After many years of trying to align my calendar and travel schedule I have finally made it. I am at kdd 2013 in Chicago.
As I have always feared, it is very academic in nature – lots of graduate student papers and the like. There is not a whole lot of focus on application here. Nonetheless I think it is important to monitor what our friends in the Computer Sciences are up to. So far I have been to a Big Data Camp and a workshop focusing on Healthcare. I have been constantly reminded of the vast gap between my clients – software end users – and the academic researchers. The distance between them is matched by the gap between the software users and their colleagues. Colleagues who don’t care terribly much about the software, but must understand the solution. I feel like a fragile bridge between these very different worlds. I won’t be able to justify coming every year, but I needed to experience this first hand.