Nutonian Shows Off Data Science Automation to Congress

Posted by Jay Schuren

14.08.2014 10:00 AM

In June Nutonian, along with a number of leaders from national research facilities and companies, was invited to present to Congress to showcase the scientific and technical advancements happening across the country. This conference was organized by the National User Facility Organization (NUFO), which represents national research facilities open to the public.


As the event was focused on scientific innovation, we took the opportunity to show off how our machine intelligence software can be used to significantly improve the underlying performance of characterization equipment – cameras, medical imaging equipment, scanning electron microscopes, etc. – at the heart of many medical and scientific breakthroughs.

Instead of just looking for the common image artifacts or distortion present in imaging equipment (i.e., fish eye lens), we targeted the harder questions: 1) Does changing the imaging equipment settings change your answer? 2) Can Eureqa identify the underlying relationships governing how the image is being distorted? 3) Can we use these relationships to significantly improve the accuracy of measurements made with the equipment? Working with both x-ray image data from the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory and scanning electron microscopy data, we showed that the answers to these questions are yes, yes, and absolutely (see Tuesday’s blog post for more detail). Our findings showed that for the systems considered, we were able to reduce the measurement error by >10x.

We had captivating conversations with real decision-makers like Dr. Patricia Dehmer, Deputy Director of Science Programs for the Department of Energy, and a few Representatives, most notably a former entrepreneur, then physicist, then Congressman Representative Bill Foster from Illinois. All discussions started at the distortion tool we were showing off, but quickly moved on to our vision for the future: automated data science lowering the barriers for anyone leveraging complex analysis to gain understanding from their data. This could help dramatically improve a variety of circumstances today, ranging from more targeted, lower-cost healthcare treatment to energy efficiency to crime reduction. The biggest impediment to making the world a “smarter planet” is our inability to quickly discern what the waterfalls of data actually mean and which factors actually matter. Flow that data through Eureqa, however, and the most important elements will automatically come to light.

As a society, what if we could isolate the true drivers of obesity? What if we could distill the most effective compounds to treat harmful illnesses, become more precise about electricity generation, or predict and eradicate a famine – before locals even knew it was imminent? Problems like the distortion issue we presented often go unsolved, and worse, unidentified. By harnessing the power of machine intelligence, we can accelerate the next wave of discovery, not only for businesses, but for people. Happy modeling.

Topics: Big data, Eureqa, nutonian, U.S. Congress

Nutonian Piercing the Veil of Distortion Over Mission-Critical Images

Posted by Jay Schuren

12.08.2014 10:00 AM

Screen_Shot_2014-08-08_at_2.36.47_PMImaging and advanced characterization are at the heart of a range of industries across aircraft component inspections, medical imaging, CPU manufacturing and more. As society continues to push the envelope in technological innovation, demand for the best quantitative characterization possible is always present. Distortion, or warping of image data, arises from the imaging equipment itself; common examples are fish eye lenses or fun house mirrors. A little-discussed issue is that changing the instrument settings often changes the distortion – limiting peak characterization performance across fields, reducing accuracy and escalating time and effort for discovery.

The majority of the innovation in imaging systems has been focused on showing ever-smaller features. But those expensive high-magnification machines still have distortion issues that no one has addressed. Inspired by work with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Nutonian has developed tools able to dynamically eliminate image distortion. Applying Nutonian’s data science automation engine, Eureqa, allows users to rapidly identify specific relationships between the instrument settings/environmental conditions and the limiting distortions.


Now, instead of pretending that image distortion either doesn’t exist or remains static across different instrument settings, companies can computationally model, predict and calculate behavior at a high degree of accuracy based on the measurements they take from an image. Understanding these causal relationships gives users the ability to “unwarp” image distortions, enabling accurate insight and peak performance when it really matters. The implications could mean saved lives and >10x improvements in quantitative measurements for systems such as Scanning Electronic Microscopes, realizing peak performance even in outdated equipment.

Whether companies are looking for cracks in aircraft turbine blades or tumors in a mammogram, current limits of characterization systems govern the status quo for early identification. Applying Eureqa to a Scanning Electron Microscope and a mammography detector over a range of conditions resulted in >10x improvements in quantitative measurements. Gain competitive advantage with access to improved detection systems that will save lives, reduce costs and accelerate the development of next generation products.

Topics: Advanced Techniques, Big data, Case study, nutonian, U.S. Air Force

#DataDrivenNYC: Entrepreneurs should strive for simplicity, clarity, and customer proximity

Posted by Jon Millis

24.07.2014 10:00 AM

Data Driven NYC is a community of tech enthusiasts passionate about big data, data technologies, and data-driven products and businesses. The community hosts monthly meet-ups featuring presentations from start-ups and entrepreneurs. At its most recent get-together, Chris Lynch, a serial-entrepreneur-turned-VC, sat down with the group to speak about current tech market conditions and how to get an idea funded. 

“If you build it, he will come.” The classic quote from Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams also doubles as an inspiring metaphor for entrepreneurs seeking VC funding: build something new, and the money will flow like wine.

The problem, according to Chris Lynch, a big data industry luminary, is that “too few people are building real products from their science projects, and those who are building products are focusing on the wrong market”. Now a partner at Atlas Venture in Cambridge, Lynch, to say the least, has a well-rounded perspective on what it takes to build market-disrupting technologies. Before Atlas, he was CEO at Vertica (acquired by HP) and Acopia (acquired by F5) and SVP of Sales and Marketing at ArrowPoint (IPO and acquired by Cisco).


Lynch told Data Driven NYC members that massive opportunity exists for big data start-ups that can deliver on three things the current market craves:

Opportunity #1: Simple analytics

“It all starts with being able to solve a problem,” Lynch said. “Don’t start another NoSQL database. If you’re thinking about a new platform, don’t waste your time. It’s been built. If you can take the power of big data from the one-percenters and drive it to the dummies like me, if you can put the power of insight and analytics into your smart phone and push the dummy button, that’s when big data can be transformational.

Opportunity #2: A clear value proposition

“At Vertica, we had to simplify our message so that the greatest number of people could absorb it. I pushed the engineering team to help me understand why a column-store really mattered. It boiled down to: it was faster. It was the first real-time database for people to make decisions that made or saved money for their companies. From there, we re-messaged Vertica around being a real-time database and what that meant for life sciences, for retail, etc.”

Opportunity #3: Customer proximity 

While the big data market has gotten crowded, Lynch said, the focus has been almost entirely on infrastructure instead of applications.

“Most of what gaming company Zynga does – identifying mavens and selling them virtual goods – is done using Vertica. But because we didn’t build an application that touched the user, we were dis-intermediated in a big way. The closer you can get to the customer, the further you can move up the stack, the more opportunity there is for monetization, the more opportunity there is for value.”

And while he believes some start-up valuations are overheated, Lynch brushes off skeptics who think that big data is just a flash in the pan.

“I’ve heard the term ‘hype’ used as related to big data. I don’t think there’s a hype cycle around big data. Big data is absolutely for real. It’s not hype. You think about it, anything with an on/off switch is generating data today – that’s a fact. Now, how we create value from that, utility from it, and cure cancer and do real stuff with it, that’s a different story, and that’s just promise unfulfilled. That’s not hype.”

Among Lynch’s favorite investments? A Somerville-based technology company called Nutonian…where data science is bundled up into one easy-to-use, customer-facing application.

Topics: Big data, Data Driven NYC, Meetup, nutonian

Nutonian Gives Back

Posted by Matt Fleming

10.12.2013 10:37 AM

Everyone at Nutonian is thrilled to announce the launch of a free academic license program for Eureqa.  The program formally makes the Eureqa desktop software free for students, faculty and staff at K-12 schools and accredited universities.  

With over 40,000 unique users to date, Eureqa has already been cited in 90 independent, peer-reviewed research journals and papers, and has been used at over 400 schools and universities worldwide.  This program promises to offer those in academia a powerful, free tool for quickly gaining understanding from data collected during research.

“Our research is focused on developing a more accurate model of the propagation of Space Weather Storms through the universe,” explained Dr. Roger Dube, Research Professor at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at RIT. “Accurate models are essential for us to alert astronauts to dangerous streams of particles and radiation so that they can take appropriate precautions. As scientists, we’d like to think that we could formulate mathematical models that completely describe the interaction of these storms as they travel through space, but in fact, we are often surprised by how the real world works. Eureqa’s value is that it can create descriptive models of these very complex systems in a fast, systematic way without any preconceived notion of the parameters and how they interact.  In the case of our own research, Eureqa may literally be a lifesaver.”

For more information on the Eureqa academic license program, please visit the press release.


Topics: Announcement, company, Eureqa, nutonian

Happy Thanksgiving from Nutonian!!

Posted by Jess Lin

28.11.2013 09:00 AM

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Nutonian!

Topics: Happy Thanksgiving, nutonian

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