Review: R Lightning Talks at R Users Meetup

If you like statistics, data analysis, and visual graphs, the DC R Users group delivered on Thursday, February 9th.  They met at LivingSocial’s Chinatown location to cover a series of short presentations centering around R programming language use cases and resources.

The following topics were covered:

  • Bayesian estimation with R and JAGS – Grant Cavanaugh
  • arules package, apriori algorithm (Market Basket Analysis) – John Dennison
  • Example of using R to query the google maps API to create a color-coded map of road and public transit times  – James Leopore
  • MCMC with Gibbs Sampling – Katya Vasilaky
  • Webscraping with R, RCurl – Robert Vesco
  • Git your Version Control on Using R and RStudio – Brian Danielak
  • R’s spatial tools – Lee De Cola

To start with, I was impressed by the large community.  Approximately 60+ attended the event.  The immediate takeaway I had as a non-R user, was “get RStudio IDE and try things out!”.   Additionally, the webscraping talk covered XPATH within R, and using Firebug + FireXPATH to help figure out what you want to scrape, before writing R code.  XPATH, as the speaker put it for us laymen types, is the “SQL for HTML documents”.  The Gibbs Sampling talk touched on machine learning through bootstrap aggregating (bagging).

If you’re a data scientist, a statistician, or curious about data analysis, check out this group.  They like new comers.