I recently had the pleasure of attending the Insightful Impact 2007 conference, where I especially enjoyed a presentation on ensemble methods by two young, up-and-coming, aspiring data miners: Brian Siegel and his side-kick... Deke Abbott, or Dean Abner, or some such.
I am frequently asked what is the best way to learn about data mining (or machine learning, statistics, etc.). I get a great deal of information from reading, either books or white papers and reports which are available for free, on-line. Another great learning experience involves attendance of conferences and trade shows. I don't travel a great deal and find it convenient to attend whatever free or cheap events happen to be within close distance. I also try to get to KDD when it's on the east coast of the United States. Aside from the presentations, events like these are an opportunity to get away from the muggles and spend some time with other data miners. I highly recommend it.
Nice job, Dean and Brian.