Guest Post: The F#unctional Londoners User Group

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This is a guest post from Phil Trelford, the organiser of the F#unctional Londoners and regular speaker at Skills Matter. Here Phil introduces the group, talking about their most recent meetups, as well as what’s coming up over the next few months!

The F#unctional Londoners meet regularly at Skills Matter HQ in London, so be sure to check out their upcoming meetups, as well as all of the Skillscasts (film, code, slides) from their previous talks.


“Excellent group with lots and lots of passion”

The F#unctional Londoners meetup was started by Carolyn Miller back in early 2010, for people interested in F# and functional programming. Since then the group has grown to nearly 800 members and meets every 2 weeks. There’s usually both a talk night and a hands on session night once a month, and typically a large gathering at a nearby drinking hole.

What we’ve been  up to

We pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming group, here’s what other people have said:

  • Great learning opportunity and Great conversations with Great people all round
  • Excellent group with lots and lots of passion
  • My first time here, it was great!

A couple of weeks ago Rob Lyndon attracted a great turn out for his talk on The Flying Fox: Deep Machine Learning with F# which provided an excellent introduction to Deep Belief Networks (the technology behind Bing Translate). Rob’s open source Vulpes project provides a DBN implementation written in F# that runs on the GPU via CUDA. Skills Matter records the majority of talks, and Rob’s is no exception, view the Skillscast here.

Coming up soon

This week sees Michael Newton pop up from Brighton to lead a hands session on Creating Type Providers. Type Providers are a powerful new feature in F# 3 which provides instant typed access to a wide variety of data sources from web services and databases all the way to other languages including R, MATLAB and even Java.

The week after Ben Hall is popping across from Cambridge to talk about his research in systems biology with a talk on Mixing biology and physics to understand stem cells and cancer. Ben’s team have built an F# based web tool, the BioModelAnalyzer, which takes cellular network models and couples them with a 3D model of the biophysical environment.

Later in the month we have Stephen Channel will be talking about Early Warning Indicators in F# used by EWI for triggered real-time notifications from market events to manage Liquidity Risk. Followed a week later by Isaac Abraham on a Type Provider to Azure and how Microsoft Azure and F# fit together as an excellent value proposition for storage, retrieval and analysis of large-quantities of data.

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November 6th & 7th sees our annual conference, the Progressive F# Tutorials, a two-day to-track conference comprised of half day hands on sessions, for beginners and seasoned developers alike. This year we’ve got a great line-up including Don Syme, Tomas Petricek, Andrea Magnorsky, Mark Seemann, Scott Wlaschin and Rob Pickering. Topics for this year include Machine Learning, Domain Driven Design and Games Development.

Hope to see you some time, and if you’re interested in giving a talk or hands on session sometime just let us know.

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