Blog Archives

Bioconductor project advances understanding of genetics

January 9, 2015
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Bioconductor is a project to develop and curate a collection of R packages used for analysis of genetic data (specifically, analysis and comprehension of high-throughput genomic data). With the wealth of genetic data on humans and animals now available, Bioconductor is widely used in medical research to understand how genes influence our health, and to develop new therapies and...

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In case you missed it: December 2014 roundup

January 9, 2015
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from November of particular interest to R users. R was featured in recent articles in Nature News and Mashable. A recap of the 6th Spanish R Users Conference. R was the recipient of a 2014 "Bossie" award for best open-source big data tools. A fractal Christmas tree created with R....

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Twitter’s new R package for anomaly detection

January 7, 2015
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Twitter’s new R package for anomaly detection

For Twitter, finding anomalies — sudden spikes or dips — in a time series is important to keep the microblogging service running smoothly. A sudden spike in shared photos may signify an "trending" event, whereas a sudden dip in posts might represent a failure in one of the back-end services that needs to be addressed. To detect such anomalies,...

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Talk to R

January 5, 2015
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Talk to R

Here's a neat demo from Yihui Xie: you can talk to this R graph and customize it with voice commands. You'll need to click through the link to start the demo in a new window, and you'll need to be using Chrome and allow access to your microphone. (If you can't get it to work on your system, here's...

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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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