Bloomberg Tech Talk

Bloomberg Info Session<br>Speaker: Rebecca Ely, Software Engineer on the Spark Platform Team <br>Date : November 7, 2017<br>Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm<br>Location: Gates Building, Room 104<br>Dinner will be served! <br><br>Register here: <br><a href=";sa=... target="_blank"></a><br><br>Abstract:<br>Contra dances are easy to dance but difficult to choreograph. To write good dances, choreographers must consider timing, positioning, flow between moves, and the complicated geometry of ensuring that the dance will work for groups of any size, whether 8 or 800 dancers. This talk will discuss the use of algorithms to generate new, “legal” contra choreography.<p>Detailed Description:</p><p>Contra dancing is high-energy, low-difficulty, and extremely social. Long lines of partnered dancers are taught a sequence of moves, then dance this sequence repeatedly with every other partnership in line.</p><p>Dancing contra may be simple, but writing the dances is extremely challenging. Violating just one of the numerous rules around timing, dancer placement, flow, or repetition can render choreography undanceable. Many dances that are technically feasible turn out to be unpleasant or boring, and will never make it onto the dance floor.</p><p>The Dancerator is an effort to automate the contra choreography process using algorithms. A corpus of popular human-written dances is translated into a standardized encoding then broken down as Markov chains. A backtracking algorithm uses the resulting information about possible move sequences to string together new choreography, checking that each additional move does not violate any of the built-in heuristics around timing, repetition, etc. The dances generated are guaranteed to be danceable and are typically found to be enjoyable.</p><br>Bio:<br>Rebecca Ely is a software engineer on the Spark platform team at Bloomberg LP. She received a BA in Peace and Justice Studies from Wellesley College in 2013 and completed a Hackbright Academy Fellowship in 2015. Career highlights include building a folk dance choreography generator, teaching math and botany to ESL students, and working at the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Global Health Bureau during the 2015 Ebola outbreak.<p>When it’s time to put the keyboard down Rebecca can be found dancing, board gaming, or cracking burrito jokes at Scala meetups. She is enthusiastic about social justice, superheroes, and ice cream.</p>

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Gates Computer Science, 353 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA