Articles by Joseph Rickert

Some Random Weekend Reading

March 24, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert Few of us have enough time to read, and most of us already have depressingly deep stacks of material that we would like to get through. However, sometimes a random encounter with something interesting is all that it takes to regenerate enthusiasm. Just in case you are ... [Read more...]

February 2017 New Package Picks

March 22, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert One hundred and forty-five new packages were added to CRAN in February. Here are 47 interesting packages organized into five categories; Biostatistics, Data, Data Science, Statistics and Utilities. Biostatistics BaTFLED3D v0.1.7: Implements a machine learning algorithm to make predictions and determine interactions in data that varies along ... [Read more...]

Madrid R User Group, A Brief History

March 10, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Carlos Ortega (Editors note: A Spanish verison of the post follows the English text) In the first meeting we were 5, now we are consistently over 60. It was not difficult for us to start up the group of users of R of Madrid. Gregorio Serrano, Carlos Gil Bellosta, Pedro Concejero ... [Read more...]

The R Formula Method: The Bad Parts

March 1, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

R’s model formula infrastructure was discussed in my previous post. Despite the elegance and convenience of the formula method, there are some aspects that are limiting. Limitations to Extensibility The model formula interface does have some limitations: It can be kludgy with many operations on many variables (e.g., ... [Read more...]

More January Package Picks

February 24, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert In a recent post, I highlighted several new packages that arrived on CRAN in January that provided R users with access to data. In this post, I present additional selections for interesting January packages, organized into the categories Miscellaneous, Machine Learning, Statistics and Utilities. Miscellaneous rcss v1.2: ... [Read more...]

January New Data Packages

February 17, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert As forecast, the number of R packages hosted on CRAN exceeded 10,000 in January. Dirk Eddelbuettel, who tracks what’s happening on CRAN with his CRANberries site, called hurricaneexposure the 10,000th package in a tweet on January 27th. hurricaneexposure was one of two hundred and six new packages ... [Read more...]

Some Notes on the Cauchy Distribution

February 15, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert I have always been attracted to the capricious. So, it was no surprise that I fell for the Cauchy distribution at first sight. I had never seen such unpredictability! You might say that every distribution has its moments of unpredictability, but the great charm of Cauchy is ...
[Read more...]

Three Tips for Training Excel Users in R

February 10, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Merav Yuravlivker, CEO of Data Society “I’m not a coder” or “I was never good at math” is a frequent refrain I hear when I ask professionals about their data analysis skills. Through popular culture and stereotypes, most people who don’t have a background in programming automatically ... [Read more...]

The R Formula Method: The Good Parts

February 1, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Max Kuhn Introduction The formula interface to symbolically specify blocks of data is ubiquitous in R. It is commonly used to generate design matrices for modeling function (e.g. lm). In traditional linear model statistics, the design matrix is the two-dimensional representation of the predictor set where instances of ... [Read more...]

Introducing sparklyr to the Madrid R User Group

January 20, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Carlos Ortega In the last meeting of 2016, the 40th in Madrid’s R Users Group five-year history, we had the opportunity to listen (via Skype) to a very interesting talk by Javier Luraschi, the main author of the package sparklyr. In our previous meeting, a colleague of the Community (... [Read more...]

Some R News

January 13, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert Here are a few things of some interest in the R world: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has joined the R Consortium! This is a very positive development for the R Consortium and the R Community in general. The Moore Foundation has been a positive force ... [Read more...]

December 2016 Package Picks

January 11, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert Last month, 217 new packages were submitted to CRAN. By my count this was the highest monthly value recorded for the past nine years. Below, are brief descriptions of fifty-two of these new-for-December packages grouped into six categories: Data, Data Science, Financial Analysis, Statistics, Utilities and Visualizations. The ... [Read more...]

10,000 CRAN Packages

January 6, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert The R package system continues to expand as the number of packages on CRAN is about to blow through the 10,000 mark sometime soon. This is astonishing! Not only are new packages arriving at a rate of about 190 per month, but CRAN itself continues to tick along like ... [Read more...]

Interview with Joe Cheng

January 4, 2017 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert Recently, I had the opportunity to interview RStudio’s Joe Cheng. Joe, the inventor and lead developer for Shiny, was the first person that J.J. Allaire invited to join the RStudio IDE project. We talked about those early days, how Shiny got started, Joe’s background ... [Read more...]

Get Ready for RStudio::Conf

December 23, 2016 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert The 2017 R Conference season will get off to an early start on January 13th and 14th with RStudio::Conf 2017 in Orlando, Florida. The schedule promises an intense but collegial experience with plenty of hands-on practice working with R and the RStudio tool chain of packages and products. ... [Read more...]

November Package Picks

December 7, 2016 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert November was a prolific month for R developers: 189 new packages landed in CRAN. I have selected more than a quarter of them for this post, but I haven’t listed everything that is worth a look. My November 2016 picks are organized into four categories: Biotech (4 picks), Data (6 ... [Read more...]

Writing Good R Code and Writing Well

December 2, 2016 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert If you are aspiring to write good R code, you may find it helpful to occasionally spend some time reading about writing: reading about writing R code, and reading about writing about R code that you’ve written. (If you write some excellent R code, you will ... [Read more...]

Missing Values, Data Science and R

November 30, 2016 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert One great advantages of working in R is the quantity and sophistication of the statistical functions and techniques available. For example, R’s quantile() function allows you to select one of the nine different methods for computing quantiles. Who would have thought there could be so many ... [Read more...]

October Package Picks

November 23, 2016 | Joseph Rickert

by Joseph Rickert In my August Package Picks post, I explained that my selection criteria favor packages with vignettes. (I find skimming through a package’s vignettes to be an effective method of “grokking” what a package is all about.) I also questioned why a person would go to all ... [Read more...]
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