R we f#¢$ed? Why We Don't Understand Risk, and How it Dooms Us All

Danese Cooper (Open Source Hardware Association), David Smith (REvolution Computing)
Business, Emerging Topics, People, Programming
Location: Ballroom A8
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 14 ratings)

Risk and chance play a huge part in our daily lives, yet the human brain doesn’t come pre-loaded with the right software to make intuitive decisions about them. In this talk, we’ll reveal how failures in interpreting such risks and chance events have led to calamities like the recent financial crisis, controversies in the global warming debate, and failures in the war on terror.

Despite the consequences of such failures in common sense, the training and tools in statistical techniques that would help us understand such events have been limited. Our goal in this talk is to provide some illumination on the basic principles to help you understand and quantify risk, and to introduce you to the open-source language R, an essential tool for finding statistical solutions to your own problems.

Photo of Danese Cooper

Danese Cooper

Open Source Hardware Association

Danese Cooper, who joined REvolution in 2009, is a very well-known advocate for Open Source and transparent software development with a 20-year history in the software industry. In 1999, Danese became the first Chief Open Source Evangelist at Sun Microsystems and founded their Open Source Programs Office, taking a leading role in projects such as OpenOffice.org, java.net and blogs.sun.com. She joined the Board of the Open Source Initiative in December 2001 and currently serves as Secretary & Treasurer. She is also a Member of the Apache Software Foundation and serves on a special Advisory Board for Mozilla.org. In 2005 Danese joined Intel to advise on open source projects, investment and support. She speaks internationally on Open Source and Licensing issues.

David Smith

REvolution Computing

David has a long history with the statistical community. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, David spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University (United Kingdom), where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. David continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) where for more than eight years he oversaw the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products. David is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the tutorial manual, An Introduction to R , and one of the originating developers of ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics. Prior to joining REvolution, David was Vice President, Product Management at Zynchros, Inc.

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Comments

Akkana Peck
07/24/2009 3:57pm PDT

The video commercial for R in the middle of the talk was a real distraction and didn’t add anything useful. The rest of the talk was excellent.

David Smith
07/23/2009 11:07am PDT

Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially for all the great questions. If you’d like to download the slides, I’ve uploaded them to the Revolutions blog. Download (2.5Mb PDF)

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