UseR 2010 and commercial applications of R

January 21, 2010

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

Preparations are well underway for the annual R user conference useR! 2010, to be held at NIST (about 25 miles outside of Washington, DC) July 20-23. This meeting is a true user conference: almost all of the presentations at the conference are contributed by ordinary R users. So, to continue the success of previous years the conference committee needs you — yes, you — to submit a talk about what you do with R. Maybe you’ve made some interesting discovery in a dataset you’ve analyzed with R — why not share the process of how you got there with other R users? Created a novel (or just plain beautiful) graphic with R? Show it off! If you’ve written a package for R, why not explain how to use it (and find more users in the process). The possibilities are endless. The March 1 deadline for submissions is approaching fast, so why not submit your abstract today?

One use of R that I’m particularly interested in is how R is used in commercial settings. There’s a whole section of this blog devoted to applications of R, and many of the posts document uses of R in commercial organizations like Google, Facebook and the New York Times. But I know there are many more interesting uses of R at companies that go unsung. To take just one example, at last year’s UseR conference, there was an outstanding presentation by Jan Wijffels about how vacations company Thomas Cook uses R to automatically price 250,000 holiday packages every day in less than 90 minutes. It would be great to see more examples of commercial uses of R at this year’s conference, and to that end committee-member Lou Bajuk-Yorgan from TIBCO-Spotfire is organizing a track on "Commercial applications of R". If you’re using R at work, why not submit an abstract about R’s impact at your company? 

By the way, if you do work for a company that makes widespread use of R, have you thought about asking your company to sponsor the useR! conference? This is a great way to support the R community and the people who created R and the packages you use for your work. My employer REvolution Computing is a proud sponsor, and perhaps your employer could be, too. 

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