When: Wednesday April 2nd, 2014 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
What: DemoCamp is an event format that involves a keynote speaker, about 5 software demos which each consist of 5 minutes of actually demoing the software and 5 minutes of Q&A, followed by general socializing with the good company in attendance.
Karl Wiklund is a problem-solver with a passion for high technology as well as the engineering applications of cutting-edge science. In his role at VitaSound Audio he worked as lead engineer as part of an international development team to create the Personal Audio Enhancer (PEA) wearable hearing enhancement device featuring user programmability and customizability. Karl continues to design and implement improvements to the PEA, as well as conduct research projects with academic and industrial partners. Karl completed his PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at McMaster University.
The full demo line-up will be announced soon!
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in a demo spot.
When: Saturday March 8th 2014 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Where: Staircase @ 27 Dundurn St. North Hamilton, Ontario
Check out some of the details below and register today!
Back when I first became interested in doing research work, I remember wanting to learn about artificial intelligence. It seemed really cool, like science fiction cool, and maybe I could build an android. Once you get into it a bit more you find out that artificial intelligence is often (but not always) just a way of describing things we haven’t yet taught a computer to do for us. A lot of what computers do now would have been considered “AI” years ago, but once we understand it and create an algorithm to do it, the “unknown poorly defined intelligence magic” part goes away. It becomes just another things computers can do for us, and maybe another branch of computer science.
Still, I always think it’s a good sign when someone starts telling me they are interested in AI. It means they want to explore some interesting and unknown concept.
Back then I started reading about genetic algorithms and neural networks. I wrote a program that designed more effective neural networks using a genetic algorithm (e.g. selecting for superior input values out of a massive dataset). It definitely wasn’t anything groundbreaking, people had been doing this years and years earlier, but I didn’t know that at the time, and the program did actually work too which felt awesome.
In a genetic algorithm, a population of candidate solutions (called individuals, creatures, or phenotypes) to an optimization problem is evolved toward better solutions. Each candidate solution has a set of properties (its chromosomes or genotype) which can be mutated and altered; traditionally, solutions are represented in binary as strings of 0s and 1s, but other encodings are also possible.
The evolution usually starts from a population of randomly generated individuals, and is an iterative process, with the population in each iteration called a generation. In each generation, the fitness of every individual in the population is evaluated; the fitness is usually the value of the objective function in the optimization problem being solved. The more fit individuals are stochastically selected from the current population, and each individual’s genome is modified (recombined and possibly randomly mutated) to form a new generation. The new generation of candidate solutions is then used in the next iteration of the algorithm. Commonly, the algorithm terminates when either a maximum number of generations has been produced, or a satisfactory fitness level has been reached for the population.
Genetic algorithms allow you to solve computationally intensive problems, like for example the the knapsack problem. These sorts of hard problems present a roadblock that can’t be overcome by using “standard business logic computer programming techniques” (see NP-complete), you need to use some “heavy artillery” in the form of strong domain and/or mathematics knowledge. As long as you can test the fitness of potential solutions, you can apply a genetic algorithm to solve the problem. As such genetic algorithms allow you to find solutions to these problems without domain knowledge and without using strong mathematics. They give you a taste of what it’s like to solve a hard problem – but without having to do the hard part.
While this is powerful, it’s also akin to feeling around in the dark. Knowing more about the problem domain and having a strong mathematics background can allow you to use much more sophisticated and powerful optimization techniques. The motivation to explore these techniques is much stronger after genetic algorithms have give you a taste of what it’s like to solve a hard problem. As a result, whenever someone tells me they are “interested in AI” I have directed them towards genetic algorithms as a first step.
March 3, 2014 - ShowDom kicks off its partnership with Mohawk Collegeâs THE AGENCY Program!
THE AGENCY has been created as a new âLiving Labâ learning environment operating within the McKeil School of Business at Mohawk College. It offers students enrolled in a variety of marketing communications and business programs the opportunity to work collaboratively on a diverse range of projects and campaigns. These campaigns are for not-for-profit organizations as well as for new start-ups that have approached Mohawk College for assistance.
The first local startup inaugurated into the program is local Hamilton based company ShowDom Inc. Their product ShowDom.com is an online map-based event finder. Â Their mobile apps and web browser make it fast and easy to discover âthings to doâ within a local community.
âOur goal is to be a fast and easy solution to the question âWhatâs going on?ââ More importantly, we want to provide insight into the entire community of events to encourage people to go out and support local arts and events.â
ShowDom founded in May 2012 and released itâs beta product in March 2013. They currently have 2 co-founders (Graeme Davis, CEO. and Kirk Williams, CTO) as well as two in-house graphic designers (Cody Young and Denise Oomen). The team have been preparing for a March 2014 market launch that includes new browser and app designs among the changes.
âWe are thrilled about the opportunity to pair up with Mohawkâs THE AGENCY program,â states Davis. âOn the one hand, it provides the students with a very real look into the challenges facing a start-up business in a very modern and aggressive online industry. On the other hand, we have the opportunity to work with teams of students to brainstorm creative and diverse market strategies that will give our company a fighting chance.â
For more information about ShowDom, please visit ShowDom.com. The Team will post company-related updates on facebook https://www.facebook.com/ShowdomOfficial, and they would love if you followed them on twitter https://twitter.com/ShowDomOfficial. You can also download the ShowDom app in the Google and Apple stores!
If youâd like to reach ShowDom directly:
When: March 6, 2014 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Where: Stelco Tower – 21st Floor @ 100 King Street West Hamilton, Ontario
The Globe and Mail invites you to a night of food, wine, and networking with fellow students, young entrepreneurs and professionals.
Report on Small Business, in partnership with Hamilton HIVE, invites you to the next Young Entrepreneurs Night in Hamilton on Thursday, March 6 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The event will take place at 100 King St. West on the 21st floor.
Join us for food, wine, and networking (hashtag: #youngtreps), with a mix of students who aspire to be entrepreneurs, and established small-business owners who can talk about their successes and challenges.
As part of the evening, weâll host a live photo blog on The Globe and Mailâs website and shoot video with attendees. Weâll also be unveiling our new Young Entrepreneurs Night logo designed by Kait Bos.
Register today! (itâs FREE) here.
2Gen Interactive is a creative web development company located in Hamilton, Ontario. We build highly interactive web and media applications for some of the largest brands in the world, and we have worked with top agencies in Canada and the US. To stay current with the latest trends and technologies, we promote an environment of learning and experimentation.
We’re looking for individuals with sharp skills and great personality to join our team.
Description of Position:
This position is for an experienced back-end Web Developer to work on high profile web applications and interactive media projects for our clients. You will collaborate with a team of programmers and designers and project managers to execute a variety of projects.
When: Saturday March 1st from 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: Radius Cafe @ 151 James Street South
TL;DR; casual 3 hour ‘hackathon’ @ radius cafe
Ruby programmers learning Drupal, Drupal programmers learning UX, UX pros learning Python, Python hackers learning Graphic Design, Graphic Designers learning Bootstrap, Bootstrap pros learning Meteor.js, Meteor.js hackers learning Scala, Scala programmers learning Google APIs and so on and so forth.
Come hack on your hobby project or form new ones with other students & professionals in one transit friendly location, Radius, every other Saturday starting December 14th 2013, 1pm to 4pm. We recommend that you come with an idea or project already in mind that you would like to try and implement, however silly!
ps. please come with a fully charged laptop as outlets are limited.
Tom Sweeney has released a white paper entitled The Keys to Software Projects: Four simple rules for success. If the topic seems familiar, you may have seen Tom’s presentation on the subject last year.
The four principles are identified as follows:
The Two-Pizza Rule
Small teams are significantly more productive than large teams.
The Expert Multiple
The best software developers are ten times better than the worst.
The Quality Shortcut
The effect spent on upstream quality improvement and assurance tasks is more than offset by the reduction in the high costs of resolving defects downstream.
Iterative and incremental development
Instead of trying to guess what is needed ahead of time, build a little something and then evaluate how it needs to change to better fit the situation.
Note that the paper goes into much more detail on these principles, citing empirical evidence to support the laws. I have only tried to capture the main idea of each point. The principles all seem pretty accurate from my own experience.
There’s a lot of talk about training more software developers. I’m very much of the opinion that a major job-skill mismatch is occurring that is preventing developer jobs from being filled. But a rule like the “expert multiple” makes me wonder if more focus should be put on taking junior developers and helping them become experts.
What do you think of these laws?