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R Consortium

R Consortium Infrastructure Steering Committee Chair Wins 2019 COPSS Presidents’ Award

By Announcement, Blog

Congratulations to our very own Hadley Wickham, Infrastructure Steering Committee Chairperson, for winning the “Nobel Prize of Statistics.” The award is given to a person under the age of 41, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession of statistics. According to Wikipedia, the COPSS Presidents’ Award, along with the International Prize in Statistics, are considered the two highest awards in Statistics.

The award citation recognized Wickham’s “influential work in statistical computing, visualization, graphics, and data analysis” including “making statistical thinking and computing accessible to a large audience.”

In previous years, the award has primarily recognized theoretical contributions to statistics. This year is the first time it has been awarded for practical application.

Hadley is Chief Scientist at RStudio, a Platinum member of the R Foundation, and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University and the University of Auckland. The skills with statistics runs in the family: his sister is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Oregon State University.

Hadley builds tools – both computational and cognitive – to make data science easier, faster, and more fun. His work includes packages for data science – a pioneering a suite of tools for R known as the “Tidyverse”: including ggplot2, dplyr, tidyr, purrr, and readr – and principled software development (roxygen2, testthat, devtools). He is also a writer, educator, and speaker promoting the use of R for data science. Learn more on his website, http://hadley.nz.

Congratulations, Hadley!

Data-Driven Tracking and Discovery of R Consortium Activities

By Blog

by Benaiah Ubah

R is a fast-growing language for statistical computing and graphics backed by a powerfully inclusive community of users and developers. The R community received a significant boost when some enterprises came together to establish the R Consortium in 2015. Since then, the R Consortium has clearly proven its purpose by operating transparently and in an unbiased manner – supporting the R Foundation, infrastructure that broadly affects the R community, tools that enhance the R software, R user-groups, events and diversity on a global scale. R Consortium’s top level projects – R-Hub, R-Ladies, the RUGS program, Events sponsorship, the R Community Diversity and Inclusion program – , working groups and other ISC funded projects highlight the significance of R Consortium’s involvement as a major supporter of several critical developments around R in recent times.

To further enhance transparency, measure impact and achieve even greater community inclusiveness, the R Consortium in Fall 2018, funded a new data-driven initiative to provide a way for the R community to discover and track its activities over the years. This infrastructure is dedicated to curating and rendering R Consortium activities via dashboards using open-source technologies – all data and code are available at this GitHub repository that is primarily maintained by me.

For a start, the ISC approved the development of dashboards that highlight R Consortium’s accomplishments, with a focus on ISC Funded Projects, RUGS program and Events/Marketing program. I am delighted to communicate that, this initial scope has been successfully covered and the corresponding milestones delivered. The next iteration of development would include more aspects of R Consortium’s activities that have broad impact on the larger R community. The following sections of this article presents reasons why a data-driven initiative is useful for tracking R Consortium’s activities, the deliverables for this project, benefits and future directions.

Why a data-driven initiative to track R Consortium activities?

1. In the past 5 years, R Consortium has supported many R initiatives that encompass user-groups, events, diversity, technical infrastructure, documentation, developing teaching materials, working groups, etc But, how could the impact of these initiatives be measured in numbers over the years? How could the global distribution of activities like, the user-group and event support programs be ascertained?

2. ISC funded projects (both completed and ongoing) are usually curated on a single web page.  This initiative provides a way for searching for these projects by year, grant-cycle, status, primary investigator, etc. 

3. Before embarking on this project, there was no way of ascertaining the distribution of funding across work-products.  A data-driven infrastructure will help those without experience applying for ISC grants, by giving them an overview of work-products and cash-grant ranges that have received more funding over time.

4. R Consortium’s decision makers may find a data-driven initiative helpful in planning future programs and packages.

5. Prospective R Consortium members that are contemplating joining the R Consortium, could easily find and understand R Consortium’s past accomplishments in a broad, transparent, insightful, and aggregated manner.

6. Finally, comparing R Consortium’s mission statement with its accomplishments from a data-driven perspective, is something that the R Foundation, the global R community, present and future members of the R Consortium would like to track and provide feedback on over time, for the long-term growth and stability of the R ecosystem.

Project Deliverable

We  now present to the R community, a suite of dashboard pages that render the corresponding R Consortium activities  in a data-driven manner:

  1. ISC funded projects dashboard
  2. R User Group Support program dashboard
  3. Events / Marketing program dashboard
  4. A landing dashboard page that summarizes details from other dashboard pages for enhanced user experience.
  5. A GitHub repository to find all code and data for this infrastructure.

Benefits

  1. ISC projects dashboard: Easily find ISC projects with enough information to contact project owners for those thinking of contributing to projects. Find most popular work-products ad cash-grant ranges for those without experience applying for grants.
  • RUGS program dashboard: Understand the global distribution of funded user-groups and their funding-level distribution. Find information about these groups and how to get in touch with those within your reach.
  • Events / Marketing dashboard: Understand the global distribution of sponsored events.
  • Landing dashboard: Find aggregated summaries around all of ISC projects, RUGS program, Events/Marketing program and the R-Ladies project.

Future Directions

It would be interesting to explore more of R Consortium activities like working groups, and ISC projects that have observable global impact on a running basis.

Join R Consortium

If you are an enterprise that benefits from using the R environment, please consider joining R Consortium to make the R ecosystem a better one.

Acknowledgments

I appreciate the contributions that came from John Mertic, Hadley Wickham and Joseph Rickert especially at the initial phases of this idea.

Get Funded by the R Consortium – Call for Proposals Open Now!

By Blog

Strengthen the R community with Your Project

The R Consortium is committed to supporting the R community by funding projects that create important infrastructure and fortify long term stability for the R Community. The R Consortium’s Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) has developed a grant program that looks to help the broader R community.

The Call for Proposals opens today, September 13, 2019, and runs for a full month, through October 14, 2019.

This is the fourth year of funding, and over $1,000,000 has been given out in sponsorships and grants.

We encourage you to apply, even those without experience applying for grants.

Apply now!

In this round, the ISC is looking for projects that:

  • Are likely to have a broad impact on the R community.
  • Have a focused scope. Simple is better than over-ambitious. Larger projects can often be broken up into smaller steps.

The process for submitting a proposal has been has been updated annually to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. Full details on proposal requirements, examples of previous projects, suggestions for what to avoid, and more, are included here.

Any questions about the proposals or submission process, please write to proposal@r-consortium.org

Apply now!


New R Consortium Blog Guidelines

By Blog

The R Consortium is posting new blog guidelines to help facilitate posts from members, ISC grants recipients and the community at large. Please review and send in your ideas!

R Consortium Blog Overview

The R Consortium blog will serve as a channel for the members, ISC grant recipients and the community at large to broadcast to a wide audience how their work and engagement is growing opportunities for the R language for data science and statistical computing.

This may include summaries of how leading institutions, companies and developers are using, developing and advancing R. 

Those involved with developing, maintaining, distributing, and using R software are encouraged to contribute to the blog. 

Guest posts from the R Consortium community at large or projects funded by the ISC that enhance R and support users are welcomed. Updates about R-related conferences (including useR!), meetings (including SatRDays and RLadies), local user groups worldwide, new working groups or programs for R language certification and training are of interest. Other topics would certainly be considered, but it should be something of interest to the broader R community. 

Accepted blog posts are at the sole discretion of the R Consortium.

Quality

We are looking for posts that teach and give value to our community. Blogs should include the meta-narrative that “R is a fast-growing language for statistical computing and graphics” and “the R Consoritum supports the worldwide community of users, maintainers and developers of R software.”  

Guest posts must be vendor neutral, though it may mention vendors involved in specific deployment or adoption paths, or their hosting of an in-person event or speaking at an event, or other indications of meaningful participation in the community. It shouldn’t feel like an advertisement for your product, services or company though. Your post must be your content, but can be published elsewhere on the Internet with permission from that website. All content should have a byline (preferably by a company engineer) and be published Creative Commons with Attribution, so you’re welcome to re-publish on your own blog.

The most interesting posts are those that teach or show how to do something in a way maybe others haven’t thought of. Good blog posts show hurdles that were encountered and explain how they were overcome (not that everything is rainbows and unicorns). When showing upstreaming of a patch fixing an issue for others, link back to the Github issue, so readers can follow along. We don’t avoid critical commentary or broad issues, but approach them with sensitivity, professionalism and tact in a way that is beneficial and positive for the community. It would be helpful to the R Consortium to discuss how to choose between different technologies and how to accommodate different legacy issues and cloud platforms. 

Be interesting and inspiring! 

Promotion

Your blog will be shared on R Consortium’s Twitter channel. Please feel free to retweet or share. Don’t forget to share your work on your own social channels and favorite news aggregator sites. Suggested sites: Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Hacker News, DZone, TechBeacon. Plus industry sites like: https://www.r-bloggers.com/about/, rweekly.org and reddit.com/r/Rlanguage.

How to submit for consideration

Please submit the blog post or a brief summary and the topic of the post to R-marketing@lists.r-consortium.org (with the Subject line: “Proposed Blog: BLOG TITLE”) for consideration. The PR team will review your submission in a timely manner and provide the green light to draft the entire article or provide feedback on next steps. If you are submitting an article or presentation that already exists, please send it in its entirety with a note on the expressed permission from the owner of content. Once your submission has been approved, it will be added to our blog publishing calendar and a publish date will be provided, so you may plan to promote accordingly through your personal and company social media channels. Blog posts should be no longer than 1,000 words and no shorter than 300 words. Diagrams, code examples or photos are strongly encouraged.

R Consortium Community Grants and Sponsorships Top USD $1,000,000

By Announcement

Fall Grant Application Cycle Starts September 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, August 28, 2019 – The R Consortium, a Linux Foundation project supporting the R Foundation and R community, today announced a major milestone of $1,000,000 in grants and sponsorships approved. This includes both grants for R projects like R-hub, R-Ladies, RC RUGS, and many more, and community event sponsorships, like financial support for useR! 2019, R Cascadia, R/Medicine, and other R events large and small worldwide. The nonprofit organization also announced that they will begin accepting Fall Grant Cycle proposals starting September 2019.

Grants are awarded in areas of software development, developing new teaching materials, documenting best practices, standardising APIs or other areas of research that “broadly help the R community.” Full details for submitting a proposal, deadlines, and a list of previously funded projects is available at: https://www.r-consortium.org/projects/call-for-proposals

“The goal of the R Consortium is to strengthen the R community by improving infrastructure and building for long term stability,” said Hadley Wickham, Infrastructure Steering Committee Chair, R Consortium. “The grants help support important projects that impact many R users through better software and stronger communities. We are so grateful for the immense work that the R community does and so happy that we can contribute back.”

Example sponsorship and grant recipients include:

  • R-hub, a centralised tool for checking R packages;
  • R-Ladies, a world-wide organization whose mission is to promote diversity in the R community;
  • RC RUGS, the R Consortium’s R user group and small conference support program;
  • SatRDays, bootstrapping a system for local R conferences;
  • Testing DBI and improving key open source database backends.

A complete list of projects that previously received grants is available at https://www.r-consortium.org/projects/awarded-projects

“In the R-hub project we created and operate a multi-platform build and check service for R packages, free to use for everyone in the R community, thanks to the support of the R Consortium,” said Gábor Csárdi, software engineer at RStudio, and author and maintainer of R-hub. “As of today R-hub supports 20 platforms on four operating systems (macOS, Windows, Linux, Solaris), and since its start it has handled 68,000 submissions, for more than 3,000 different R packages, from more than 2,000 package maintainers. It has become a key tool for R developers around the world.”

“Thanks to R Consortium for their support in helping R-Ladies grow to 167 groups in 47 countries with close to 50,000 members,” said Gabriela de Queiroz, Senior Engineering and Data Science Manager at IBM and Founder of R-Ladies. “With their support, we’re able to help people who identify as underrepresented minority achieve their programming potential through our network of R leaders, mentors, and learners.”

“RC RUGS is able to focus on supporting user groups and smaller conferences around the world, filling a real need to support grass-roots organizations that are not in large cities or other well-known locations. There are great R communities around the world in many different locations. This year we are delighted to see user groups applying from Latin America, Africa, South Asia and other underserved regions throughout the world,” said Joseph Rickert, R Consortium Director and administrator of the program. “We are trying very hard to connect R users with limited resources into the greater R Community”. 

The 2019 Fall grant cycle open September 2019. More information on submitting a proposal for a grant is available at: https://www.r-consortium.org/projects/call-for-proposals

About The R Consortium 

The R Consortium is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization and Linux Foundation project dedicated to the support and growth of the R user community. The R Consortium provides support to the R Foundation and to the greater R Community for projects that assist R package developers, provide documentation and training, facilitate the growth of the R Community and promote the use of the R language. For more information about R Consortium, please visit: http://www.r-consortium.org.


$50,000 in New Grants Approved

By Blog

The R Consortium actively supports new projects to help R development both technically and organizationally. Improving R infrastructure and building for long term stability are key goals of the R Consortium. These types of support cannot be matched by individual companies. 

The newest three projects that have been awarded grants have been announced. Congratulations to R-global, R ecosystem for meta-research, and R Community Collaboratives. These ambitious projects cover two technical areas – focusing on geographical coordinates and evidence synthesis – as well as resources and support to facilitate on-the-ground organization of community R events.

In total, over $50,000 in new grants were approved.

More projects will be funded soon. Is your R project one of them? See below for more information on applying for funding.

R-global: analysing spatial data globally

Edzer Pebesma (edzer.pebesma@uni-muenster.de)

https://github.com/r-spatial/global/

Currently, a number of R spatial functions assume that coordinates are two-dimensional, taken from a “flat” space, and may or may not work for geographical (long/lat) coordinates, depicting points on a globe. This project will try to make such functions more robust and helpful for the case of geographical coordinates. It will reconsider the concept of a bounding box, and build an interface to the S2 geometry library (http://s2geometry.io/), which powers several modern systems that assume geographic coordinates.

Expanding the ‘metaverse’; an R ecosystem for meta-research

Martin Westgate (martin.westgate@anu.edu.au)

https://rmetaverse.github.io

Evidence synthesis is the process of identifying, collating and summarizing primary scientific research to provide reliable, transparent summaries such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Despite their importance for linking research with policy, however, evidence synthesis projects are often time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to update. Open and reproducible workflows would help address these problems, but these workflows are poorly supported by the current package environment, preventing access by new users and hindering uptake of the well-developed suite of statistical tools for meta-analysis in R. The metaverse project will integrate and expand tools to support evidence synthesis and meta-research in R; suggest flexible workflows to complete these projects in a straightforward and open manner; and provide a collector package allowing easy access to these developments for new and experienced users.

R Community Collaboratives

Angela Li (angela@angelalidata.com)

https://github.com/unconf-toolbox

Previously known as the Unconf Toolbox, R Community Collaboratives provide resources and support to facilitate on-the-ground organization of community events. These events engage individuals in the R community through in-person collaboration on open source projects. R Collabs emphasize learning and mentorship, encouraging R users to become R developers. They are inspired by the unconference organized by rOpenSci, but are designed to encourage local organizers to put on events for their own community. To do so, this project develops useful technical and logistical infrastructure for R Collab organizers. These include a website template, an organizing handbook, and a project dashboard for reporting out.

Join the Grant Program!

Strengthening the R community by improving infrastructure and building for long term stability is one of the primary focuses of the R Consortium. To achieve this, the R Consortium’s Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) has developed a grant program to fund development of projects that broadly help the R community.

Everyone is encouraged to apply, regardless of experience or expertise!

For a description of the types of projects that are being funded, examples of previous projects, and more, please see our information here: https://www.r-consortium.org/projects/call-for-proposals

R Consortium Announces Event Sponsorships for 2019

By Blog

The R Consortium is committed to the R Community. We support R projects, meetups and events, via grants and sponsorships. Over the last four years, the R Consortium has given more than $125,000 in support of R events both large and small.  We are excited to announce the events we are sponsoring in 2019.

This year we wanted to support a few events in large metro areas with active groups, a mix of geographies, and finally industries that are up and coming.  A big thanks to all the amazing R event organizers who are all working to promote, improve, and grow the R language and community.

2019 Sponsorship funding goes to:

deRSE19, a conference for research software developers in Germany, is taking place June 4-5 at the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam. #deRSE19 welcomes scientists, but also people who finance, operate, develop, or maintain research software and do not usually attend conferences.

Cascadia R Conference, is in its third year, takes place on June 8th and serves the Pacific Northwest region of Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver BC. This event is the place to come together in the Pacific Northwest to discuss how people are solving everyday problems with the R language. Stay tuned for speaker announcements and follow them on twitter @cascadiarconf.

BioConductor is a conference focused on providing insights and tools required for the analysis and comprehension of high-throughput genomic data. The event takes place in New York City June 24-27. Speakers include Rob Patro,Jeffrey Leek, Elli Papaemmanuil, Simina Boca, Lieven Clement, Lihua Julie Zhu, Anshul Kundaje. Follow all the action on Twitter at #bioc2019.

UseR Toulouse This global event, July 9-12, in Toulouse, is the largest meeting of the R user and developer community. The program consists of both invited and user-contributed presentations. Invited keynote lectures cover a broad spectrum of topics ranging from technical and R-related computing issues to general statistical topics of current interest. Keynote speakers include Joe Cheng, CTO, RStudio, Julien Cornebise, Director of Research at Element AI (UK), Bettina Grün Professor, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (Austria), Julie Josse Professor, École Polytechnique (France) among others. In addition, R Consortium’s own Joe Rickert will be giving a talk on high-profile meetup groups and the work they are delivering. Follow the event on Twitter @UseR2019_Conf

EARL Conference The Enterprise Applications of the R Language Conference (EARL) is a cross-sector conference focusing on the commercial use of the R programming language and takes place in London, on September 10-12. The conference is dedicated to the real-world usage of R with some of the world’s leading practitioners. Workshops for 2019 include Shiny for Production, Deep Learning with Keras for R, and Package Development in R among others. Check the website for updates on speakers or join the mailing list or follow them on Twitter @earlconf ‏.

R/Medicine  The goal of the R/Medicine conference is to promote the use of the R programming environment and ecosystem in medical research and clinical practice. The event takes place September 12-14, 2019, New Haven, CT. Topic areas for R/Medicine include clinical trial design, the analysis of clinical trial data, personalized medicine, the analysis of patient records, the analysis of genetic data, the visualization of medical data, and reproducible research. For more information follow them on Twitter @r_medicine.

satRday Chicago, a brand new event, is a community-led, regional conference to support collaboration, networking, and innovation within the R community. Tracks for the event ranged from academic and civic applications to industry applications, upskilling reproducibility, statistical methodology and more.

New York R Conference united R enthusiasts and data scientists to explore, share, and inspire ideas. This year’s event covered a wide variety of R language topics from Machine Learning in R to GIS, to tidyverse and beyond by some of the best-known data scientists in the community including Andrew Gelman, Emily Robinson, Namita Nandakumar, Max Kuhn, Wes McKinney, Soumya Kalra, David Madigan. For more about the community visit their website at nyhackr.org, follow them on Twitter at @nyhackr and @rstatsnyc.

While our funding efforts are complete for 2019, we encourage the community to continue to share feedback on Twitter @Rconsortium about R events you’d like to see supported in the future. Let us know what conferences are important to you so we can continue to improve our processes and support for the community.

Census Academy Launches with Two R Courses

By Blog

by Ari Lamstein

Ari Lamstein is an independent consultant and organizer of the Census Working Group.

The US Census Bureau recently launched Census Academy, an online platform focused on training the public to learn about Census data. R Enthusiasts will be excited to learn that Census Academy has launched with two R-specific courses:

If you have an interest in using R to analyze US Census Data, then, in addition to the above courses, you might also want to read A Guide to Working with Census Data in R. The Guide summarizes the most popular datasets that the Census Bureau publishes, as well as the most popular R packages for working with Census Data.

A Guide to Working with Census Data in R was created as part of the R Consortium’s Census Working Group, which you can learn more about here.