Overview of R Workshops at London EARL 2015

July 14, 2015

(This article was first published on Mango Solutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

EARL (Effective Applications of the R Language) is a Conference organised by Mango Solutions for users and developers of the open source R programming language. The primary focus of the Conference will be the commercial usage of R across a range of industry sectors with the aim of sharing knowledge and applications of the language.


The Pre-Conference workshops will be held, in parallel, on Monday 14th September 2015 and below is an overview of what each of the workshops will be about and who will be presenting at them.

Note that spaces are limited on the workshops, so book your place here.

Monday 14th September 1000 – 1300 hrs – Workshops 1 and 2.

Workshop 1: Integrating R and Python – An Introduction to Getting the Best of Both Worlds 

Chris Musselle thumbPresented by Chris Musselle, Data Scientist, Mango Solutions.

Chris holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bristol. Whilst having expertise in a number of programming languages, Chris’ specific interest and experience is in Python which he has used for 6 years. 

r and python

R and Python are both mature and strong open source tools for conducting numerical analysis and scientific computation.  Each shines in its own way: with R’s extensive collection of packages for statistical analysis, machine learning and visualisation; and Python’s widespread utility as a general programming language.  Though there are on-going efforts from both communities to extend the functionality of the libraries available, there are often times when a programmer may wish to use both languages in an analysis pipeline.

This workshop aims to introduce some of the ways currently available to integrate the two languages into a single analysis pipeline.  The workshop will look at writing and calling command line functions in R and Python as well as some more sophisticated ways of calling out to R from within Python itself.

Click here for more information on this workshop.

Workshop 2: Current Best Practices in Formal Packaging Development

aimee gottPresented by Aimee Gott, Consultant, Mango Solutions.

Aimee holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of Lancaster. Whilst having expertise in a number of programming languages, Aimée’s specific interest and experience is in R.

The workshop is aimed at R programmers who are looking to add rigour to their development by building R packages in a controlled, scalable and commercially viable manner.  General best practices for designing, building and maintaining R package will be discussed.  The workshop will maintain a practical and current focus using popular R packages such as devtools, roxygen2  and testthat.

Participants should have a good working knowledge of the R language but package building novices are welcome.

Click here for more information on this workshop.


Monday 14th September 1400 – 1700 hrs – Workshops 3 and 4.

Workshop 3: An Example-Driven Hands-on Introduction to Rcpp

Dirk-EddelbuettelPresented by Dirk Eddelbuettel.

Dirk is the author / maintainer of Rcpp, RQuantLib, digest and two dozen more CRAN packages. He is a (voting) member of the R Foundation, maintains the CRAN Task Views for Finance as well as High-Performance Computing, contributes to Debian as a package maintainer, and serves as an editor for the Journal of Statistical Software. He has a PhD in Econometrics from EHESS, and works in Chicago as quantitative analyst focussed on predictive models for financial markets. 

Rcpp has become the most widely-used language extension for the R system, and permits users a painless deployment of C++ code from R in order to do new things, as well as to do existing tasks much faster.  The focus of the Workshop will be on applying Rcpp in order to extend R, as well as to accelerate execution of simple C++ functions.  It aims to enable R users to deploy the Rcpp package for both one-off tasks and experiments implemented in C++ (and done most easily using cppFunction() or sourceCpp), as well as simple packages using C++ to extend and/or accelerate R programming with data (using RStudio for the package building steps)

Click here for more information on this workshop.

Workshop 4: Interactive reporting with R Markdown and Shiny

Joe-Cheng-(Small)Presented by Joe Cheng.

Joe is a software engineer who joined J.J. Allaire at RStudio in 2009 to help create the RStudio integrated development environment. He is best known for creating Shiny, the reactive web application framework for R; and RPubs, a well known document publishing service. Joe has spent most of his career working for Boston-area tech startups, plus a stint at Microsoft prior to joining RStudio.

This workshop is divided into two modules: reports and interactivity.  In a static report, you answer known questions. With a dynamic report, you give the reader the tools to answer their own questions. Get started by learning how to make your R Markdown documents interactive, and then unleash the full flexibility of analytic app development with Shiny.

You’ll learn a new way to write R code, in an R Markdown file, Embed code chunks into R Markdown files and Export R Markdown files as HTML, PDF, and Word documents, as well as slide shows.  The workshop will finish off by examining the many options Shiny provides for giving your apps a custom layout and sharing your apps with non-R users.

Click here for more information on this workshop.

Monday’s Workshops are then followed by Conference Welcome Evening Drinks and Networking Reception Sponsored by Revolution Analytics.

If you would like to register for any of these workshops or for the conference, then please click here.

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