by Joseph Rickert
This Spring I reported on the growth of R user groups worldwide, so you probably won't be surprised to hear that R User Groups have been very active during the first half of 2013. It is all we can do here at Revolution Analytics to keep our community calendar up-to-date. This is a good time to be involved with R. Who would have thought that a programming language for statistical computing would have been the occasion for people to have so much fun in their spare time? But the evidence is there on user group websites where people post records of good times and great presentations.
San Antonio: Alamo City R Users Group
Palo Alto: Bay Area useR Group (BARUG)
Köln: Köln R User Group
I am about halfway through visiting the meetup sites of the 60 or so groups of which I am at least an honorary member. Browsing the various websites, it doesn’t take long to see that each R user group has its own personality. Some post quite a bit of material online for anyone to access, others are a bit more circumspect, preferring to share within the group. Some exuberantly post photos and others keep a lower profile. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous number of excellent presentations waiting to be discovered under the more > file tabs of R user groups who use www.meetup.com. Here is a sampler of some of the mind expanding presentations out there.
If you are interested in the good life of an R quant, the presentation by Eran Raviv on Trading Strategies using R, the quest for the holy grail to amst-R-dam is a step-by-step introduction that could get you started.
Shiny is clearly a hard act to follow but bigvis appears to be up to it. The talk that Hadley Wickham gave to the New York Open Statistical Programming Meetup and Alastair Sanderson’s presentation, Visualizing Big Data in R, to the Birmingham R User Meeting should generate some excitement about this new big-data tool for R.
The Chicago R user Group had a big day on the 1st of May. All four of the presentations are online and well-worth looking through:
- A little sqldf demonstration - David Reiner
- Meet a New R Package: scrapeR - Joe Walsh
- About xlsx - Peter Carl
- DEoptim: optimization for the tough stuff - Brian G. Peterson
R and Hadoop was another big theme this Spring. The zip file for the presentation that David Andrews gave to the Dallas R User Group contains R scripts and Jeffrey Breen’s presentation, R + Hadoop, to the Greater Boston useR Group also shows some R code.
Bayesian statisticians were also well represented at R user group meetings. Jon Yearsley’s talk, Bayesian Statistics using BRugs and rjags, to DublinR is a nicely done introduction to Bayesian modeling. The zip file that goes with his talk contains several R scripts. And, Jeff Witmer’s presentation, A few words about JAGS and rjags, to Greater Cleveland R User Group will be of interest to any Bayesian interested in moving away from WinBugs. Jeff also provides a zip file with several R scripts. Drew Linzer’s presentation, Forecasting the 2012 Presidential Election from History and the Polls, to the Bay Area R User Group shows the practical value of an elegant Bayesian model.
That's all for now. After useR I will work my way through more of the user group websites.