric and additional data – which was intended to create “real” data science environment; a little bit of uncertainty and disruptions. Here, the help of more experienced Kagglers and Data Scientists was priceless.

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Kaggle Grandmasters (Pavel Pleskov @ppleskov and Carlos Huertas @NxGTR) during mentoring hours.

The second day was also a time for 1:1 mentorship with Grandmasters and speakers from Day 1. Those competing in the competition could receive support and ask questions regarding tactics, but also could pick their brain on any number of topics such as finding a job in data science, or general Kaggle tips.

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Competition winners – humans won with the machine!

At the end, winning teams took the stage for audience Q&A before heading down the hill to Union Square were a celebration party was being held.

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Group photo at the end of 2nd day

Networking

Kaggle Days events are not only about high level of sessions and learning. They’re designed to build and nurture a robust data science community and to give Kagglers the incredible experience of meeting each other face-to-face after months or years of chatting online.

Here is a look at a few networking opportunities that were had in San Francisco:

Pre-Event
In San Francisco, we had the unique challenge of some seriously steep hills to climb! As such, we opted for a pre-event networking opportunity that avoided long city walks and instead tucked into a few quintessential pubs.

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Lunch on both days took place in famous Tonga Room

Day One
As part of the cooperation between Kaggle Days and Cloud Next, Kaggle Days participants also gained access to all Next ’19 sessions as well as extravagant evening events. Networking for all Next/Kaggle Days participants took place at Oracle Park with food, drinks and outdoor concert at the end Wednesday’s programming.

Day Two
Everyone had a chance to say their goodbyes and have some fun after the competition on Thursday. We took over the third floor of Golden Gate Tap Room. It was a fun and positive atmosphere full of celebration and glory for all.

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Participants during celebration party

More About Kaggle Days

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Kaggle Days are divided into two different types: local meetups and global events. Everyone can build Data Science community with us – become a co-organizer, speaker, partner or participant!

Check our website https://kaggledays.com/ and join the community now 🙂

LogicAI is a data science consulting company providing end to end solutions for business problems using advanced analytics and machine learning models. LogicAI is a sole Kaggle partner for building world’s biggest offline data science community.