R in 2012: Shamelessly Stealing the New Years’ Python Meme


In a previous post I reviewed my interactions with Python the programming language and the community following the New Years’ Python Meme that’s making the rounds on Twitter and the like.

And now, I’m shamelessly stealing it to look at how I used R in 2012. I figure I should probably let the #2012pythonmeme stay Python-only, so I’m going to try #Rin2012.

1. What’s the coolest R application, package, or library you have discovered in 2012?

This one is like choosing between your favorite children: RStudio and plyr are both new discoveries to me that have massively altered the way I work with R, for the better. If I had to pick one, I’d probably go with RStudio just because of the amount of work that got done this year thanks to a R-specific IDE. Pretty excited about RStudio Server too, I just need a system to run it on. Anyone want to donate one?

2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2012

I’m going to cheat, and say since plyr didn’t get the coolest R package award, we’re going to give it credit here. Because parallelism in R was the new programming technique I learned this year, and for simple “Apply this function by a grouping variable” tasks, plyr and it’s connection to doMC saved some serious time. And it’s always gratifying to see all the cores on your machine go to 100%.

3. Which open source project did you contribute to the most in 2012? What did you do?

I didn’t specifically contribute to any open source projects. However, I did publish the code needed for a workshop I taught on mathematical epidemiology on GitHub, and one of the papers I published has a freely available electronic appendix hosted there as well. I’ve got some plans for next year – stay tuned.

4. Which R blog or website did you read the most in 2012

CrossValidated and StackOverflow for websites. The amazingly useful R-Bloggers lets me cheat in terms of blogs and say “All of them”.

5. What are the top things you want to learn in 2013

I’m interested in doing some social network analysis with R, and there’s a project that I’ve got an extensive codebase for in SAS that I want to translate over to R, but haven’t the faintest clue on how to get started.

6. What is the top software, application, or library you wish someone would write in 2013

Besides the magical R faeries leaving me a copy of the above mentioned SAS code in R? I’d really like to see a replacement for GillespieSSA designed for intensive, research grade projects.

Want to do your own list? here’s how:

  • copy-paste the questions and answer them in your blog
  • tweet it with #Rin2012 hashtag

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