UseR! 2013 – Day 1 notes

July 10, 2013
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(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Hadley Wickham
Hadley Wickham presents at the useR! 2013 conference, July 10 2013

Today marked the first day of the 2103 useR! conference, a gathering of more than 350 R users from around the world.

The conference has been quite a success so far, kicking off yesterday with a day of tutorials followed by a tapas-fueled welcome party in the center of Albecete. Today has been a full day of invited keynotes, contributed talks and posters on R applications, packages and practices. Here are just a few personal highlights from my notes:

Håvard Rue's keynote described the R-INLA package, which can quickly fit a subclass of Bayesian models (Latent Gaussian Models) without the need for MCMC.

Hugh Shahanan used Microsoft Azure's cloud service to automate the analysis a terabyte of microarray data in parallel with custom R scripting.

Constantino Garcia used time series analysis of the period between heartbeats (usign ECG data) to identify when patients were encountering bouts of apnea and other diseases. 

Hadley Wickham's keynote described a extension to plyr for faster processing of data (even in databases), and a way of quickly visualizing large data sets.

Rob Hyndman described an elegant method of forecasting hierarchical time series, that provides a solution to the "bottom-up" vs "top-down" approach to forecasting a company's overall performance based on the forecast of individual departments and divisions. Chapter 9.4 of the free online book Forecasting: principles and practice describes the technique in detail.

There were many other excellent talks, and I'm looking forward to many more tomorrow. More later.

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