R Bloggers: The Site I Wish Existed in 2007

February 19, 2011

(This article was first published on Michael Bommarito » r, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

  My first experience with R was in 2007 as a sophomore in undergrad.  As part of a larger project on pricing day-ahead electricity futures, I wanted to cluster locational marginal price (LMP) data from the ISO-NE.  Something like k-means is easy to plot and visualize in low-dimensions, but this data was better approached by hierarchical methods.  However, there was no easy way to hierarchically cluster data in Python at the time (like hcluster now), and visualizing the resulting dendrograms would certainly have required reinventing the plotting wheel.

  As a result, I decided to learn R, which supported hclust and dendrograms in its base package.  In 2007, however, the R community felt like a much different world.  Outside of the mailing list, there were very few resources that were reliable or well-updated (and yes, searching for R on Google was even harder then!).  I think Dirk’s site is the only one I really remember using outside of the mailing list.  You can imagine this made learning to use R and specific packages somewhat difficult.  The experience was frustrating, slow, and required a real hacker mentality and patience.  

  Four years later, things are significantly better for those hoping to learn R.  There are accessible, reasonably priced books.  More importantly, there is a vibrant community of bloggers and hackers whose output is easily accessible.  Today, the best place to stay abreast of trends in the R world is R-Bloggers, the excellent aggregator run by Tal Galili.  Many common tasks and interesting ideas can be found in the content brought together there.  Thanks Tal, and boy, do I wish your site had been around four years ago!

Email Google Buzz Facebook Twitter Share

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Michael Bommarito » r.

R-bloggers.com offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials on topics such as: Data science, Big Data, R jobs, visualization (ggplot2, Boxplots, maps, animation), programming (RStudio, Sweave, LaTeX, SQL, Eclipse, git, hadoop, Web Scraping) statistics (regression, PCA, time series, trading) and more...

If you got this far, why not subscribe for updates from the site? Choose your flavor: e-mail, twitter, RSS, or facebook...

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.

Search R-bloggers


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)