22 - The IEEE Big Data 2017 in Boston

Hi crew,

I hope you are doing well.

Today I want to share with you my experience at the IEEE Big Data conference 2017 in Boston. This is huge event organised by the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that is one of the world largest organization for professional engineers. I attended the conference to present my paper at the workshop about applications of ‘Big Data’ technologies in the transport industry. The paper is about “Application of machine learning to fuel consumption modelling of trucks” and you can find more information about it, including an abstract and a copy of the paper before acceptance, on my Research Gate.

The workshop was last week on Monday afternoon (that is in the night in Europe as there are 5 hour difference between Boston and the UK) and brought together data scientists and engineers working on applications of Big Data and machine learning in the transport industry all over the world. This include, for example, the management of the infrastructure, management of the mobility, analysis of the reliability of systems, etc. for roads, railways, sea, aviation and combined transports.
It was a good opportunity for networking and to start future collaborations, of course, but especially it was the chance for me to receive feedbacks on the data, methodology and techniques that I use in my research and broad my understanding of the topics of Big Data and machine learning having the possibility of exchanging ideas with experts in the field. The conference was also important for me to keep updated with the latest tools, methods and technologies that have been released recently or that people are working on at the moment and that I can use at a later stage of my career when new challenges will come up.
Workshops alternated with tutorials, lectures and special sessions all regarding Big Data, IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning, data science, etc. A very good training week for me.
Keynotes lectures have been given by experts from anywhere around the world from the US to Japan. These included for example Dr. Cheng Zhai, Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Jure Leskovic, Associate Professor at the Standford University and Chief Scientist at Pinterest, Dr. John Langford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft, etc.
I can tell, it was so exciting and I learnt so much. Moreover, you know, it was also the very first time for me in the USA. What an amazing experience guys!

How was the very first impact with the States?
Honestly, I can talk just about Boston that is like a needle in a haystack for the US. In fact, the States are massive and by visiting Boston I saw just 1/10,000 of the whole surface of the confederation. However, I can say that I liked Boston. Although the weather was a bit cold, the city is nice, clean, with lots of modern and well maintained historical buildings that coexist together perfectly. Also, the second day that I was in Boston snowed and, like children, I like when it snows. It reminds me of when I was living in Trento, in the North of Italy. It reminds of my childhood. What I like a bit less is when the day after the snow starts melting and in the evening you must be careful to do not slide on the ice that remains on the pavement. But Americans are very well organised and in half a day they cleaned roads and pathways working all together to make the city safe for residents and tourists.
Also, I liked people in Boston that are friendly and talkative. Very nice people.
Sure I must come back to the US and spend some more time on visiting the States. If you never been to the US I suggest you put in your future plans to go there. It is just a different world that you must visit at least once in your life. I promised that I will bring my girlfriend there soon or later for two or three weeks. Yes crew, I think that a week is too short time to visit the US but, you know, this trips of mine are because of work and conferences do not last for more than a week.

Here there are some pictures that I had the chance to take during my visit to Boston:

Fig. 1 - View on Copley Square in Boston.

Fig. 2 - The registration desks at the IEEE Big Data 2017 conference the Westin Copley Place, in Boston.

Fig. 3 - Prof. Carla E. Brodley, from the Northeastern University, giving her keynote lecture about machine learning.

Fig. 4 - Dr. ChengXiang Zhai, from University of Illinois, giving his keynote lecture on text mining and time series.

Fig. 5 - The flag of the USA. Americans are so proud of their country that they put their flag literally everywhere.

Fig. 6 - Night view of Boston with the statue of George Washington in first row.

Fig. 7 - Night view of the Boston Common park decorated for Christmas 2017.

Fig. 8 - View on the Long Wharf in Boston. (Yes, Boston is on the sea! One more reason to like this city.)

Fig. 9 - The Christmas tree at the Boston Common park in the night.

Cool, right?
It was guys. Definitely, it was an awesome experience.
And.. as I have already mentioned to you in my previous post, this is not finished yet. In fact guys, soon I am going to prepare my luggage for going to the US again. In particular, this time I will fly to Washington where 97th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will be held next January (2018).

So crew, more to visit, more to learn, and new adventures to share with you are coming soon but that’s it for today.
That’s it for this post but I hope that you had a nice time reading it.

I wish you a very merry Christmas and happy start of 2018 and, as usual, I suggest you stay tuned and keep up to date with my project by reading my next post that is going to be released shortly for you here on my blog.




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