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josephrickert

R Community Explorer – R User Groups

By Blog

By Ben Ubah, Claudia Vitolo and Rick Pack

We recently announced an R-Ladies focused open-source dynamic dashboard built using R and Javascript. That work has now been extended to encompass all R user groups organized through Meetup.com. You can find this new dashboard at this link and its code, here.

The R user group support program and the R-Ladies project, are featured in two out of three top-level R Consortium projects

How We Identified R User Groups on Meetup

Identifying all R user groups on Meetup.com required more effort than R-Ladies groups. While R-ladies groups are centrally created and their names follow a standard convention, the names of other R user groups are more difficult to predict.

We extended Curtis Kephart’s technique for using string matching to retrieve upcoming R events to:

  • Match among all data science groups on Meetup (7700 +) those with strings like “r user”, “r-user”,“r-lab”,“phillyr”,“rug”,“bioconductor”,“r-data”,“rug” in their Meetup URL names. We then performed a second round of string matching to search for strings like “programming-in-r”, “r-programming-”, “-using-r”, “r-language”, and “r-project-for-statistical” in the groups’ topics field.
  • Retrieve all user groups that mention “r-project-for-statistical-computing” in their topics separately.
  • Retrieve all R-Ladies groups separately, which was necessary to avoid missing some groups.

Procedure

For this dashboard, the following procedure was followed:

  1. We used the meetupr package to extract R user groups from Meetup.com
  2. Improved the existing find_groups() and get_events() functions in meetupr to meet our requirements and switched from the defunct Meetup API keys to OAuth 2.0 authentication system. This switch was quite complicated and will be discussed further in another article.
  3. Transformed the data retrieved from Meetup  via meetupr from data frames to JSON, GeoJSON and CSV
  4. Stored the data by committing the JSON/GeoJSON/CSV files to the GitHub repository of the project.
  5. Developed a static HTML dashboard interface based on an open-source Bootstrap template
  6. Rendered the stored data via the dashboard interface
  7. Automated the process of extracting R user groups, data transformation and storage.
  8. Deployed the dashboard via GitHub Pages

The Tools We Used

Combining R (for data-analysis) and JavaScript (for data-presentation) is at the heart of this project as this combination offers great flexibility with automation and deployment.

We used a mix of these tools to develop the dashboard:

  1. R, RStudio and the following packages:
  • meetupr, curl, jsonlite and leafletR
  1. Javascript and the following libraries: jquery.js, d3.js, echarts.js, leaflet.js, leaflet-markercluster.js and lodash.js
  2. Gentelella Admin Dashboard Bootstrap HTML template
  3. Travis CI to automatically build the project, execute R scripts and bash commands
  4. Bash commands to call R scripts and commit modified files to GitHub

Acknowledgments

We appreciate Curtis Kephart (RStudio) for contributing code that helped us with ideas on identifying R user groups on Meetup.

We also thank the authors of the meetupr package for their excellent work. Special thanks to Jenny Bryan, Erin LeDell, and Greg Sutcliffe for their help over the last month with implementing the requirements for the new Meetup OAuth 2.0 authentication system.

R Community Explorer

By Blog

by Ben Ubah, Claudia Vitolo and Rick Pack

Introduction

One of the most important qualities of the R Language is its thriving community. The R community has a reputation for being particularly friendly, welcoming and cohesive, which has enhanced its adoption and expansion. R user groups have accordingly flourished, especially in recent years.

In this year’s Google Summer of Code program, the proposal, “Data-Driven Exploration of the R Community” was selected. For this, the project’s developer, Ben Ubah, thanks the project’s mentors, Claudia Vitolo and Rick Pack for their contributions.

The primary motivation for this project was the need to have a consistent, data-driven, automated dashboard that provides a broad overview of global R User Groups and R-Ladies Groups.

The R Consortium and other stakeholders have invested in community expansion and sustenance initiatives like R-Ladies, R User Group Support (RUGS) program, Event Sponsorship, RCDI-WG and SatRdays.These promote the learning and adoption of R in many under-represented regions. They have also significantly enhanced community engagement.

As the R community has progressed, there does not appear to have arisen a way to track its global user groups’ inception and activity. Is there a way to find out which regions require more representation? How do we recognize the efforts of organizers who put in a lot of effort to organize events that sustain user groups? How do we easily locate and recognize the most active groups and perhaps learn from their successes? Could we somehow ascertain the impact of the initiatives set by the R Consortium and others on a global scale? Could there be a unified platform dedicated to exploring the R community in an open-ended curiosity-driven fashion? These were the thoughts that inspired this project.

While this project is in its infancy, we have started seeing some encouraging results after the first coding phase of Google Summer of Code. It is our hope to share with you what we have achieved so far and receive welcomed feedback, if you are so inclined.

R-Ladies Groups

Since the R Consortium first funded the R-Ladies initiative, there has been a sporadic diffusion of their chapters and members globally. Perhaps partially as a result of having a consistent leadership compositon and funding, R-Ladies groups are mostly managed on meetup.com, and share a common naming convention. This makes it quite easy to find them on meetup.com and explore their data from the meetup API.

Chart showing Growth of R-Ladies Groups over the years

In the first phase of Google Summer of Code, this project explored a way to track R-Ladies Groups globally from the meetup API, using the meetupr package developed by R-Ladies.

This exploration was intended to be completely data-driven, automated but rendered via a static dashboard that would be hosted via GitHub Pages. R-Ladies already have a shiny dashboard, which only runs on a Shiny Server. Inspired by that dashboard, we developed one with some useful differences such as faster loading, additional aesthetic features such as thematic coloring, and additional tabular displays, charts and counts.

What Has Been Achieved

For the R-Ladies dashboard, the following were achieved:

  1. We used the meetupr package to extract R-Ladies Chapters from Meetup.com
  2. Improved the existing find_groups() and get_events() functions in meetupr to meet our requirements
  3. Transformed the data from Meetup to required formats
  4. Persisted the data on GitHub
  5. Developed a static HTML dashboard interface based on open-source Bootstrap template.
  6. Rendered the persisted data via the dashboard interface.
  7. Automated the process
  8. Deployed it via GitHub Pages

The Tools We Used

To accomplish the following, we used a mix of the tools listed below:

  1. R, RStudio and the following packages: meetupr, curl, jsonlite and leafletR
  2. Javascript and the following libraries jquery.js, d3.js, echarts.js, leaflet.js and lodash.js
  3. Gentelella Admin Dashboard Bootstrap HTML template
  4. Travis CI to build the project, execute R scripts and bash commands
  5. Bash commands to call R scripts and commit modified files to GitHub

How We Achieved it

  1. We used the meetupr package to retrieve R-Ladies Groups from meetup.com with an R script.
  2. We further analyzed this data and computed several summaries out of it. We used the leafletR package to transform our data frame to GeoJSON. We used this GeoJSON file to create a leaflet map using leaflet.js. In this map, R-Ladies groups are separated into three groups with markers of three color categories: Active (purple), Inactive (dark-purple), and Unbegun (orange). Active groups have had an event in the past 180 days or have an upcoming event in the future. Inactive groups have not had an event in the past 180 days and do not have an upcoming event. Unbegun groups have not had an event in the past and none are planned for the future.
  3. Persisted all data and our summaries in CSV / JSON files. After each Travis build, the data and our summaries gets updated straight from the Meetup API.
  4. We wrote bash commands to run our R scripts, and commit updated CSV / JSON files to GitHub after every Travis build.
  5. We setup Travis Cron Jobs, to build this project daily and update our data.
  6. We then, customized the Gentelella Admin Dashboard Bootstrap HTML template to our requirements.
  7. Rendered our summaries via widgets on this dashboard. Used Javascript/libraries to perform other simpler summaries and produce maps, charts and tables.

The Result

At the end we have an open-source dynamic dashboard for R-Ladies that is updated daily, but is built to be static and hosted via GitHub Pages. This could be seen as another approach to building information dashboards with R as a back-end technology, maintaining separation of business data-processing from data-presentation.

At the time of writing, there are 165 R-Ladies chapters composed of 50,000 + members, across 47 countries, 162 cities, with more than 1,580past events and many upcoming. 71% of R-Ladies chapters are active, 13% are inactive, and 16% are unbegun. Unbegun groups have members but have not started organizing events yet. Our observation is that members are added to the R-Ladies community daily.

The pop-up markers in the leaflet map display important information about each R-Ladies chapter including a link to the group’s webpage, number of events, status, inactive months, and how to become an organizer for inactive/unbegun groups.

Feedback

We are just starting this project and are in hopes of expanding its reach far beyond its current state. We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas or find issues. Feel free to Follow / Star the project at its GitHub repo: https://github.com/benubah/r-community-explorer/

Next

We have started working on general R user-groups and plan to report our progress soon with some lessons we have learned.

ISC Project Status

By Blog

Refactoring and updating the SWIG R module
Richard Beare
This project is complete. See the project page for a summary.

stars: Scalable, spatiotemporal tidy arrays for R
Edzer Pebesma
The stars package currently averaging approximately 9200 downloads per month, and user involvement through github issues is rising. Look here for project status, and If you are going to useR! 2019 look for the stars tutorial.

An Earth data processing backend for testing and evaluating stars
Edzer Pebesma
Active development takes place on an AWS instance that has access to the multi-petabyte Sentinel-2 satellite image archive.  See the project page for status.

histoRicalg — Preserving and Transfering Algorithmic Knowledge
John C. Nash
histoRicalg continues to try to preserve and transfer knowledge of older algorithms that are part of R and other computational software. Our work is available  here.

Recent presentations on the project include:

Some collaborations have resulted from the project:

  • Work with Matthew Fidler on merging two CRAN packages for L-BFGS optimization and some preliminary
  • Work on a 40 year old svd method being used by NASA contractors to model Jupiter’s magnetic field.

RUGS
Joseph Rickert
So far this year the RUGS Program has awarded grants to 50 user groups and 15 small conferences totaling $31,000. We now have over 42,000 members participating in groups associated with the RUGS program.

Validation Hub (formerly called PSI application for collaboration to create online R package validation repository)
Lyn Taylor
The R Validation Hub team are now focused on designing a framework which could be used to assess package risk.  The repository would host risk metrics, examples of tests, and validation documentation which together would form evidence of the quality of an R package.  This documentation would be free to access and stored on a web based portal. The first version of the website went live in 2019 and we are also on GitHub. If you would like to be involved with the project please contact psi.aims.r.validation@gmail.com.  Representatives of the R Validation Hub and PSI AIMS SIG will also be presenting at the 2019 PSI conference in London to give an update on this initiative and their work using R in the regulatory environment.

A unified platform for missing values methods and workflows
Imke Mayer
Our website which houses articles, tutorials, data sets and a first set of workflows around a small set of popular R packages went live in January.  We will continue to provide more tutorials, assistance in choosing and using existing R packages, and data sets as time goes on. To help make this project as robust as possible, we encourage authors to submit their articles or works, and reviewers to review their placement on the platform/website, either by contacting us via our website or by submitting changes directly in our GitHub repository

Our goal is to create a benchmark of existing methods for different kinds of data (both synthetic and real data), missing values mechanisms, tasks to be fulfilled, etc. An important aspect is that this work should allow other researches and data scientists to re-use/copy our R code to compare their own method to a maximum of existing methods without having to re-implement the comparisons every time themselves.

Ongoing infrastructural development for R on Windows and MacOS
Jeroen Ooms
Rtools has been updated to GCC 8.3, and several new c/c++ libraries added to the rtools-packages repository. The new toolchain was presented at rstudio::conf 2019.

R Hub
Gábor Csárdi
The R Hub project is in maintenance mode. You can follow activities on GitHub.

Conference Management System for R Consortium Supported Conferences
Steph Locke
We have delivered a Hugo template for UseR! events and a template for creating new SVG logos for the UseR! events

R Ladies
Claudia Vitolo
We are pleased to announce that R-Ladies is now a non-profit organisation incorporated in California (United States) with 501(3)(c) tax-exempt status (a blog post will announce this publicly in the next few days). Since we can now accept donations, we have decided to join CommunityBridge, a Linux Foundation platform that allows for a transparent and traceable management of incoming donations and outgoing expenses.

The R-Ladies is continuing to grow. As per March 2019, there are 142 chapters on meetup.com with 38,000+ R-Ladies members (signed up on meetup.com) and distributed in 45 countries in 6 continents (see our shiny dashboard: ). We have also recently launched a mentorship programme to provide help and support from experienced organisers to less experienced ones. The migration to the meetup.com pro account is progressing smoothly: the last group will be migrated in 2019-Q2.

Developing Tools and Templates for Teaching Materials
François Michonneau
We developed the alpha version of the R package checker to validate links and images in static websites such as Rmarkdown and jekyll.  In addition to ensuring that there is no broken links, this package will encourage website authors to use best practices in accessibility by adding the metadata to links and images so they can be processed by screen-readers and other assistive technologies. We are starting to use this package to check some of The Carpentries lessons.

Future Minimal API: Specification with Backend Conformance Test Suite
Henrik Bengtsson
The R package future.tests has made it possible to add support for relaying messages and warnings in the future framework (a frequently requested feature) and release it in a non-breaking manner.

Strengthening of R in support of spatial data infrastructures management : geometa and ows4R R packages
Emmanuel Blondel
Milestones M1 to M5 were successfully delivered. These are identified in Github tickets with labels for each milestone.

M1 targeted provision of an INSPIRE metadata validator embedded into the geometa package. This feature has been tested by data managers in France by the French observatory for universe science, , French CNRS Research units Dynafor , and LETG .

M2 targeted the support of multi-lingual metadata encoding/decoding in geometa. All existing geometa classes subject to internationalization have been extended to support multi-language. A battery of tests has been added in all class test files. In addition to geometa, such new feature required intervention in subsequent packages ows4R and geonapi for the publication of multi-language metadata documents. An online documentation has been made available  here.

M3 provides a generic metadata converter was planned to be delivered this month of april 2019.

M4 provides Adapter NetCDF-CF core metadata) and

M5  provides Adapter for EML core metadata

 Online documentation has been made available on GitHub.

These features are being used by the IRD Marbec Research Unit and DynaFor..

Work has started for the milestones M6 and M7 which tend tackle and complete the coverage of ISO/OGC 19115-1 and 19115-2 standards in geometa by adding all missing classes (planned for completion for the summer 2019).

 

 

ISC Call for Proposals

By Announcement, Blog

The March 2019 ISC Call for Proposals is now open. Once again, we are looking for ambitious projects that will contribute to the infrastructure of the R ecosystem and benefit large sections of the R community.  

Our goal in calling for proposals is to stimulate creativity and help turn good ideas into tangible benefits for the R Community. What can you do to improve the R ecosystem and how can the R Consortium help you do it?

We encourage you to “Think Big” but structure your proposal with intermediate milestones. The ISC is most likely to fund proposals that ask for modest initial grants. We tend to be conservative with initial grants, preferring projects structured in way that significant early milestones can be achieved with a modest amount of financial support.

As with any proposed project, the more detailed and credible the project plan and the better the track record of the project team, the higher the likelihood of receiving funding. Please be sure that your proposal includes the following:

  • Measurable objectives
  • Intermediate milestones
  • A list of all team members who will contributing work
  • Detailed accounting of how the grant money will be spent

You may find that reviewing some previously funded projects will help stimulate your thinking. Notice that not all projects require software development. The Guide to using Census Data and the Missing Data Task View are work products from recent ISC funded projects that focused on documentation.  

If you are really thinking big, consider proposing an ambitious project such as the R Validation Hub, or the R / Pharma and R / Medicine conferences that are funded and organized as ISC working groups.

Please note that proposals to sponsor conferences, workshops or meetups should be sent directly to the R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program, or the R Consortium Marketing Committee.

To submit a proposal for ISC funding, read the Call for Proposals page and submit a self-contained pdf using the online form. You should receive confirmation within 24 hours.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is midnight PST, April 1, 2019.

RC RUGS 2019 Is Up and Running

By Announcement, Blog, Uncategorized

The R Consortium’s 2019 R User Group and Small Conference Support program which provides cash grants to R focused user groups, and small R-themed conferences is now accepting applications for financial support.

R User Groups

Grants to R user groups are awarded in three categories that depend on the number of users who typically attend meetings, and the frequency with which the group meets.

Array Level: Large, established R user groups that held at least three meetings in the six month period prior to applying that attracted more than 100 attendees may be eligible for $1,000 grants.

Matrix Level: R user groups that held at least three meetings in the six month period prior to applying that attracted at least 50 attendees may be eligible for $500 grants.

Vector Level: Other groups, even very small ones just getting started, may be eligible for $150  grants.

In addition to the cash grants, R user groups accepted into the program are eligible to participate in the R Consortium’s meetup.com Pro program. Under this program, the R Consortium will pay a user group’s meetup.com dues for twelve months.

Small Conferences

Small conferences, typically those that expect to attract less than 200 people may apply for cash grants up to $1,000. To qualify, a conference must be either entirely devoted to the R language or applications using R, or have a significant amount of R content. To apply, conferences should have a public-facing web page with a code of conduct, information about the technical program and sponsorship information. Conferences will be evaluated, and grants awarded on a case-by-case basis.

Details for RUGS, meetup.com Pro and Small Conference programs may be found here on the R Consortium website. To apply for support, please use the online form.

 

Fall 2018: ISC Call for Proposals

By Announcement, Blog

by Joseph Rickert

The second and final ISC Call for Proposals for 2018 is now open. We are looking for ambitious projects that will contribute to the infrastructure of the R ecosystem and benefit large sections of the R community. We are deliberately being a little vague here, but having awarded more than $650,000 in grants so far, we can show a substantial number of funded projects that provide examples.

If you are going to submit a proposal, “Think Big” but structure your proposal with intermediate milestones. The ISC is not likely to fund proposals that ask for large initial cash grants. We tend to be conservative with initial grants, preferring projects structured in such a way that significant initial milestones can be achieved with modest amounts of cash.

As with any proposed project, the more detailed and credible the project plan, and the better the track record of the project team, the higher the likelihood of receiving funding. Please be sure that your proposal includes measurable objectives, intermediate milestones, a list of all team members who will contributing work and a detailed accounting of how the grant money will be spent.

Also, if you think you are onto something but could use some help in finalizing scope of a project, or you think implementing your idea would require achieving some level of consensus within the R Community, you might consider asking the ISC to help you establish a working group.

If you don’t think you have an idea that is fundable but want to get involved, you might want to explore getting involved with existing projects or put some thought into one of the perennial issues associated with finding one’s way through the R ecosystem. For example, could you build a package discovery system or recommender engine that spans CRAN, Bioconductor and GitHub, or implement and curate a calendar that automatically tracks R related events worldwide?

Our goal in calling for proposals is to stimulate creativity and help turn good ideas into tangible benefits for the R Community. What can you do to improve the R ecosystem and how can the R Consortium help you do it?

Note that proposals to sponsor conferences, workshops or meetups should be sent directly to the R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program. These are not funded as ISC proposals. Note that the deadline for applying for support under the 2018 program is coming up quickly. Requests for support under the 2018 program must be received by midnight, September 30, 2018. The 2019 program will launch sometime in January.

To submit a proposal for ISC funding, read the Call for Proposals page and submit a self-contained pdf using the online form. You should receive confirmation within 24 hours.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is midnight PST, Sunday October 31, 2018.

Wanted: Your input on the next generation of R-Hub

By Announcement, Blog, R Consortium Project

R-Hub, which was originally conceived as a useful tool for R package developers to build and test R packages on a variety of platforms, was the first project funded by the R Consortium. The initial version was released in June 2016. Now that the capabilities of R-Hub have progressed well beyond the proof of concept stage, the R Consortium is looking for ideas from the R community on how we can make it and even more useful for R users.

We would like to know how you think we could improve existing functionality and what new features you would like to see. So far, we have come up with the following list of future goals for R-Hub. We welcome comments and suggestions:

  • Enable organizations to deploy repositories and build infrastructure locally for use in controlled corporate environments.
  • Provide a system to manage source code, builds, and binary packages in a repository that offers confidence and trust to R users.
  • Enable end-users to use packages with confidence by providing tools to assess code pedigree, license, quality, security, and package maintenance for individual packages.
  • Encourage and enable package developers to provide metadata for their packages to help end users discover packages.
  • Provide package authors and maintainers a broad testing matrix that works on multiple architectures, operating systems, and R runtime engines.
  • Provide package developers with feedback required to assess and ensure broad compatibility for their packages.

We would very much appreciate comments on this vision for future development along with your assessment of the current system, including your answers to such questions as:

  • What value does R Hub provide you today?
  • What does R Hub not do well?
  • What other aspects of package development should R Hub add?
  • How could R Hub best serve the corporate package development, deployment, and management process?
  • Is there anything that CRAN isn’t providing that you would like to have?

Please send your comments to the following email address:  isc@r-consortium.com

Note that you may try R-Hub here.

R Consortium Call For Proposals: February 2018

By Announcement, Blog, News, R Consortium Project

by Joseph Rickert

The first ISC Call for Proposals for 2018 is now open. We are looking for ambitious projects that will contribute to the infrastructure of the R ecosystem and benefit large sections of the R community. However, we are not likely to fund proposals that ask for large initial cash grants. The ISC tends to be conservative with initial grants, preferring projects structured in such a way that significant initial milestones can be achieved with modest amounts of cash.

As with any proposed project, the more detailed and credible the project plan, and the better the track record of the project team, the higher the likelihood of receiving funding. Please be sure that your proposal includes measurable objectives, intermediate milestones, a list of all team members who will contributing work and a detailed accounting of how the grant money will be spent.

But, most importantly – don’t let this talk of large projects dampen your enthusiasm! We are looking for projects with impact, regardless of their size. With this call for proposals, we are hoping to stimulate creativity and help turn good ideas into tangible benefits. Look around your corner of the R Community, what needs doing and how can the R Consortium help?

Please do not submit proposals to sponsor conferences, workshops or meetups. These requests should be sent directly to the R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program.

To submit a proposal for ISC funding, read the Call for Proposals page and submit a self-contained pdf using the online form. You should receive confirmation within 24 hours.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is midnight PST, Sunday April 1, 2018.

The 2018 R Consortium R User Group Support Program is Underway.

By Announcement, Blog, Events, News, R Consortium Project

In just one year, the R Consortium through the R User Group Support program sponsored 76 R user groups and 3 small conferences with cash grants totaling just under $30,000. This program aligns with the R Consortium mission of fostering the continued growth of R community and the data science ecosystem, and has already helped bring more people to using R and contributing to the community.

Coming off a successful 2017, we are pleased to announce the opening of the 2018 program today. While the structure of the 2018 program is similar to last year’s program with the multiple levels of support, we have enhanced the program based on feedback from last year’s funded user groups.

Complimentary Meetup.com Pro Account

After a year of supporting user groups, we’ve found that the primary cost for each group is having a page on meetup.com or thier own website ( though the majority prefer the meetup.com platform ). This leaves less funds available things like meetup space, food, or even swag, and thus put more of a burden on the group leaders to attract people to the group.

This year we’ve leveraged our relationship with the Linux Foundation, and now will provide each user group a complimentary meetup.com Pro account. Leveraging this not removes one less cost concern for group leaders, but it will also better enable us to promote user groups through the many features the platform provides for groups. For all the details of the program, eligibility requirements for the three levels of user group grants, the schedule of grants and the details of signing up for the meetup.com pro account please see the R Consortium’s R User Group Support Program webpage.

Small Conference Support

We’ve also seen an increase in the number of smaller, regional focused R conferences happening around the world. Grassroots events like this are critical for sustainability in the R community, but need financial support and community awareness to be successful.  Several reached out last year and we provided funding with excess funds in the program with great results.

These events perfectly align with the mission of the R User Group Support program, we’re formally expanding it this year to provide cash grants in the $500 to $1,000 range to continue to encourage small, R-focused conferences and meetings organized by non-profit or volunteer groups are the world. You can find out more about this new piece of the program on the R Consortium’s R User Group Support Program webpage.

Length of Program

R Consortium will begin taking applications for both R User Group Support and Small Conference Support today. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2018.

Apply to the 2018 RC RUGS program by filling out this form. You can email us at rugs@r-consortium.org with any questions around the program.

Recap of the uRos2017 conference

By Blog, Events

Editor’s Note: This post comes from Nicoleta Caragea, uRos2017 conference organizer. uRos2017 is a conference held in November 2017  for collaboration around the use of R in Romania.  Through the RUGS program, R Consortium was honored to be a sponsor for this event. If you have an smaller event you would like support for, stay tuned for the official program announcement in early 2018.

uRos2017 conference

The International Conference New Challenges for Statistical Software – The Use of R in Official Statistics – uRos2017, the fifth in a series of events, organized at Romanian NIS dedicated to the use of R Project in Romania, was held between 6-7 of November 2017. The conference, which provides a public forum for researchers from academia and institutes of statistics, brought together over 60 participants from 20 countries (Austria, Canada, Columbia, Croatia, France, Deutschland, Italy, Irak, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey). Moreover, representatives from Eurostat and other international organizations (United Nations/UNIDO and FAO) attended as guests.

Not only was uRos2017 an opportunity to develop new ideas and cooperation in the field of official statistics, the event once again demonstrated the significant role played by National Institute of Statistics in the official statistics and gives Romania a prominent spot on the map of useRs.

uRos2017 growth

Throughout the five editions of the event, the international participation has increased exponentially.

The event hosted, besides the presentations, eight workshops lectured by prestigious professionals from official statistics and academia:

  • Mark van der Loo (Statistics Netherlands), Statistical data cleaning with R
  • Valentin Todorov (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), R in the statistical office: the UNIDO experience
  • Bernhard Meindl (Statistics Austria), Current developments in R-packages sdcMicro and sdcTable for statistical disclosure control
  • Marcello D’Orazio (Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations), Outlier detection in R: some remarks
  • Camelia Goga (Institut de Mathématiques de Bourgogne, Université de Bourgogne, France), Survey sampling techniques with R
  • Hervé Cardot (Institut de Mathématiques de Bourgogne, Université de Bourgogne, France), Fast robust center estimation, clustering and Principal Components Analysis with large samples in high dimension with R
  • Bogdan Oancea (National Institute of Statistics/University of Bucharest, Romania) and Ciprian Alexandru (National Institute of Statistics/Ecological University of Bucharest, Romania), From unstructured data to structured data – Web scraping for Official Statistics
  • Elena Druică (University of Bucharest, Department of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Romania), Working with the ‘pglm’ package in R. Explaining the number of nosocomial infections in Romanian hospitals

uRos2017 speakers 1 uRos2017 speakers 2

The proceedings of the conference, which took place in parallel sections and included 22 presentations and 8 thematic workshops, will be published in two issues of Romanian Statistical Review: no. 4/2017 and no. 1/2018. The first one has already been published and handed to the participants during the conference, and the second one will be released in March 2018.

Romanian Statistical Review 4/2017A novelty of this year’s edition is that the conference joined with “International Conference On Computing, Mathematics And Statistics 2017” (iCMS2017), held in Langkawi Island, Malaysia. Nicolaas Jan Dirk Nagelkerke, Matthias Templ and Martin Everett delivered keynote talks at uRos2017 Asia Pacific/iCMS2017.

As a satellite event of uRos2017, a meeting between Japan’s, Austria’s (UN/UNIDO) and Romanian NIS representatives took place on November 8. The meeting was an opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge. The discussions regarded the following subjects:

  • Modernization of Romanian Official Statistics
  • The use of R in statistical surveys
  • Data editing (outlier detection, imputation etc.)
  • Generation of statistical reports using R with Sweave/knitr
  • Online data collection for business statistics surveys

You can find more information about uRos2017 at the conference website.

The R-omanian team, has agreed to organize uRos2018 together with our colleagues from CBS-Netherlands. Keep in contact on: https://twitter.com/uRos2018.