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Python versus R. It's a heated debate. We won't solve this raging controversy today, but we will peek into the history of Python, particularly in the open source community surrounding it, and see how it came to be what it is today—a well used and flexible programming language. Travis Oliphant: Wes McKinney did a great job in creating Pandas . . . not just creating it but organized a community around it, which are two independent steps and both necessary, by the way. A lot of people get confused by open source. They sometimes think you just kind of going to get people together and open source emerges from the foam, but what ends up happening, I’ve seen this now at least eight, nine different times, both with projects I’ve had a chance and privilege to interact with, but also other people's projects. It really takes a core set of motivated people, usually not more than three. Ginette: I’m Ginette. Curtis: And I’m Curtis. Ginette: And you are listening to Data Crunch. Curtis: A podcast about how applied data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are changing the world. Ginette: A Vault Analytics production. Ginette: This episode of Data Crunch is supported by Lightpost Analytics, a company helping bridge the last mile of AI: making data and algorithms understandable and actionable for a non-technical person, like the CEO of your company. Lightpost Analytics is offering a training academy to teach you Tableau, an industry-leading data visualization software. According to, the average salary for a Tableau Developer is above $50 per hour. If done well, making data understandable can create breakthroughs in your company and lead to recognition and promotions in your job. Go to to learn more and get some freebies. Here at Data Crunch, we love playing with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning, so we started a fun new side project. We just launched a new podcast that tests the boundaries of what can be done with Google’s cutting-edge deep learning speech generation algorithms. We use surprisingly human-like voices to host the podcast that reads all the unusual Wikipedia articles you haven’t had a chance to read yet, like chicken hypnosis, the history of an amusing German conspiracy theory, strange trends in Russian politics, and much more to come. It’s worth listening to to hear what this tech sounds like and you’ll learn unique and bizarre trivia that you can share at your next dinner party. Search for a podcast called “Griswold the AI Reads Unusual Wikipedia Articles,” now found on all your favorite popular podcast platforms. Curtis: There has been a heated, ongoing debate about which programming language is better when working with machine learning and data analytics: Python or R, and while we won’t be wresting that particular question, we will overview a bit of history for both and then dive into significant history behind one of these languages, Python, with a major contributor to the language, a man who significantly influenced the way that data scientists use Python today. Ginette: As a very short historical background, Python came to the scene in 1991 when Guido Van Rossem developed it. His language has developed a reputation as easy to use because it’s syntax is simple, it’s versatile, and it has a shallow learning curve. It’s also a general purpose language that is used beyond data analysis and great for implementing algorithms for production use. As for R, it followed shortly after Python. In 1995, Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman created it as an easier way to do data analysis, statistics, and graphic models, and it was mainly used in academia and research until more recently. It’s specifically aimed at statistics, and it has extensive libraries and a solid community. As a controversial side note, according to Gregory Piatetsky Shapiro’s KDNuggets poll, late last year,

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