R conference

Here is my writeup of useR R conference.

Austria is a nice country to live in, and I really like Vienna. I planned to absolutely rave about it when I returned to Finland, but then as I walking home from a bus stop I couldn’t help but notice how quiet Helsinki is. And I live in the middle of Kallio!

Vienna has lots of amazing buildings:

Facade

Hehe… And it was super to see some old friends. Public transport was great. The useR conference !

vigentte(“grid”) when I get pissed off with normal R graphics placement.

I learnt interfacing with R is non-trivial problem. Security being my biggest concern.

I sat in a few Financial track lectures, and it was interesting to hear how 99% of investment traders base their trades on Excel quality statistics. All those city jobs for supporting M$, and that’s how they work… with blunt tools.

Insightful's Jeff Coombs giving a slick CEO talk was quite facinating. R users heard how S-plus makes products out of R packages. He was asking that R and S should become more compatible. And I think it was Dirk on behalf of the R community who asked... "What do we get out from this?". I wonder if Jeff knew what he was saying when he said we send bug reports. Whoopee.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the conference was Brian Ripley’s presentation on Data Mining. It was great how he attacked the dubious synonyms of Data Mining, KDD and well… data dredging. He pointed how it came out of machine learning, where machine learning is statistics plus marketing minus assumptions. =) He also showed up how Biostaticians typically never have enough subjects. Finally he parted on some advice, that statistical linear methods are fine and don’t get tempted by the hip Neural Networks et al.

R is very interesting free software project. It brings together computer scientists, polictical scientists, financial/business, statisticians, biostaticians, seimologists, geoligists, weather forcasters and other random geeks. =)

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