Articles by richierocks

Fearsome Engines Part 2: Innovations and new features

October 13, 2013 | richierocks

There are lots of R engines emerging! I’ve interviewed members of each of the teams involved in these projects. In part 1 of this series, we covered the motivation of each project. This part looks at the technical achievements and new features. Many of the innovations are performance improvements, reflecting ... [Read more...]

Webcast on Writing Great R Code

September 19, 2013 | richierocks

While I’m promoting things, you might also want to know that I’m doing a webcast on how to write great R code next Wednesday. It’s at 6pm British Summer Time or 10am Pacific Daylight Time. the big problem with being a data scientist is that you have ... [Read more...]

Fearsome Engines, Part 1

September 7, 2013 | richierocks

Back in June I discovered pqR, Radford Neal’s fork of R designed to improve performance. Then in July, I heard about Tibco’s TERR, a C++ rewrite of the R engine suitable for the enterprise. At this point it dawned on me that R might end up like SQL, ... [Read more...]

The tenure of Doctor Who incarnations

August 3, 2013 | richierocks

With a new actor being announced tomorrow, it got me pondering about the good Doctor. Specifically, who is the longest serving doctor? IMDB has the data: Let’s plot it to see how it changes over time. There was a definite shift after Tom Baker towards a shorter term as ... [Read more...]

The Secrets of Inverse Brogramming, reprise

July 27, 2013 | richierocks

Brogramming is the art of looking good while you write code. Inverse brogramming is a silly term that I’m trying to coin for the opposite, but more important, concept: the art of writing good looking code. At useR2013 I gave a talk on inverse brogramming in R – for those ... [Read more...]

How R will turn into SQL

July 16, 2013 | richierocks

Up until very recently the only way of running R code was through the standard R distribution. Of course you could use another IDE, but somewhere underneath it all you would be running the same, standard R engine from the R-core team. This is no longer your only option. A ... [Read more...]

user2013: The caret tutorial

July 9, 2013 | richierocks

This afternoon I went to Max Kuhn’s tutorial on his caret package. caret stands for classification and regression (something beginning with e) trees. It provides a consistent interface to nearly 150 different models in R, in much the same way as the plyr package provides a consistent interface to the ... [Read more...]

user2013: The Rcpp tutorial

July 9, 2013 | richierocks

I’m at user 2013, and this morning I attended Hadley Wickham and Romain Francois’s tutorial on the Rcpp package for calling C++ code from R. I’ve spent the last eight years avoiding C++ afer having nightmares about obscure pointer bugs, so I went into the room slightly skeptical ... [Read more...]

A brainfuck interpreter for R

April 24, 2013 | richierocks

The deadline for my book on R is fast approaching, so naturally I’m in full procrastination mode.  So much so that I’ve spent this evening creating a brainfuck interpreter for R.  brainfuck is a very simple programming language: you get an array of 30000 bytes, an index, and just 8 ... [Read more...]

Have my old job!

November 14, 2012 | richierocks

My old job at the Health & Safety Laboratory is being advertised, and at a higher pay grade to boot.  (Though it is still civil service pay, and thus not going to make you rich.) You’ll need to have solid mathematical modelling skills, particularly solving systems of ODEs, and be ... [Read more...]

Indexing with factors

November 8, 2012 | richierocks

This is a silly problem that bit me again recently. It’s an elementary mistake that I’ve somehow repeatedly failed to learn to avoid in eight years of R coding. Here’s an example to demonstrate. Suppose we create a data frame with a categorical column, in this case ... [Read more...]

Make your data famous!

October 30, 2012 | richierocks

I’m writing a book on R for O’Reilly, and I need interesting datasets for the examples. Any data that you provide will get you a mention in the book and in the publicity material, so it’s a great opportunity to publicise your work or your organisation. Datasets ... [Read more...]

Look ma! No typing! Autorunning code on R startup

July 20, 2012 | richierocks

Regular readers may know that I often make R-based GUIs. They’re great for giving non-technical users safe and easy access to statistical models. The safety comes from the restrictions of a GUI: you can limit what the users does more easily than with a command line, helping to reduce ... [Read more...]

How long does it take to get pregnant?

June 15, 2012 | richierocks

My girlfriend’s biological clock is ticking, and so we’ve started trying to spawn. Since I’m impatient, that has naturally lead to questions like “how long will it take?”. If I were to believe everything on TV, the answer would be easy: have unprotected sex once and pregnancy ... [Read more...]

Be assertive!

May 30, 2012 | richierocks

assertive, my new package for writing robust code, is now on CRAN. It consists of lots of is functions for checking variables, and corresponding assert functions that throw an error if the condition doesn’t hold. For example, is_a_number checks that the input is numeric and scalar. In ... [Read more...]

GUI building in R: gWidgets vs Deducer

February 20, 2012 | richierocks

I’ve been a user (and fan) of gWidgets for a couple of years now for GUI building in R. (See my introduction to it here.) However, it’s always good to check out the competition so I’ve been playing around with Deducer to see how they compare. R ... [Read more...]

Exploring the functions in a package

January 26, 2012 | richierocks

Sometimes it can be useful to list all the functions inside a package. This is done in the same way that you would list variables in your workspace. That is, using ls. The syntax is ls(pos = "package:packagename"), which is easy enough if you can remember it. Unfortunately, I ... [Read more...]
1 2 3 4

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)