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R User Group Activity for Q1 2014

by Joseph Rickert Worldwide R user group activity for the first Quarter of 2014 appears to be way up compared to previous years as the following plot shows. The plot was built by counting the meetings on Revolution Analytics R Community Calendar. R users continue to value the live, in person events and face-to-face meetings with their peers. Moreover, if you peruse the details of the meetings listed on the calendar you will see that there have been some fantastic presentation so far this year. And although, as with any live event, if you missed it you will never know how good it really was, some of the R user groups have left traces of what happened by posting presentation slides on public areas of their websites. I am sorry that I missed Harold Baize’s presentation to the Berkeley R language Beginner Study Group on Using R in a Microsoft Office world. I think the following slide from Harold’s presentation indicates a pragmatic approach coupled with a wry sense of humor. The presentation goes to discuss reading and writing to Excel, Tableau, the R2DOCX package, markdown and more. To get the presentation, download the file RinMSOffice from the Berkeley Site. Jeroen Janssens’ presentation on Command Line Data Science to the New York Open Statistical Programming Meetup is a very nice introduction to command line essentials for either Linux or Mac OS. If you are not comfortable with cat, grep or awk this might be a place to start.    In a similar spirit of helping new users get up to speed with R, the New Hampshire R Users Group (NH UserRs) has posted a number of tutorials by David Hocking.  Introduction to Linear Regression and ANOVA in R is a useful 10 minute first look. Newcomers might also find it valuable to follow up with the David Lillis presentation, Data Analysis Tips in R, that has been posted on the Wellingtone R User Group (WRUG) site. This presentation contains a short discussion on calculating Tetrachoric and polychoric correlations in R that quite a few people might find valuable. DublinR has graciously made available all of the materials from a Bayesian Data Analysis workshop that Mick Cooney delivered earlier this year. A zipped file containing R scripts, JAG files and data can be downloaded by clicking on “bdasingle2014” at this link. Finally, I am glad that I was present at Megan Price’s takk: How a Small Non-Profit Human Rights Group uses R, to the Bay Area UseR Group. This was an inspirational talk where you really had to be there. Nevertheless, Megan’s slides do portray the big picture of how statistical analysis can make a difference in human rights investigations. The following photo of a cache of documents containing records of those who disappeared during Guatemala's civil war indicates the magnitude of the statistical sampling problem that Megan and her colleagues at HRDAG faced.   This coming Monday, March 31, 2014, is the last day for applying to Revolution Analytics R User Group Sponsorship Program for Matrix or Array level sponsorship. So if you are the organizer of an established R User group and you think a cash grant and a box of R related “goodies” could help you grow, please apply before midnight PST 3/31/14.

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More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

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