Python on the Brain

Waxing Poetic about Python

Python and R are the main data analysis tools I’ve used and the languages in which I learned Machine Learning. Many people have their favorite, but I’m still parsing out what contexts I prefer for each. However, I love software/app development so I tend to lean toward Python as a default.

One reason for this is that the R package to support Convolutional Neural Networks is still in development. Another simpler reason is that Python3 is an enjoyable back-end programming language, while R is more explicitly applicable to in-house data analysis.

For example, I recently ran across Brainpipe, which is a python neuroscience data mining package that evolved out of PhD candidate Etienne Combrison’s research at University of Montreal. Brainpipe is a python toolbox dedicated to the analysis and classification of neuro-physiological signals. And with powerful deep learning packages, it seems clear that Python is at the forefront of developments in data science. But when I was first learning Python, I also made a simple Battleship game.

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Whimsy on Whimsy

The following meme, shared by Andrew Paul Acosta, popped up on my LinkedIn feed a few days ago:

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Definitely a solid chuckle, or even a full-on guffaw. But the absence of Python surprised me! Where would Python fit on this whimsical continuum? I love analogies, so I gave it a go:

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I felt the analogy worked well because we often think of R and Python as nearly level players, whereas Excel/SAS/SPSS are clearly stagnating as legacy platforms when it comes to the direction data science is trending.

Regardless, my enthusiasm for Python grows with every new context and analogy. I will continue to use R when it seems the best tool for a problem, but Python is outright enjoyable.

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