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by Andrie de Vries

A few days ago I watched a YouTube video of a TEDx presentation "The surprising beauty of mathematics" by Jonathan Matte at TEDxGreensFarmsAcademy.

In this presentation, Jonathan speaks eloquently about his love for mathematics, and specifically about a way of generating the Archimedes spiral using a series of embedded squares.

by B. W. Lewis

This note warns about potentially misleading results when using the use=pairwise.complete.obs and related options in R’s cor and cov functions. Pitfalls are illustrated using a very simple pathological example followed by a brief list of alternative ways to deal with missing data and some references about them.

For anyone who works with financial data and has access to a Bloomberg terminal, there is a new R package to interface to Bloomberg data services: RBlpapi. (If you had searched for an R connection to Bloomberg you wouldn’t have found this one — Bloomberg is happy to have software that connects to its public API, but not to use its name, apparently.)

I'm heading over to Australia for the next couple of weeks — mostly to visit family, but if you're in Sydney on June 25 you can catch me at the SURF meeting.

R is now integrated with Apache Spark, the open-source cluster computing framework. The Databricks blog announced this week that yesterday's release of Spark 1.4 would include SparkR, "an R package that allows data scientists to analyze large datasets and interactively run jobs on them from the R shell".

by Joseph Rickert

In a little over three weeks useR! 2015 will convene in Aalborg, Denmark and I am looking forward to being there and learning and talking about R user groups. The following map shows the big picture for R User Groups around the world.

However, it is very difficult to keep it up to date. Just after the map "went to press" I learned that a new user group formed in Norfolk Virginia last month. In fact, at least 11 new R user groups have formed so far this year.

In case you missed them, here are some articles from May of particular interest to R users.

RStudio 0.99 released with improved autocomplete and data viewer features.

A tutorial on the new Naive Bayes classifier in the RevoScaleR package.

by John Mount Ph. D.
Data Scientist at Win-Vector LLC

32 bit data structures (pointers, integer representations, single precision floating point) have been past their "best before date" for quite some time. R itself moved to a 64 bit memory model some time ago, but still has only 32 bit integers. This is going to get more and more awkward going forward. What is R doing to work around this limitation?

By David Smith

I was on a panel back in 2009 where Bow Cowgill said, "The best thing about R is that it was written by statisticians. The worst thing about R is that it was written by statisticians." R is undeniably quirky — especially to computer scientists — and yet it has attracted a huge following for a domain-specific language, with more than two million users wordwide.