Information Science and the Go Programming Language – KDnuggets #Imaginations Hub

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Feedback by Tom Miller, College Director of Northwestern College’s MSDS program.

Years in the past, as a scholar of utilized statistics on the College of Minnesota, I realized a lesson about programming in academia. At first of the course, the professor mentioned,

“I do not care what language you employ for assignments, so long as you do your individual work.”

I had expertise with Fortran however was educating myself Pascal, making an attempt to undertake a structured programming model.

Taking the professor at his phrase, I programmed the primary task in Pascal whereas my classmates used Fortran. The primary task comes due. I stroll my paper (a program itemizing) to the entrance of the room and hand it to the professor. He seems to be at it quizzically and asks, “What’s this?”

I clarify, “It’s Pascal. You instructed us we might program in any language we like, so long as we do our personal work.”

To which, the professor says, “Pascal. I do not learn Pascal. I solely learn Fortran.”

Lesson realized: Lecturers aren’t particularly open to new programming languages.




Fortran was developed by John Backus at IBM and launched in 1957. Once you hear its identify, suppose “formulation translation.” Fortran is well-suited for numeric calculations, as wanted for scientific and engineering purposes. Fortran has seen a resurgence not too long ago, maybe as a result of computational calls for of enormous information units and supercomputing.




Designed by Nicholas Wirth, a Swiss Pc scientist, and launched in 1970, Pascal is a by-product of ALGOL. Pascal was aligned with a motion towards structured programming at many universities within the Nineteen Seventies and 80s. Variations on Pascal have been used for methods programming at Apple and Microsoft.

Information science college students at most universities at present would have the same expertise in the event that they have been to submit assignments in Go, Rust, or another modern language moderately than Python or R.

With machine studying purposes and AI, Python guidelines the day. Information scientists would possibly really feel content material crusing alongside in a Python boat with life preservers akin to Numpy, Pandas, Scikit-learn, and TensorFlow by their sides.

However be careful. In the present day’s information oceans are uneven. Sharks are approaching.

Recall the phrases of Chief Brody to Quint within the film Jaws: “You’re gonna want an even bigger boat.” I’d recommend {that a} greater, quicker boat be constructed with Go.




Go was developed by three Google pc scientists: Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson. It retains the efficiency benefits of C, whereas being simpler and safer to work with than C. Go was launched in 2009 and has been the first methods programming language at Google. For mission-critical methods in lots of organizations, Go is changing C/C++, C#, Java, and Python. Go is typically known as “Golang” to differentiate it from the Go board sport and to supply a extra dependable time period in search engines like google.


Information Science Careers: The Why of Go


In a presentation entitled “The Why of Go,” Carmen Andoh traced the event of pc languages from 1980 by means of 2017. She made a convincing argument for utilizing Go in massive programming initiatives. Her argument rings true at present.

  • Go is Machine Environment friendly. It beats languages which can be interpreted in addition to languages that rely upon digital machines.
  • Python joined the pc scene greater than thirty years in the past, earlier than the prevalence of multi-core processors. Python is a single-threaded, interpreted language, poorly fitted to methods that demand concurrent processing.
  • Information scientists could also be writing in Python, however for compute-intensive duties it’s C or C++ that does the work. Python is simply the “glue” that holds the items of the machine studying boat collectively.
  • It doesn’t take lengthy to search out examples of benchmarks demonstrating the benefits of Go over Python and R, the main languages in information science.

Typically described as “C for the twenty first century,” Go is a strongly typed language that compiles on to machine code. It compiles a lot quicker than C and executes virtually as quick as C.


C, C++, AND C#


C was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs and launched in 1972. As a result of it supplies low-level entry to reminiscence and maps simply to machine directions, C has been a preferred methods programming language for a few years. C has efficiency benefits over most different programming languages. C++ and C# present object-oriented extensions to C, whereas retaining C’s construction and efficiency benefits.


Concurrent processing (by no means a straightforward activity) is an intrinsic function of Go


Go presents a wealthy set of instruments for benefiting from at present’s multicore digital computer systems. Information science wants languages and methods that may deal with the calls for of at present’s data-driven, data-intensive world. Information science wants Go.

Go Is Programmer Environment friendly. Python is commonly touted as simple to study. However I’d argue that Go is less complicated to study than Python. Go is simplicity by design, a language with solely twenty-five key phrases. Go is simple to learn, simple to make use of, and straightforward to keep up over time.

Let’s be joyful that the leaders of the Go neighborhood are reluctant so as to add new options. Donald Knuth had the suitable concept. When he bought to model 3.14 of TeX, he declared that there could be no new variations of the language, no new options, solely bug fixes. And with every bug repair, he would borrow one other digit from π (pi).

A mantra of Go programmers: “Hold it easy. Hold it operating.”

Go has a well-defined construction with formatting utilities to make sure a standard model throughout programmers, a method that’s typically known as “idiomatic Go.” Go has automated reminiscence administration (rubbish assortment), defending programmers from reminiscence leaks and errors. Go is safer than C and C++.

Go core builders have a dedication to backward compatibility, and Go’s module system promotes security, guaranteeing that the suitable packages are included into every construct at compile time. Go retains monitor of software program variations because the software program stack grows.

Consider software program improvement as a sport of Jenga. We need to entry the blocks on the backside of the stack, whereas guaranteeing that your entire stack doesn’t collapse. Go lets us do that.


Go Simplifies the Software program Stack. What concerning the software program stack, the infrastructure?


When Python (even bolstered by C or C++) is lower than the duty, information scientists flip to different languages and methods. Here’s a so-called resolution to Python’s efficiency issues:



To implement high-performance options, information scientists flip to Spark, which is constructed on Scala, which will depend on the Java Digital Machine. And to supply quick access, these well-meaning information scientists add PySpark to the combination. Is that this the easiest way to deal with Python’s efficiency issues? No.

Take into account an easier software program stack. It’s Go, simply Go:

Data Science and the Go Programming Language


With code examples from GopherCon conferences in 2021 and 2023, Daniel Whitenack reveals implement machine studying and synthetic intelligence options in Go. We are able to use Go to construct built-in, clever internet purposes, together with people who name on generative AI and huge language fashions.

Go represents the quintessential methods programming language for at present’s multicore, digital computer systems. Go is the language of the cloud. Go is the language of distributed computing. Information scientists who seemed to Python because the “glue language” of the previous can now look to Go because the “tremendous glue.”

Go Is Broadly Utilized in Business. Corporations worth the security, simplicity, and efficiency of Go. Additionally they acknowledge Go’s strengths as a backend methods programming setting. Go is well-suited for creating internet and database servers, software programming interfaces, and microservices. Go is well-suited for implementing scalable, high-performance methods.

Starting with Google, the birthplace of Go, many corporations depend on Go for giant, mission-critical methods. If Go is nice sufficient for Google, Netflix, Uber, Dropbox, PayPal, American Categorical, Capital One, Salesforce, Zillow, and lots of others, then Go is nice sufficient for the remainder of us.

If Go can present an efficient platform for constructing Docker, Kubernetes, Prometheus, Grafana, Pachyderm, Terraform, CrowdStrike, etcd, CockroachDB, Weaviate, milvus, Aerospike, and a various array of distributed methods and cloud-native microservices, then Go could be an efficient platform for constructing information science purposes.

Pc science and information science educators ought to study from business. They need to add Go to their programs. That is what we’re doing at Northwestern.


Three Languages for Information Science at Northwestern


Utilizing Go for information science doesn’t indicate that we should hand over the nice issues that R and Python present. We could be multilingual.

It isn’t arduous to think about initiatives for which a knowledge scientist would possibly discover information with R, develop fashions with Python, and implement methods in Go. Among the many three languages for information science, Go is the most recent. Go is trending upward and presents substantial job alternatives.

Northwestern’s information science program appreciates the strengths of the three languages for information science throughout specializations with this system.

  • R, with quite a few packages for analytics and modeling, is well-regarded by utilized statisticians. It is a wonderful selection for scientific programming and utilized analysis. R is particularly good for exploring and visualizing information. R is the first language in most programs in Northwestern’s Analytics and Modeling specialization.
  • Python is at present the preferred pc language in information science. It’s particularly robust in pure language processing and serves as the first shopper to deep studying platforms. Python supplies a feature-rich setting for creating fashions, and Python is the first language in most programs in Northwestern’s Synthetic Intelligence specialization.
  • Go is a methods programming language designed for at present’s multi-processor computer systems. It’s well-suited for implementing scalable, high-performance methods for information science, together with internet purposes and database servers. Go is the first language in Northwestern’s Information Engineering specialization, as proven within the Studying Go for Information Science web site.

College students in Northwestern College’s on-line MS in Information Science program construct the important evaluation and management abilities wanted to research and interpret information to make knowledgeable, impactful selections in a variety of fields. Lessons are led by an achieved college of business specialists. College students develop experience of their areas of curiosity by choosing a normal information science monitor or certainly one of 5 specializations: Analytics and Modeling, Analytics Administration, Synthetic Intelligence, Information Engineering, and Know-how Entrepreneurship. College students study part-time, at their very own tempo solely on-line. Functions are accepted quarterly.

Data Science and the Go Programming Language

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