Blog Archives

Happy New Year! A look at the top posts from 2014.

January 1, 2015
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Happy New Year everyone! Another year has come and gone, and this blog has just entered its seventh year of publication. (Once again, I missed the anniversary back on December 9.) Thanks to everyone who has supported this blog over the past 6 years by reading, sharing and commenting on our posts. And an extra- special thanks to all...

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R in Nature, Mashable

December 31, 2014
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R in Nature, Mashable

R was recently the subject of a feature article in the prestigious science magazine Nature: Programming tools: Adventures with R. Besides being free, R is popular partly because it presents different faces to different users. It is, first and foremost, a programming language — requiring input through a command line, which may seem forbidding to non-coders. But beginners can...

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R wins a 2014 Bossie Award

December 29, 2014
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I missed this when it was announced back on September 29, but R won a 2014 Bossie Award for best open-source big-data tools from InfoWorld (see entry number 5): A specialized computer language for statistical analysis, R continues to evolve to meet new challenges. Since displacing lisp-stat in the early 2000s, R is the de-facto statistical processing language, with...

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Explore a comet with R’s "rgl" package

December 24, 2014
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Explore a comet with R’s "rgl" package

Last month, the Philae lander touched down on comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko. In the process, the lander and the orbiting Rosetta probe captured detailed data on the geometry of the comet, which the ESA published as a shape file. You can use the rgl package to visualize and explore such shape files quite simply as follows: Then you can manipulate the...

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The evolution of the Queen’s Christmas speech

December 22, 2014
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The evolution of the Queen’s Christmas speech

Every year since her inauguration in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has delivered a Christmas Broadcast to her subjects. Dominic Nyhuis used R to analyze the transcripts of the speeches, and found some interesting trends in speech length and words used. Here, for example, are word clouds of the speeches from the first half (1962-1976) and second half (1977-2001) of...

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A list of awesome statistics resources in 2014

December 19, 2014
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Johns Hopkins Biostatistics Professor (and presenter of Data Analysis at Coursera) Jeff Leek has published his list of awesome things other people did in 2014. It's well worth following the links in his 38 entries, where you'll find a wealth of useful resources in teaching, statistics, data science, and data visualization. Many of the entries are related to R,...

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New leadership of the R Foundation

December 17, 2014
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The R Foundation, the Austria-based non-profit founded in 2003 to oversee the R Project, recently held leadership elections and added some new members. The new R Foundation Board is: Co-Presidents: Duncan Murdoch, Martyn Plummer Secretary General: Martin Mächler Treasurer: Kurt Hornik Members at large: John Chambers, Brian Ripley, Dirk Eddelbuettel These names are familiar to anyone working with R,...

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Cartography with complex survey data

December 15, 2014
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Cartography with complex survey data

Visualizing complex survey data is something of an art. If the data has been collected and aggregated to geographic units (say, counties or states), a choropleth is one option. But if the data aren't so neatly arranged, making visual sense often requires some form of smoothing to represent it on a map. R, of course, has a number of...

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Revolution R Open 8.0.1 now available

December 11, 2014
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Revolution R Open 8.0.1 now available

We've just made the latest update to Revolution R Open, the enhanced distribution of open-source R, available for download from MRAN. The main feature of this release is an upgrade to the R 3.1.2 engine, and support for MacOS Yosemite. (You can read about all the changes in the NEWS file.) To support reproducibility, Revolution R Open works with...

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In case you missed it: November 2014 Roundup

December 11, 2014
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from November of particular interest to R users. Reviews of some of the R-related presentations (by John Chambers, Trevor Hastie and others) at the H20 World conference. An R/Shiny app for making egg-nog. An author's look at how R was used to create many of the beautiful graphics in the...

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