New York Open Stats Meetup

18 April 2012 | Stefan Karpinski

I'll be giving a talk on Julia at the New York Open Statistical Programming Meetup on May 1st. After my presentation, John Myles White and Shane Conway are going to give followup demos of statistical applications using Julia. Then we're going to hang out and grab drinks nearby. Thanks to Harlan Harris and Drew Conway for setting the whole thing up!


After a brief hiatus, we are very excited to announce our May meetup will feature one of the hottest new languages in statistical computing: Julia. We are delighted to welcome Stefan Karpinski, one of the creators of Julia, to give an introduction to the language and his perspective on statistical computing.

Julia is a general-purpose, high-level, dynamic language in the tradition of Lisp, Perl, Python and Ruby. It is designed to take advantage of modern techniques for executing dynamic languages with statically-compiled performance. As part of this design, the language has an expressive type system, which programmers may leverage for dispatch and error checking — incidentally providing the compiler with useful type information. Using types is entirely optional, however: "typeless Julia" is a valid and useful subset of the language, similar to traditional dynamic languages, which nevertheless runs at statically compiled speeds.
Julia is especially good at running Matlab and R-style programs. Given its level of performance, we envision a new era of technical computing where libraries can be developed in a high-level language instead of C or Fortran. We have also experimented with cloud API integration, and begun to develop a web-based interactive computing environment. The ultimate goal is to make cloud-based supercomputing as easy and accessible as Google Docs.

We will also hear from a mix of people who have already started developing in Julia and see some examples of what they have developed.

The meetup will follow our typical schedule: pizza will begin at 6:15pm, Stefan will begin promptly at 7pm, and we will head to The Central Bar around 8:30pm.

Update: You can see the slides for the talk here. There was no video of the talk, but hopefully the slides are informative — there are, among other things, a lot of code examples that should just work if pasted into the Julia repl.