Category

Announcement

R Consortium Simplifies Membership Structure to Increase Opportunities for Silver Level Members

By Announcement

Two membership levels now available: Platinum and Silver

SAN FRANCISCO, January 29, 2020 – The R Consortium, a Linux Foundation project supporting the R Foundation and R community, today announced a shift in its membership structure, allowing increased opportunities for Silver Level members. The new approach simplifies the membership structure to streamline the R Consortium organization, recruit more members, and attract expertise to technical committees and working groups. It is aimed at organizations that are interested in participating in R Consortium governance and helping steer direction of R language infrastructure development and events participation around the globe.

“We hope that simplifying the R Consortium membership structure will enable even more companies that benefit from the R language to join the R Community and help expand R’s unique contributions to statistical computing and open source data science,” said Joseph Rickert, R Community Ambassador, R Studio, and R Consortium Board Chair.

Full membership details, including benefits and pricing, are available here: https://www.r-consortium.org/about/join

“The R Consortium is strengthening the R community by improving infrastructure and building for long term stability. The more voices involved, the broader the support becomes. We wanted to explicitly reach out to companies and organizations that want to become members and care about the future of R. With this simplified structure, it is easier than ever to join our technical committees and working groups,” said Hadley Wickham, Infrastructure Steering Committee Chair, R Consortium. “The R community continues to grow and expand, and the R Consortium is making sure we accommodate that. We are already pleased with the increase in new membership inquiries. 2020 will be an exciting year for R development.”

How R Consortium membership helps support the R Community:

  • Supports operations of critical infrastructure that sustains the R ecosystem, anticipating challenges and planning contingencies 
  • Funds open-source community-driven projects that widely impact the R Community
  • Provides opportunities to form working relationships that transcend company affiliations
  • Enables better identification and recruitment of data scientists working in R
  • Builds freely available infrastructure, leveraged by citizen science, expanding participation

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.

About Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects like Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js and more are considered critical to the development of the world’s most important infrastructure. Its development methodology leverages established best practices and addresses the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org

# # #

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!

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.


2019 Update One: R Consortium and ISC Announce the Newest Funded Projects for the R Community

By Announcement, Blog

We are excited to announce a wide and diverse group of new R Consortium funded projects. If you are interested in finding out more about these projects, connect with the project owners via links provided below each project. 

New Projects include:

Strengthening of R in support of spatial data infrastructures management

Project Owner: Emmanuel Blondel

The project aims to strengthen the role of R in support of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) management, through major enhancements of the geometa R package which offers tools for reading and writing ISO/OGC geographic metadata, including ISO 19115, 19110, and 19119 through the ISO 19139 XML format. This also extends to the Geographic Markup Language (GML – ISO 19136) used for describing geographic data. The use of geometa in combination with publication tools such as ows4R and geosapi fosters the use of R software to ease the management and publication of metadata documents and related datasets in web catalogues, and then allows to move forward with a real R implementation of spatial data management plans based on FAIR (Findable, Accessible Interoperable and Reusable) principles.

The work plan includes several activities such as working on the completeness of the ISO 19115 (ISO 19115-1 and 19115-2) data model in geometa, functions to read/write multilingual metadata documents, and an increased metadata validation capability with a validator targeting the EU INSPIRE directive. Finally, functions will be made available to convert between geometa ISO/OGC metadata objects and other known metadata objects such as NetCDF-CF and EML (Ecological Metadata Language) to foster metadata interoperability. By providing these R tools, we seek to facilitate the work of spatial data (GIS) managers, but also data scientists, whatever the thematic domain, whose daily tasks consist in handling data, describing them with metadata and publishing datasets

Learn more about the project here

Catalyzing R-hub Adoption Through R Package Developer Advocacy

Project Owner:  Maëlle Salmon,

After the continuing technical progress of R-hub over the last two years, this project aims at
catalyzing its adoption by R package developers of all levels through developer advocacy. Indeed, R-hub is currently a successful and very valuable project, but it is not documented thoroughly, which hinders its wider adoption by package developers. This project shall answer this concern by three main actions: improving R-hub documentation, making R-hub
better known in the community and making the R-hub web site more attractive to, and easier to use by, R developers and users via the ingestion of METACRAN services and the creation of a R-hub blog.

Learn more about the project here

 

Licensing R – Guidelines and Tools

Project Owner: Colin Fay

Licensing is a vital part of Open Source. It provides guidelines for interacting with a program, and for making code accessible and reusable (or not). It provides a way to make code open source, in a way one wants to share it, protecting how it will be used and reused. Licensing is also challenging and complex: there are a lot of available licenses, and the choice is influenced by how you import and interact with elements from other packages and/or programs.

With this project, we propose to explore and document the current state of open source licenses in R, and to decipher compatibility and incompatibility elements inside these licenses, to help developers chose the best suited license for their project.
Screen reader support enabled.

Learn more about the project here and here.

 

Data-Driven Discovery and Tracking of  R Consortium Activities

Project Owner: Benaiah Chibuokem Ubah

This project proposes an infrastructure that provides a data-driven approach to render the yearly activities of the R Consortium, by deploying web pages for discovering and tracking ISC Funded Projects, RUGS and Marketing activities. These pages are planned to appear like dashboards summarizing activities in interactive tables and charts, presenting several views, trends and insights to what R Consortium has achieved over time. The project hopes that presenting these achievements in a data-driven manner to the R community, the data science community and prospective R Consortium members will promote greater transparency, productivity and community inclusiveness around R Consortium activities. Screen reader support enabled.

Learn more about the project here.

 

serveRless

Project Owners: Christoph Bodner, Florian Schwendinger, Thomas Laber

R is a great language for rapid prototyping and experimentation, but putting an R model in production is still more complex and time-consuming than it needs to be. With the growing popularity of serverless computing frameworks such as AWS Lambda and Azure Functions we see a huge chance to allow R developers to more easily deploy their code into production. We want to create an R package that provides a common API for different Function-as-a-Service providers such as Azure Functions and AWS Lambda.  We will also look into integrating Docker-as-a-Service (e.g. Azure Container Services) if appropriate. Our main goal is to build a user-friendly cloud agnostic wrapper that can be extended to include additional cloud providers later on. We want to build on the work already done for deploying R functions to AWS Lambda by Philipp Schirmer and on the work already done by Neal Fultz and Gergely Daróczi on a gRPC client/server for R, which is necessary for Azure Functions.

If you like our idea and want to help us, feel free to reach out to us on Github here

 

Next-Generation Text Layout in Grid and ggplot2

Project Owner: Claus Wilke

Text is a key component of any data visualization. We need to label axes and legends, we need to annotate or highlight specific data points, and we need to provide plot titles and captions. The R graphics package ggplot2 provides numerous features to customize the labeling and annotation of plots, but ultimately it is limited by the current capabilities of the underlying graphics library it uses, grid. Grid can draw simple text strings or mathematical expressions (via plotmath) in different colors, sizes, and fonts. However, it lacks functionality for changing formatting within a string (e.g., draw a single word in italics or in a different color), and it also cannot draw text boxes, where the text is enclosed in a box with defined margins, padding, or background color. This project will support the development of a new package, gridtext, that will alleviate these text formatting limitations. The project will also support efforts to make these new capabilities available from within ggplot2.

Learn more about the project here

 

Symbolic Formulae for Linear Mixed Models

Project Owner: Emi Tanaka

Symbolic model formulae define the structural component of a statistical model in an easier and often more accessible terms for practitioners. The earlier instance of symbolic model formulae for linear models was applied in Genstat with further generalization by Wilkinson and Rogers (1973). Chambers and Hastie (1993) describe the symbolic model formulae implementation for linear models in the S language which remains much the same in the R language (Venables et al. 2018).

Linear mixed models (LMMs) are widely used across many disciplines (e.g. ecology, psychology, agriculture, finance etc) due to its flexibility to model complex, correlated structures in the data. While the symbolic formula of linear models generally have a consistent representation and evaluation rule as implemented in stats::formula, this is not the case for LMMs. The inconsistency of symbolic formulae arises mainly in the representation of random effects, with the additional need to specify the variance-covariance structure of the random effects as well as structure of the associated model matrix that governs how the random effects are mapped to (groups of) the observational units. The differences give rise to confusion of equivalent model specification in different R-packages.

The lack of consistency in symbolic formula and model representation across mixed model software motivates the need to formulate a unified symbolic model formulae for LMMs with: (1) extension of the evaluation rules described in Wilkinson and Rogers (1973); and (2) ease of comprehension of the specified model for the user. This symbolic model formulae can be a basis for creating a common API to mixed models with wrappers to popular mixed model R-packages, thereby achieving a similar feat to parsnip R-package (Kuhn 2018) which implements a tidy unified interface to many predictive modeling functions (e.g. random forest, logistic regression, survival models etc).

We would like to find out what are your experiences with fitting linear mixed model in R! Please fill out this survey to help us understand your problems.

Learn more about the project here

 

Editorial Assistance for the R Journal

Project Owner: Di Cook  

This project supports the operation of the R Journal. There are two aspects, one is to fund an editorial assistant to send reminders about reviews, and assist with typesetting and copyediting issues. The second part is to explore updating the technical operations of the journal production.

Learn more about the project here

R Consortium Welcomes Genentech as Gold Member

By Announcement, News

SAN FRANCISCO, March 07, 2019 – The R Consortium, a Linux Foundation project supporting the R community, today welcomed Genentech as a Gold member.  Genentech is the first company in the pharmaceutical industry to join R Consortium and plans to support the community by contributing to pan-industry collaborative projects that further the adoption of R and its application to drug and biomarker discovery, clinical reporting and pharmaceutical data science.

Thousands of statisticians, analysts and scientists worldwide rely on the R language to allow them to analyze, model and visualize large, complex datasets and to create statistical software. In addition, R provides interfaces to other computing platforms, providing users with access to the best computations for understanding data. Interest in the language is growing across industries that rely on statistical computing including, journalism, finance, AI, and now healthcare.

“We are excited to join the R Consortium as a gold member,” said Alun Bedding, director of biostatistics at Genentech, and the Genentech representative for R Consortium. “We see R as the future of statistical analysis because of its flexibility and the strong active community behind it.”

Genentech’s decision to join the R Consortium highlights how the R language is particularly well suited not just to designing clinical trials, but other areas important to the pharmaceutical industry and more broadly, medical research. Some specific examples include; reproducible research, regulatory compliance and validation, safety monitoring, drug discovery, research & development, genomics, diagnostics, PK/PD/pharmacometrics, immunogenicity and more.

“We are pleased to welcome Genentech into the R Consortium family,” said Louis Bajuk, chair of the R Consortium Board of Directors and senior director of product management for streaming and advanced analytics at TIBCO Software. “We see great value in the symbiotic relationship between our organizations as R continues to expand into pharmaceutical data science.”

Genentech joins six existing R Consortium Gold and Platinum members, including: TIBCO, IBM, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft and RStudio.

About Genentech

Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.

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.

Media Contact

Nancy McGrory

The Linux Foundation nmcgrory@linuxfoundation.org


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.

 

R-users & Community: give us your feedback on a R Certification to teach & verify skilled R Professionals

By Announcement, Blog

In the past few years, we have seen an increase in the demand for R – both from employers looking for skilled R-users and professionals looking to further improve their skills. Due to this supply and demand gap, there have been various teaching channels created in an attempt to extend knowledge of the language. Even with the abundance of R teaching material, we still face a dearth of qualified, skilled R users. The inability to differentiate self-taught data scientists from qualified personnel creates confusion for employers and difficulties for quality professionals to separate themselves from the rest.

R Consortium started a working group that has identified an absence of a system to certify qualified R professionals as a cause for this problem. As a response to this, the group is working to create a certification for R that will allow professionals and students to acquire fundamental skills and knowledge of the language. Creation of this certification also aims to help recruiters identify and assess the skills of potential recruits. This group will be driven by the needs of the current R professionals and data science recruiters. More information about this initiative can be found here.

In order for this working group to create a valuable certification, we encourage community feedback in this initiative. Your feedback will help the working group to evolve this certification to best serve the needs of the R community. Please respond to this survey to help in the creation of this certification.

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.

On conduct and diversity in the R Community

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

An explicit goal of the R Consortium is to help create a welcoming space for everyone, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or age. Diversity and inclusion are essential to foster true collaboration, move ideas forward, and create long-term sustainable community.

R Consortium recently sponsored R/Finance 2018, where it was found that there were insufficient diversity and inclusion practices, including the absence of a prominently displayed Code of Conduct. This illuminated shortcomings with our existing processes for sponsoring conferences. We are troubled and disappointed to have sponsored a conference that does not reflect our core beliefs in diversity and inclusion.

The Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) has approved the creation of a new working group to address diversity and inclusion issues in the R community. The R Community Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (RCDI-WG), which will include members from R Community groups that promote diversity, such as R-Ladies and FORWARDS, event organizers, and key industry members, will focus on three areas:

  • Work with conferences organizers to ensure diversity is addressed as a priority in both their program committees and speaker lineups.
  • Establish recommended Code of Conduct and Diversity Guidelines for R Community events, which will be adopted by the R Consortium and required for any event that the R Consortium participates in.
  • Have an ongoing conversation on opportunities to drive diversity and inclusion across the R Community.

This group is open to any member of the R community, and you can join by signing up for the mailing list. The group plans to have a kickoff meeting soon to work on the Code of Conduct and Diversity Guidelines, with the goal to have them established later in summer 2018. Look for updates on progress on the R Consortium blog.