John Chambers recounts the history of S and R

January 27, 2014
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(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

"R has had a revolutionary effect on the way statistics are communicated." So says John Chambers: one of the members of the R-core team overseeing R; and co-inventor of the S language. In this interview with Trevor Hastie (his co-author on Statistical Models in S), John Chambers recounts his involvement in the birth of the S language in 1976, and how it evolved over the years to become the inspiration for the R language.

 

(via Siamak Faridani.) One interesting tid-bit from the video: John Chambers owns the original CD-ROM (serial number #1) of R 1.0.0, released on February 29 2001, and signed by all the members of R-core.

In 1998, John Chambers won the ACM Software Systems award for the S language, which the ACM heralded as having "forever altered how people analyze, visualize, and manipulate data". He generously used the prize money to create the John M Chambers Statistical Software Award, which recognizes innovative statistical software written by an undergraduate or graduate student. If you know a deserving recipient, the deadline for nominations for the 2014 award is February 18.

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