On New Year’s day 2014 Eigenvector Research, Inc. (EVRI) celebrated its 19th birthday and began its 20th year. The momentum that carried us into 2013 built throughout the year and resulted in our largest year-over-year software sales increase since 2007. Our best three software sales months ever have all been within the last five months. Clearly our partnering with analytical instrument makers and software integrators plus our tools for putting models on-line are striking a responsive chord with users.

The consulting side of our business also continues to be very busy as we assist our clients to develop analytical methods in a wide variety of applications including medical, pharmaceutical, homeland security (threat detection), agriculture, food supplements, energy production and more.

The third leg of our business, chemometrics training, continued unabated as we taught on-site courses for government and industry, courses at conferences and held the 8th edition of our popular Eigenvector University (EigenU). We enter 2014 firing on all cylinders!

Major additions to PLS_Toolbox and Solo in 2013 included the Model Optimizer, Hierarchical Model Builder, a new Artificial Neural Network (ANN) tool, and several new file importers. We will soon release an additional ANN option along with new tools for instrument standardization/calibration transfer. Also on the horizon, a major new release of Solo_Predictor will include an enhanced web interface option and additional instrument control and scripting options.

2014 includes a busy schedule with conferences, talks, conference exhibits and short courses. Below is a listing of where you’ll be able to find us:

  • January 21-24, IFPAC, Arlington, VA. BMW to present “Mixed Hierarchical Models for the Process Environment” and “A Multivariate Calibration Model Maintenance Road Map.”
  • March 2-6, Pittcon Chicago, IL. NBG and RTR will be at the EVRI exhibition booth.
  • April 27-May 2, EigenU 2014, 9th Annual Eigenvector University, Seattle, WA. Join the complete EVRI staff for 6 days of courses and events.
  • May 6-9, EuroPACT, Barcelona, Spain. BMW to give plenary address “Model Maintenance: the Unrecognized Cost in PAT and QbD” and a condensed version of our “Chemometrics without Equations” short course.
  • June 1-4, CMA4CH, Taormina, Italy. JMS to teach short course and talk TBD.
  • June 8-12, CAC-XIV, Richmond, VA. NBG and RB to teach “Advanced Preprocessing for Spectroscopic Applications” and “Alternative Modeling Methods in Chemometrics.”
  • August 2-8, IDRC, Chambersburg, PA. NBG to attend, talk TBD.
  • September 14-18, ICRM, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. NBG to give keynote “An Overview of Hyperspectral Image Analysis in Chemometrics.”
  • September 28-October 3, SciX 2014, Reno, NV. JMS Chemometrics Section Chair, talks and courses TBD.
  • November 10-13, EigenU Europe, Hillerød, Denmark. Courses led by BMW and Eigenvector Associate Rasmus Bro.
  • November 17-19, EAS 2014, Somerset, NJ. EVRI sponsor of Award for Achievements in Chemometrics. Courses and talks TBD.

We’re especially excited about this year’s Eigenvector University. This ninth edition of EigenU will include all our usual events (poster session, PowerUser Tips & Tricks, workshop dinner) plus five new short courses. Special guest Age Smilde will lead “Chemometrics in Metabolomics” and Rasmus Bro will present “Modeling Fluorescence EEM Data.” The other three new courses are “Calibration Model Maintenance,” “PLS_Toolbox Beyond the Interfaces” and “Getting PLS_Toolbox/Solo Models Online.” We expect EigenU 2014 to be an especially fun and fruitful learning experience.

We look forward to working with you in 2014!

BMW

26th Aug, 2013

Eigenvector Summit 2013

The Eigenvector staff is pretty spread out geographically. We have people in four cities in Washington, plus folks in Indiana and North Carolina. And then there’s our Associate Rasmus Bro in Denmark. So we don’t get together, other than virtually, very often. Generally we’re only together at Eigenvector University each spring in Seattle. But we’re so busy during that time that we don’t get to talk to each other much.

This July we remedied that by having our first ever Eigenvector Summit. We got together for a week in Manson on Lake Chelan where we discussed the future of Eigenvector’s efforts in software, training and consulting. Plus we had some great food and beverages, did a few tourist activities, visited some local hangouts, went out on the lake and, most importantly, enjoyed each other’s company.

Developers at EigenSummit 2013

The EVRI developers are pictured above. Left to right are R. Scott Koch, Randy Bishop, Bob Roginski, Barry Wise, Donal O’Sullivan, Jeremy Shaver and Neal Gallagher with Rasmus Bro reclining. For a few more pictures from the Summit, see Scott’s slide show.

As is typical when we get together, we never ran out of things to talk about and try. The guys were often around the dining room table with their laptops writing demo code or pointing each other at new journal references. Other times we were out by the lake just brainstorming. (Thanks, Bob, for taking the notes!) And while I won’t reveal what we came up with, we expect that Eigenvector Summit 2013 will pay dividends for our users, students and clients in the years that come.

BMW

Emil W. Ciurczak wrote a nice blog post for PharmaEvolution claiming that the weak link in QbD is a lack of adequately trained chemometricians. I enjoyed his article, Chemometrics: The Weak Link in QbD, and I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion that “the need for correct and in-depth chemometrics training is necessary for a successful PAT program.” But I don’t see how this is reconciled with “The title and spirit of this brief educational brochure from one vendor are right on target.” Anything that is “For Dummies” almost surely cannot be “in-depth.” And while I applaud the vendor for coming up with the concept, (and I’d say I wish we’d thought of it except we did think of it and the result is our CWE-Chemometrics without Equations courses) there isn’t much real information in the brochure. For instance Chapter 4 on classification is just 3 pages, one of which is just a list of applications.

The fact that chemometrics remains the weak link iin QbD is disappointing but it certainly isn’t for lack of effort on our part. We’ve taught hundreds of classes and thousands of students but a fairly small fraction of those are from pharma. From our business point-of-view, but also as a consumer of pharma products, I’d be happy to see more effort go into developing staff with chemometrics expertise. I do appreciate that it is, for many people, rather challenging subject material. We have put great effort into making chemometrics accessible. But I resist the urge to dumb it down too much.

An often used analogy is that most people don’t know how their mobile phone works but they are still able to use it, and chemometrics should be just as easy. But, unlike cell phones, chemometric tools aren’t being used by consumers, they are part of the process for producing things like mobile phones. And drugs. As such, their use and misuse has consequences. And while I’m happy to introduce people to chemometrics with our CWE courses and think attendees gain a useful level of proficiency and understanding of the techniques involved, I would prefer that those involved in QbD and pharma manufacturing acquire a deeper level of mastery. (To this end we provide our Eigenvector University courses, the next instance of which is EigenU Europe this October.) In order to understand a system’s limitations and how it can fail, you really need to understand how it works. You’re not going to get that at the “Dummies” level.

I very much appreciate Emil’s continued efforts to enlighten pharma as to the critical role of chemometrics. But, like me, does he sometimes feel as though he is pushing a string? I was struck by the registration process for PharmaEvolution website when you had to select your company’s business. There was a very long list of possibilities, but the closest thing to what we do was the very generic selection “engineering.” I still get the feeling that many in pharma (and certainly in some other industries) think of chemometrics as something that you do AFTER you’ve decided everything else and have started to take data. Thank-you, Emil, for your efforts to make it the integral part of the system that it must become.

BMW

Each year at Eigenvector University we host a PLS_Toolbox/Solo User Poster Session and User Group Meeting. This is a fun event as it gives our users a chance to show what they have been doing with our tools. It is also a chance for them to relax, have a beverage, and give us input on upcoming versions of our software.

This year’s EigenU Poster Session will be Tuesday, May 14, at 6:00 at the Washington Athletic Club. PLS_Toolbox and Solo users will showcase their own chemometric achievements and share results and remaining problems with other users and the EigenU instructors. We’ll also have a brief User Group Meeting where attendees can see what’s in the future of Eigenvector software development and give their input and feature requests.

The poster session and user group meeting will include complimentary beverages and hors d’oevres. This year’s Best Poster grand-prize is an Apple iPad mini (32GB). The runner up will receive an Apple iPod nano. Judging will be done by the EVRI staff. Attendance at the poster session is free and open to all EigenU attendees and Eigenvector software users. You need not attend classes at EigenU to come!

If you would like to present your work, please send a title and brief abstract to bmw@Eigenvector.com. Please be sure to describe how PLS_Toolbox, Solo or our other software products were used in the work.

See you there!

BMW

We have developed a collaboration with FOSS where we teach an open chemometrics course at their World Headquarters in Hillerød, Denmark, each fall. During our last course, the FOSS folks asked if I would do an interview for their NIRPerformance.com website. The website is a resource for Feed industry professionals who work with Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy.

The interview is a little bit slanted towards NIR users but contains some good general information about our courses, consulting and general chemometrics philosophy. In the video I answer the following questions about chemometrics and our courses:

  • Whom are your chemometrics courses for?
  • How much of an NIR solution is based on chemometrics?
  • What does the average NIR user need to know about chemometrics?
  • What are the trends in chemometrics today?
  • How will your course attendees use their training in chemometrics?

Our next big training event is Eigenvector University 2013. This 8th Annual EigenU runs May 12-17 in Seattle. We have a number of other training opportunities in 2013, including courses in the UK, Spain and France. See our schedule for details. We also plan to be back at FOSS for EigenU Europe this October.

BMW

One of the challenges of writing software that works with MATLAB is accommodating an array of versions. For better or worse, not everybody updates their MATLAB regularly. So we have to make our PLS_Toolbox and other toolboxes work with a fairly wide distribution of MATLABs.

To give you some idea of what our developers are up against, the plot below shows the distribution of MATLAB versions among our users for each of the last three years. (Click on the plot to get a much larger .pdf version.)

While the most common version in use at any one time tends to be one of the latest two or three releases, it never peaks at more than 20% of our users. And there are LOTS of users with older versions of MATLAB. Note that the plot goes back ten years to 2003! In 2010, we still had 12% of our users with MATLAB versions from 2005 or earlier. It was only after that dropped to less than 5% that we stopped supporting MATLAB 6.5 and 7.0.1 in our new releases. As shown in our release notes, we currently support MATLAB 7.0.4 (from early 2005) through the current MATLAB 8.0 (R2012b). And with our latest minor update (PLS_Toolbox 7.0.3) we’re ready for R2013a, so you’ll be set when it comes out.

But it is a balancing act. We don’t want to force users to upgrade their MATLAB. We understand that an older version of MATLAB works perfectly well for many users. But often we can’t take advantage of newer MATLAB features until we cut old versions loose. As an example, it would be much easier for our developers to use the newer format for coding objects (such as our DataSet Object) that became available in MATLAB 2008a. Until recently, however, 10% of our users were still working with MATLAB 2007b or older.

Our Chief of Technology Development Jeremy M. Shaver notes: Moving users to later versions of MATLAB allows us to utilize better graphical interface tools (making our interfaces easier to use and more powerful), modern hardware architecture (allowing faster processing and better memory management), and other new programming functionality (making the code easier for us to support and for our power-users to understand). Plus, having fewer MATLAB versions to support means we have fewer “special cases” to support in the code. We balance this against our user’s inconvenience and cost in order to achieve the best overall result for our customers!

Well said, Jeremy!

BMW

2012 is in the books and it was another good year for EVRI. Once again our year-over-year software sales were up. The end of the year was especially good. November was our best software sales month ever until December, which was better still! We move into 2013, our 19th year, with a renewed sense of momentum.

In 2013 we’ll continue to build on the unique features of our software. As always, improvements and additions are driven by the combination of customer requests, our own needs for consulting projects, and interesting developments in the field of chemometrics. We will continue to release two major updates a year (spring and fall) and minor updates as required. Updates are free to users with active maintenance agreements. Software support continues to be a top priority, and we have extended the hours of coverage for our e-mail based HelpDesk@Eigenvector.com, now 6am to midnight Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, (with additional checks on weekends).

Software improvements planned for 2013 include:

  • Methods to help automate the model building process in PLS_Toolbox and Solo
  • Automatic evaluation of different model types and preprocessing schemes
  • Improvements to Solo_Predictor for on-line analysis, including expansion of the number of ways to communicate with other software and instruments
  • Compatibility with more instruments from more manufacturers, more Technology Partners

Our training efforts will continue unabated in 2013, with our 8th annual Eigenvector University planned for May 12-17. You’ll also find our courses at numerous conference sites. Our EigenU Online classes will be expanded, with classes on Clustering and Classification and Multivariate Image Analysis coming this Spring. And of course we’ll continue to add to our bank of EigenGuide Videos demonstrating use of our software.

EVRI’s staff of consultants and software developers, with a combined 100+ man-years of chemometrics experience, will continue assisting clients both domestically and internationally.

We look forward to working with you in 2013!

BMW

I got an email from a prospective user of our software the other day that really set me back. Paraphrasing a bit here, it was “Are there any unique features of your PLS algorithm/diagnostics?” The problem with questions like this one is that I never know where to start. But here is what I wrote.


As for “unique features of your pls algorithm,” well, there are numerous ways to calculate a PLS model, but they all pretty much arrive at the same result (which is good). If you’d like to learn more about PLS algorithms and their accuracy, I suggest you have a look at a series of blog posts I did on the subject. See:

Accuracy of PLS Algorithms
Re-orthogonalization of PLS Algorithms
One Last Time on Accuracy of PLS Algorithms
Speed of PLS Algorithms

As to diagnostics, most of the packages use pretty much the same diagnostics, though sometimes they call them by different names. Usually there is a sample distance metric (e.g. T2) and some sort of residual (e.g. Q).

But maybe what you are really looking for is what makes our software unique, rather than our specific PLS algorithm. We have two major packages for chemometrics. The first is our MATLAB-based PLS_Toolbox, the second is our stand-alone product Solo, which is essentially the compiled version of PLS_Toolbox. The two packages provide identical interfaces and share the same model and data formats. The advantage of PLS_Toolbox is that, because it works within the MATLAB environment, it can be run from the command line and functions from it can be incorporated into other analyses. The advantage of Solo is that you don’t have to have MATLAB.

So right off the bat, a unique feature of our software is that there are completely compatible solutions for working with or without MATLAB. And both of these solutions are available on all platforms, including Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. That is unique.

PLS_Toolbox and Solo have the widest available array of analysis methods. This includes PLS and PCA of course, but also PCR, MLR, MCR, PARAFAC, N-PLS, PLS-DA, SIMCA, SVM, KNN, CLS, LWR, MPCA, Cluster Analysis and Batch Maturity. Plus they have a large number of auxiliary tools for Instrument Standardization, Data Transformation, Dynamic Modeling, Sample Selection, Trend Analysis, Correlation Spectroscopy and Design of Experiments. And numerous tools for variable selection including Genetic Algortihm, iPLS and Stepwise MLR. Plus diagnostic methods such as VIP and Selectivity Ratio. The collection of all of these analysis methods and auxiliary functions with one interface is unique.

PLS_Toolbox and Solo can be extended for use with Multivariate Images with MIA_Toolbox and Solo+MIA. The ability to apply such a wide array of multivariate analysis techniques to images is unique. There is also an add-on for the patented Extended Multiplicative Scatter Correction, EMSC_Toolbox. If not completely unique, this method for preprocessing data from highly scattering samples is not widely available.

For on-line application there is our Solo_Predictor and Model_Exporter. Solo_Predictor can be used with any model generated by PLS_Toolbox/Solo and can communicate via TCP/IP sockets, ActiveX, .NET, timed action or wait-for-file. Model_Exporter translates PLS_Toolbox/Solo models into mathematical formulas that can be compiled into other languages. Model_Exporter’s XML output can be parsed for execution in .NET (C#). Additional output formats include MATLAB .m file (compatible with older versions of MATLAB and OCTAVE, plus LabView, Symbion and Tcl). This wide array of on-line options is unique.

Beyond that, PLS_Toolbox and Solo are also extremely flexible tools and include the widest array of data preprocessing methods with user-specified ordering, ability to add user-specified method, and customizable favorites settings.

And finally, price. PLS_Toolbox is only $1395 for industrial users, $395 for academic. Solo is $2195/$695. The price/performance ratio of these products is most certainly unique.

If you have any questions about the specific functionality of our software, please write me.


BMW

3rd Dec, 2012

Bruce Kowalski

I was sitting in a cubicle in the United Club at Chicago O’Hare when I learned of Bruce Kowalski’s passing. The news was not unexpected, but it was still tough, in part due to my whereabouts in a busy place but with no friends or family. Additional memories factored in: I had also been in a United Club cubical when I heard of my father’s death. But this was especially ironic because Bruce was the reason I was there in the first place, on my way to Lille for ChemomeTRIcS in Time-Resolved and Imaging Spectroscopy.

I met Bruce on what turned out to be the most pivotal day of my life, October 1, 1985. My existence divides between everything that came before that day and everything that came after. It was my first day of graduate school, the day I started learning about chemometrics, and also the day I met my friend and business partner Neal Gallagher. Bruce introduced me to the discipline that I became immediately enamored with and have spent my working life on. Bruce also introduced me to his then Post-Doc Dave Veltkamp and his wife Diane who in turn introduced me to my wife, Jill. This accounts for pretty much everything else in my present life.

An “idea guy” who’s enthusiasm was infectious, Bruce’s achievements include co-founding, with Svante Wold, the field of chemometrics, and co-founding, with Jim Callis, the Center for Process Analytical Chemistry. The full breadth of Kowalski’s influence is really too big to capture in this small space and couldn’t be done without substantial research. But as an example of his influence in one area I submit a graphic prepared by Pieter Kroonenberg and presented at TRICAP 2000. The “Kowalski Web” demonstrates that, for the field of Multi-way Analyisis in Chemistry and as far as it has become connected to Multi-way Analysis in Psychology, all the connections lead to Bruce, the center of the web. If this graphic were updated today Bruce would still be at the center, but it would be much larger!

I could go on and on about Bruce’s influence. At least two software companies exist today because of him, Infometrix and Eigenvector. Chemometrics has enabled the development of countless sensor systems and greatly expanded applications of spectroscopy, especially NIR. The methodologies promoted by Bruce have become so pervasive that quantifying their impact would be a very large exercise.

Bruce taught me lots of things, both chemometricly and otherwise. The chemometric stuff is (I hope) obvious, so I’ll let that speak for itself. Beyond that, though, Bruce taught me to think big, that a good idea can’t be stopped, that it is important what you name things, to be magnanimous, and to spread the credit around. Bruce was always really good at talking up the people that worked for him. He found the best in people, let them know it, and then let other people know about it too. I’ve benefited greatly from that, as have many others. I hope that I’m as good with my staff as Bruce always was with his. And I strive to be as forward-looking, positive and fun to be around.

Farewell, Bruce. A little bit of you will live on in each of very many of us. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

BMW

Eigenvector’s Chief of Technology Development Dr. Jeremy Shaver is getting ready to head off to the Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS). He’ll be busy on Sunday and Monday assisting Eigenvector Associate Dr. Don Dahlberg with Chemometrics without Equations (CWE). As I wrote previously, this year the popular CWE is being extended by a day to cover advanced data preprocessing. Jeremy will be demonstrating the methods using the recently released PLS_Toolbox/Solo 7.0. If you’d like to attend, there is still time to register through the conference web site!

Jeremy will also represent EVRI at the session honoring Professor Dr. Lutgarde Buydens of Radboud University Nijmegen for Outstanding Achievements in Chemometrics. The award is, once again, sponsored by Eigenvector Research. The award session, chaired by University of Barcelona’s Dr. Anna de Juan, will start Monday morning at 9:00am.

You might also find Dr. Shaver at the Cobalt Light Systems Ltd booth. Cobalt, one of EVRI’s Technology Partners, develops tools for non-invasive analysis. Their TRS100 pharmaceutical analysis instrument utilizes our Solo software for chemometric modeling. Jeremy will be there to advise users on how to best calibrate the system for their particular needs.

Of course, if you can catch him, Jeremy would be happy to talk to anyone interested in EVRI’s software offerings! He’s the Eigenvectorian most intimately familiar with our products and their features and capabilities. Drop Dr. Shaver an email if you’d like to meet him at EAS.

Have a good week!

BMW

New versions of our MATLAB-based PLS_Toolbox and MIA_Toolbox were released earlier this month, along with updates to our stand-alone packages Solo and Solo+MIA. PLS_Toolbox and its derivatives, Solo and Solo+MIA, are now in version 7.0, while MIA_Toolbox is in version 2.8. As can be seen in the release notes, the list of enhancements and additions is long (as usual!).

Many of the new features are demonstrated in the new EigenGuide video, “What’s New in Version 7.0.” The video illustrates the use of:

  • additional information in the Analysis interface, such as error of cross-validation
  • interfaces for splitting data sets into calibration and validation sets
  • tools for visualizing the difference between samples for both their Q residuals and T2 contributions
  • simplified control of plot attributes
  • readily available class statistics
  • automated peak finding
  • tools for finding specific samples and variables based on logical operators

Of particular note in this release is the expansion of the Batch Process Modeling tools. The Batch Processor tool readies data sets for modeling by Summary PCA, Batch Maturity, MPCA, and several PARAFAC variants. It then pushes the data sets into the Analysis tool where the models are developed. To see the Batch Processor and Analysis in action, watch the video. The combination of the Batch Processor and methods supported in the Analysis interface allows modelers to follow most of the pathways outlined in my TRICAP 2012 talk, “Getting to Multiway: A Roadmap for Batch Process Data.”

This release reaffirms EVRI’s commitment to continuous software improvement – it completes our fifth year of semiannual major releases. The best chemometrics software just keeps getting better!

BMW

25th Oct, 2012

Thanks to FOSS!

Rasmus Bro and I wrapped up another short course today, this time at FOSS World Headquarters in Hillerød, DENMARK. We’d like to thank our students, another great group, and especially our host at FOSS, Lars Nørgaard, Senior Manager of FOSS Team Chemometric Development. Lars makes it easy for us to hold this course as the meal and coffee service arrangements are all done through the excellent FOSS Canteen, and they also provide a very comfortable classroom.

This was our second year at FOSS, and we’re planning on making it a regular thing, our Eigenvector University Europe. Next year we’ll be in FOSS’ new “Innovation Centre,” due to be completed this winter. We’re certain it will provide a great venue for EigenU Europe, 2013. Exact dates are TBD, but we’re looking once again at the last half of October.

Thanks again to the kind folks at FOSS!

BMW

The popular Chemometrics without Equations (CWE) series will be extended at the Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS) this year with the addition of a second day, CWE II. While the original CWE focuses on the basics of Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression, CWE II will explore advanced data preprocessing methods and mixture analysis.

I have been known to say that the secret to getting good regression models is what you do before the data hits the modeling algorithm. Preprocessing methods attempt to remove extraneous variance so that the variance of interest can be more easily modeled. When done correctly, preprocessing can greatly improve model performance. CWE II covers the whys and hows of data preprocessing with examples from several methods.

Also covered in CWE II, Mixture analysis techniques, such as Multivariate Curve Resolution (MCR) aka Self-Modeling Mixture Analysis (SMMA), can elucidate the true underlying physical roots of the data, e.g. pure component spectra and chemical concentrations. As such, these methods can lead to better fundamental understanding of the systems involved.

The courses will be led by Dr. Don Dahlberg, Emeritus Professor at Lebanon Valley College. Don will be assisted by EVRI’s Chief of Technology Development Dr. Jeremy M. Shaver.

The courses will be held Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12, at the Holiday Inn in Somerset, NJ. Registration is handled by EAS. Complete course information can be found in EAS’s Short Course Schedule and Description.

BMW

16th Oct, 2012

Introducing Megan Kogut

Megan Kogut, Ph.D., joined our staff last month as our new Director of Strategic Communications. Like many of her fellow Eigenvectorians, Megan comes with a unique and distinctive set of qualifications.

Dr. Kogut received her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002. Since then she’s held several positions, including lecturer at University of Washington‘s Tacoma campus, and Environmental Quality Unit Manager at UW Seattle. Through these positions, Megan discovered that she really liked the communication aspects of her job. “For me, writing flyers and newsletter articles is like tightrope walking, balancing detail, enthusiasm and humor. And, I love connecting people through email and on the phone. I have done this professionally and as a hobby for the last ten years or more.”

Megan also noted that EVRI appealed to her scientific side. “I love data analysis and interpretation, especially in situations with many variables. Usually, research of the environment involves isolating natural processes as much as possible without ignoring important inputs or influences. Many scientists struggle with oversimplification, and some just cheerfully throw a rock at their subject without even acknowledging all the variables.” To that we say, “Amen!”

We’re excited about having a new member of our team, and confident our customers will benefit from having a staff member dedicated to getting our message out.

Welcome Megan!

BMW

EVRI will have a strong presence at SCIX 2012 (formerly FACSS) next week, September 30 to October 5. Eigenvectorians Jeremy Shaver, Bob Roginski and Randy Bishop will be busy teaching, speaking and representing Eigenvector.

EVRI is offering two hands-on short courses at SCIX: Chemometrics without Equations (CWE) and the follow-on Advanced Chemometrics without Equations (ACWE). CWE will be presented as a two-day course, September 30-October 1 (Sunday-Monday), while ACWE is one day, October 3 (Wednesday). Jeremy, Bob and Randy will be tag-teaming as instructors, so participants will get a chance to interact with all three of them. They each have abundant experience in the field of chemometrics, but somewhat different perspectives, so it should make for lively courses. Registration can be done on-site.

As usual, EVRI will be involved with the Technical Sessions. At 2:20 Monday afternoon Jeremy will present “Data Sampling for Extending the Life of NIR-based Models” in Chicago C. This talk deals with the problem of updating models using historical (non-designed) data. Methods for selecting data subsets are compared relative to the goal of improving the model while minimizing costs. Bob will present the poster “Target Detection Applied to Detection of Adulterants in Powdered Raw Material using Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging” at the Wednesday morning poster session in the Exhibit Hall. An application of detecting melamine in wheat gluten is shown.

The Exhibit opens Monday evening with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30. This is always a fun event, so be sure to stop by Booth 47 for your complimentary Eigenvector Bottle Opener. The Exhibit is also open Tuesday 9:00-4:30 and Wednesday 9:00-4:00. The Eigenguys will be demoing the upcoming PLS_Toolbox and Solo version 7, to be released this fall.

Jeremy will also represent Eigenvector on the panel of the Student Free Lunch and Employment Discussion on Tuesday.

It will be a busy week. Have fun, Jeremy, Bob and Randy!

BMW

Autumn is nearly here and with it comes the first semester of the school year. This morning I was greeted by a sign of fall: a slew of student account creation notifications, drifting into my email inbox like falling leaves.

At EVRI, we work with professors to make our software freely available to students enrolled in chemometrics courses. Students can get free 6-month demo licenses of our MATLAB-based PLS_Toolbox and MIA_Toolbox, or stand-alone Solo or Solo+MIA.

I traded emails this morning with Professor Anna de Juan of the Universitat de Barcelona. This will be the third year we’ve worked with Prof. de Juan on her chemometrics class. She wrote, “we had a very good experience the two semesters using PLS_Toolbox in the classroom. The students were happy and only a pair of them had problems of installation at home. It really made it easy that they could play with proposed data sets out of the classroom, at their own pace and exploring many possibilities.” de Juan noted her students typically use Solo at home because they generally don’t have personal copies of MATLAB.

Another advantage of Solo is that it is available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. I see lots of Apple laptops on college campuses. A search of the web reveals estimates ranging from 30-70% of college students using Macs. We see a substantial number of student downloads of our Solo for Mac, and expect that number to grow.

Interested in teaching Chemometrics? Drop me a line and we’ll be happy to work with you to provide software for your students.

BMW

At the last several editions of Eigenvector University (aka EigenU) our beginning track courses have been consistently overbooked. This includes the first three days of courses consisting of Linear Algebra for Chemometricians, MATLAB for Chemometricians, Chemometrics I: PCA, and Chemometrics II: Regression and PLS. There were also EigenU attendees with schedule conflicts that made it impossible for them to attend some of these courses, but they needed the background to attend other EigenU courses.

Therefore, due to popular demand, we’ve created EigenU Online. EigenU Online allows users to get chemometrics training on their own schedule and at their own desk. The material covered is the same as in their EigenU counterparts. Courses consist of video lectures using both slides and software demonstrations, plus course notes in .pdf format. Additional materials and data sets are included for some courses.

The goal of the EigenU Online courses is to provide students the background they’ll need to understand the chemometric methods presented and accomplish typical modeling tasks in PLS_Toolbox and Solo. But, like our EigenU courses, they aren’t just about using software! No matter whose software you use, you’ll be a better user after EigenU Online.

We’ve made a couple segments of our online courses available free for your evaluation. Just login to your Eigenvector account, or create one. Under the EigenU Online tab you’ll see a link to the lecture Classical Least Squares – Introduction, and to Classical Least Squares – Hands-on Example which shows how the course software demonstrations work.

For complete information, see the EigenU Online page. Still have questions? Write to me at bmw@eigenvector.com.

BMW

EigenU 2012, the Seventh Annual Eigenvector University, was held last week at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle. Our Tuesday evening PLS_Toolbox/Solo User poster session gave EigenU attendees a chance to unwind with hors d’oeuvres and beverages and discuss some chemometric applications. This year’s posters were judged by Paul Geladi, professor of Chemometrics at SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Bob Moision of Aerospace Corp. claimed first prize with “Application of MCR to VIIRS On-Orbit Anomaly Investigation.” Bob’s poster described how multivariate analysis was used with ToF-SIMS data in an investigation into the cause of the unexpected poor sensitivity of the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. Bob is show below accepting his Apple iPod nano.

Bob Moision recieves EigenU Poster Prize

Second prize was awarded to Gordon Allison of Aberystwyth University for “Diagnosis of TSE disease in cattle and sheep using metabolomic analysis and computer learning technologies- GC/MS approaches.” The poster summarized results of a project aimed to identify novel, non-prion markers of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) disease in samples of blood plasma from infected cattle and sheep that consistently indicate infection and which could be used for disease diagnosis in living animals before the appearance of clinical symptoms. Gordon is shown below accepting his nano from Eigenvector Vice-President Neal Gallagher.

Gordon Allison receives EigenU Best Poster Prize

This year’s poster session included a father-daughter project: Clare Wise presented “Analysis of Historical Stehekin River Flow Data with Principal Components Analysis and Multivariate Curve Resolution.” The poster described how PCA and MCR can be used on the daily Stehekin River flow data to model spring runoff and to find interesting years since measurements were started in 1927. Clare, who will be a freshman in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado next fall, is shown with her poster, and me, below.

Thanks to everyone who presented and attended this year’s poster session!

BMW

27th Apr, 2012

iPods Ordered!

The Seventh Annual Eigenvector University starts in just over two weeks on Sunday, May 13, 2012. We’re looking forward to a busy week, including the PLS_Toolbox/Solo User Poster Session. This Tuesday evening event showcases research done by our users. Presenters of the two best posters go home with Apple iPod nanos. I ordered them today, both 16GB, one orange, one blue, and both engraved with “EigenU 2012 Best Poster.”

The complimentary poster session is always a great time for EigenU participants to relax, have a beverage, and talk about chemometric applications. Attendance at EigenU courses is not required to present a poster, and we often get grad students from University of Washington and other Seattle area research centers.

Interested in presenting? Just send an abstract for your poster that describes work where you’ve used our software.

See you in a couple weeks!

BMW

If you are in the market for training in multivariate methods you have a number of choices. In North America, you could attend classes given by CAMO, ProSensus, or Umetrics. Here are 10 reasons you should come to the 8th Annual EigenU 2013, May 12-17 in Seattle, instead:

  1. More experienced instructors – Courses at EigenU 2013 will be led by the EVRI staff including Neal B. Gallagher, Jeremy M. Shaver, Robert T. Roginski, and Randy Bishop, plus our Associate Rasmus Bro, and of course myself. Together we’ve got over 100 man-years of chemometric experience.
  2. Wider variety of courses – In addition to our beginning track including PCA and PLS, we offer 11 advanced and specialty courses including Robust Methods, Calibration Transfer/Instrument Standardization, Batch SPC, Variable Selection and Multivariate Image Analysis. Plus new this year, we have the Bring Your Own Data (BYOD) Workshop where you’ll be able to work with your own data while you learn hands-on with EVRI’s team of instructors.
  3. Method-centric instruction – At EigenU we provide the background required to truly understand chemometric methods; we don’t just show you what buttons to push. Our goal is to make the literature in the field accessible to our graduates. Deeper understanding of the methods leads to better analysis!
  4. Beautiful Seattle, WA – With Puget Sound and the Olympics to the West and Lake Washington and the Cascades to the East, the Emerald City is distractingly scenic. Plus, it is home to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Mariners, the largest ferry system in the US, plus tons of other attractions. It is definitely not New Jersey!
  5. The Washington Athletic Club – EigenU is held at the WAC, the nation’s premier city athletic club. The historic 21 story facility includes 5 floors of fitness facilities, 10 floors of Euro-styled techno-centric sleeping rooms, full service spa, and 3 restaurants.
  6. The food – From the continental breakfast, including the WAC’s signature sticky buns, through the gourmet plated lunches, to afternoon snack bars, our guests always rave about the food.
  7. Networking – EigenU attendance is typically about 40 scientists and engineers with a range of chemometric expertise and wide variety of interests. This means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to find colleagues with common problems and complimentary solutions.
  8. Evening events – EigenU provides ample opportunity to continue your chemometric learning and networking into the evening. This includes Tuesday’s PLS_Toolbox/Solo User Poster Session, Wednesday’s PowerUser Tips & Tricks Session, and Thursday’s Workshop Dinner, which is one more opportunity to enjoy the WAC’s fabulous food. Present a poster at the Tuesday evening User Session and you could win an Apple iPad mini or iPod nano!
  9. Flexible, multi-platform software – With PLS_Toolbox, MIA_Toolbox and EMSC_Toolbox, EVRI offers the most comprehensive set of chemometric tools available plus the flexibility of MATLAB. Our stand-alone packages Solo and Solo+MIA offer all the point and click tools of their MATLAB-based siblings. Plus they’re all available for Windows, Linux and MacOS. On-line options available too!
  10. Costs less – In spite of all its advantages, EigenU actually costs less than similar courses from CAMO, Umetrics and ProSensus.

So it probably isn’t surprising that EigenU attendees are more than satisfied. Here’s what a couple of them had to say:

“I attended the Eigenvector University 2010 earlier this year. It was the best short-course I have ever taken on any subject. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a short-course, immersion kind of training.” – James M. Roberts, GSK

“What you are offering here is unmatched.” – David A. Russell, Dupont.

Discount registration ends soon, register and pay by April 10 for the best prices.

See you at EigenU!

BMW

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