I have a lot of projects that will take ages to finish (some are in such poor shape that I tuck them away in private repositories, so no one can see my shame).  So sometimes it's nice to just take a weekend and crank out something start to finish, even if it's dumb and no one cares about it and fewer people want it.  Which brings us to the matter at hand.  There's a relatively famous XKCD comic Read more >>
For some reason, a relatively uninteresting observation of Ramanujan has become a bit of an internet celebrity among factoids lately.  Someone who's out to generate link bait makes a post stating that $latex 1+2+3+\dots = \frac{-1}{12}$ Now look.  I appreciate trolling as much as the next jerk, but people who really ought to know better are getting tricked by this.  In the usual sense of convergence, Read more >>
Naming Rules in R How are objects allowed to be named in R? As it turns out, this is a very different question from how should objects be named. This isn't about style conventions, camelCase, dots.verus_underscores, or anything like that; this is about what is strictly possible. I do a lot of outreach to HPC people who are starting to get an interest in R, often because their users are starting Read more >>
Sometimes intentionally writing bad code can be a lot of fun. Now here, when I say "bad", I mean something that's functional but completely incoherent to anything but the machine. There are even competitions for this kind of thing, but I only consider myself a dabbler in this dark art. Thankfully, it's often pretty easy to make obtuse code in R. Given that I have a weird admiration for bad code Read more >>
I've been too quiet around here for too long. I plan to rectify that soon.  As for why I've been absent for so long, the very short answer is that I lost the energy.  I'm working on a lot of really new and exciting software projects (~6 of them side projects I work on in my free time, mostly by myself).  Combine this with an aggressive work schedule, lots of traveling for the summer conference season, Read more >>
I've talked about the toy programming problem fizzbuzz on this blog a few times. In R, you might do something like this: Or to be a bit more R-ish, you might do something like: But there's a problem. That's all too readable! When I look at it, I know exactly what it's doing. Enter Fortran. I spend most of my life programming in Fortran these days --- which I then hook Read more >>
Over the weekend, we updated all of the pbdR packages currently available on the CRAN.  The updates include tons of internal housecleaning as well as many new features. Notably, pbdBASE_0.1-1 and pbdDMAT_0.1-1 were released, which contain lm.fit() methods.  This function in particular has been available at my github for over a month, but didn't make its way to the CRAN until recently because of Read more >>
I am very happy to introduce a new set of packages that has just hit the CRAN. We are calling it the Programming with Big Data in R Project, or pbdR for short (or as I like to jokingly refer to it, 'pretty bad for dyslexics'). You can find out more about the pbdR project at http://r-pbd.org/ The packages are a natural programming framework that are, from the user's point of view, a very simple Read more >>