HamOnt ML builds machine learning community

 

Hamilton’s first ever machine learning conference took place this weekend. The event was excellent for a bunch of reasons.

Strong mix of industry, government and academia talks. We had leaders from industry, government, academia represented in the talk and panel line-up, and it manifested itself in some great connections, between industry and academia in particular!

It sold out, completely. We’ve been doing conferences on topics that we knew there was a local market for, in the case of topics like JavaScript and User Experience. But for a topic that’s a little more “emerging” in terms of prevalence in local industry, we were blown away by the response for this one.

40% of the attendees were McMaster students. McMaster students can be a very tough audience to pull out to off-campus, Hamilton-branded events. Students call it the “McMaster bubble” (there’s even a Pop the Bubble initiative). But they showed up in large numbers, I guess if you built it right they will come. I was talking to a bunch students afterwards that were very happy to see this type of a topic and talk line-up in Hamilton.

The mayor showed up! Yes, that’s him in the photo! Fred Eisenberger (@fredeisenberger) came by and said a few words at the start in support of the community, and recognizing the willingness of Hamiltonians to collaborate as a community strength. It was great to see support from the mayor for something in the community at the grassroots level.

Andrew Holden at Weever Apps and myself started up this conference series last year, with different leaders in the community organizing each topic (@dpetican, @megthesmith, @eimaj, @kensills). It’ll be continuing next year, details on event dates posted early next year.

 

 

About Author

Kevin Browne

Founder of Software Hamilton.