Big Data: Solving Tomorrow’s Business Challenges, Event by IITAGH


HOUSTON: IITAGH hosted a talk on Big Data at Jones Business School, Rice University on Feb 1st, along with RIABC. Ram Sriharsha, Architect at Spark and Data Science at Hortonworks explained the concepts of Big Data to a packed room, through a free flowing discussion. Ram, who talks at various Spark summits all over the world, mentioned that this was special event for him as audience actively participated and enquired on topics which made him to think before he answered.

The talk, which started at 6:30pm and went on till 8:15pm, after which several attendees stayed back to ask more in depth questions. Ram used the black board, the white board and slides to walk attendees through Big Data technology: HDFS, MapReduce, Spark and others. Ram pulled up on the screen, MapReduce and Spark code to explain the differences in Big Data technologies.


The event was attended by 50 Big Data enthusiasts representing people from various industries, technologies, and demographics. One of the attendees’ kid who has been learning programming Javascript was very curious on how Big Data was going to shape her future. Some of others had questions like:

I am from a Chemical Company, I want to make sense of the data I am generating.

I work in a commodity trading company, I would like to use Big Data concepts to get better at my job.

I own an electrical lab, we generate lot of data, I want to know if I can use Big Data to solve our problems.

Ram said that it was perfectly ok for rest of us who didn’t know what question to ask about Big Data. Ram mentioned that the key for a Big Data application is to know the problem we are trying to solve before we decide to use Big Data Technology. Ram would like to state” two thirds of all big data machine learning problems today have small number of features and large volume of examples, around one third deal with mid scale machine learning where you have sufficiently large number of features that distributed learning is required but not distributed models but less than 1% of the use cases today require distributed models”(the likes of Google, Facebook etc).


IITAGH (IIT Alumni of Greater Houston) hosted this event under its Develop and Connect pillars. IITAGH had reached out to the local Big Data meetup groups and Rice’s statistics, Computer Science students to benefit from Ram’s expertise.

IITAGH President, Shamanth Shankar thanked Prof Kris Ramesh from Rice and Nishanth Babu President of RIABC (Rice Indo American Business Club) for arranging for the room at Rice, Shiladitya Basu (IITAGH Core Committee Member) for helping out with the attendees and thanked Ram for being available to speak in short notice.

ITAGH is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. We help our members Connect, Develop professionally and Give Back to the local community. Our membership is open to all, everyone is welcome. We have currently over 1100 members. We have no membership fees