R User Groups Update

September 9, 2013
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R user groups continue to thrive worldwide. The map below plots the locations of the 127 R user groups listed in the directory we maintain at Revolution Analytics.

R user groups continue to thrive worldwide. The map below plots the locations of the 127 R user groups listed in the directory we maintain at Revolution Analytics.

RUGS_WW_9_13 i

It includes 7 new groups that sprang up since we last highlighted user groups in July:

  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Pune, India

User groups are a great strength of the R community. Nothing beats face-to-face encounters with people from other companies and industries who are doing things with R that you haven’t thought about. It is one thing to come across a new application or some useful code on the web, but it is a much richer experience to have someone show you what she did, to explore the idea together and maybe even end-up collaborating.

Time spent surfing the user group web sites will surely be rewarded with ideas for interesting projects or presentations. Many groups post presentations where they can be freely accessed under more > files on their meet-up.com sites. For example, have a look at Reza Mohammadi’s presentation on Bayesian Model selection in graphs using the BDgraph package on the amst-R-Dam site or Hadley Wickham’s Bigger Data analysis presentation on the LondonR site.  (Note, this site doesn’t use meet-up.com but it is easy enough to find the archived presentations.)

A mini-trend that I think I may have spotted is for R user groups to hold “hands-on” participatory events. Bob Muenchen recently held an Intro to R workshop at the Knoxville R Users Group. This summer, the Munich useR Group held an all day “useR Hackathon” and Western Mass Data Science, Stats and R is preparing to turn a group of programing newbies into R users.

If there is no R user group in your area you might think about starting one yourself. The Window for a “vector level” grant from Revolution Analytics 2013 sponsorship program is open until September 30th. Have a look at the tips for starting a new group on our web site. If you have the organizational skills we encourage you to do the preliminary work, fill out the form and apply. $100, a box of “goodies” and moral support may be all you need to get going.

by Joseph Rickert