R 3.5.1 update now available

Last week the R Core Team released the latest update to the R statistical data analysis environment, R version 3.5.1. This update (codenamed “Feather Spray” — a Peanuts reference) makes no user-visible changes and fixes a few bugs. It is backwards-compatible with R 3.5.0, and users can find updates for Windows, Linux and Mac systems at their local CRAN mirror. (The update to Microsoft R Open featuring the R 3.5.1 engine is scheduled for release on August 29.) The complete list of fixes to R 3.5.1 is included in the release announcement, found at the link below.  R-announce mailing list: R 3.5.1 is released
Original Post: R 3.5.1 update now available

Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 now available

Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 is now available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux. This update includes the open-source R 3.5.0 engine, which is a major update with many new capabilities and improvements to R. In particular, it includes a major new framework for handling data in R, with some major behind-the-scenes performance and memory-use benefits (and with further improvements expected in the future). Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 points to a fixed CRAN snapshot taken on June 1 2018. This provides a reproducible experience when installing CRAN packages by default, but you always change the default CRAN repository or the built-in checkpoint package to access snapshots of packages from an earlier or later date. Relatedly, many new packages have been released since the last release of Microsoft R Open, and you can browse a curated list of some interesting ones on the Microsoft…
Original Post: Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 now available

Microsoft R Open 3.4.4 now available

An update to Microsoft R Open (MRO) is now available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux. This release upgrades the R language engine to version 3.4.4, which addresses some minor issues with timezone detection and some edge cases in some statistics functions. As a maintenance release, it’s backwards-compatible with scripts and packages from the prior release of MRO. MRO 3.4.4 points to a fixed CRAN snapshot taken on April 1 2018, and you can see some highlights of new packages released since the prior version of MRO on the Spotlights page. As always, you can use the built-in checkpoint package to access packages from an earlier date (for reproducibility) or a later date (to access new and updated packages). Looking ahead, the next update based on R 3.5.0 has started the build and test process. Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 is scheduled for release…
Original Post: Microsoft R Open 3.4.4 now available

Big changes behind the scenes in R 3.5.0

A major update to R is now available. The R Core group has announced the release of R 3.5.0, and binary versions for Windows and Linux are now available from the primary CRAN mirror. (The Mac release is forthcoming.) Probably the biggest change in R 3.5.0 will be invisible to most users — except by the performance improvements it brings. The ALTREP project has now been rolled into R to use more efficient representations of many vectors, resulting in less memory usage and faster computations in many common situations. For example, the sequence vector 1:1000000 is now represented just by its start and end value, instead of allocating a vector of a million elements as earlier versions of R would do. So while R 3.4.3 takes about 1.5 seconds to run x <- 1:1e9 on my laptop, it’s instantaneous in R…
Original Post: Big changes behind the scenes in R 3.5.0

ICML Board and Reviewer profiles

ICML Board and Reviewer profiles The outcome of the election for the IMLS (which runs ICML) adds Emma Brunskill, Kamalika Chaudhuri, and Hugo Larochelle to the board. The current members of the board (and the reason for board membership) are: President Elect is a 2-year position with little responsibility, but I decided to look into two things. One is the website which seems relatively difficult to navigate. Ideas for how to improvement are welcome. The other is creating a longitudinal reviewer profile. I keenly remember the day after reviews were due when I was program chair (in 2012) which left a panic-inducing number of unfinished reviews. To help with this, I’m planning to create a profile of reviewers which program chairs can refer to in making decisions about who to ask to review. There are a number of ways to…
Original Post: ICML Board and Reviewer profiles

Microsoft R Open 3.4.3 now available

Microsoft R Open (MRO), Microsoft’s enhanced distribution of open source R, has been upgraded to version 3.4.3 and is now available for download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This update upgrades the R language engine to the latest R (version 3.4.3) and updates the bundled packages (specifically: checkpoint, curl, doParallel, foreach, and iterators) to new versions.  MRO is 100% compatible with all R packages. MRO 3.4.3 points to a fixed CRAN snapshot taken on January 1 2018, and you can see some highlights of new packages released since the prior version of MRO on the Spotlights page. As always, you can use the built-in checkpoint package to access packages from an earlier date (for reproducibility) or a later date (to access new and updated packages). MRO 3.4.3 is based on R 3.4.3, a minor update to the R engine (you can see the detailed list…
Original Post: Microsoft R Open 3.4.3 now available

Personal note on joining the Microsoft Cloud Advocates team

A quick personal note: today is my first day as a member of the Cloud Developer Advocates team at Microsoft! I’ll still be blogging and events related to R, and supporting the R community, but now I’ll be doing it as a member of a team dedicated to community outreach. As a bit of background, when I joined Microsoft back in 2015 via the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, I was thrilled to be able to continue my role supporting the R community. Since then, Microsoft as a whole has continue to ramp up its support of open source projects and to interact directly with developers of all stripes (including data scientists!) through various initiatives across the company. (Aside: I knew Microsoft was a big company before I joined, but even then took me a while to appreciate the scale of the…
Original Post: Personal note on joining the Microsoft Cloud Advocates team

Vowpal Wabbit 8.5.0 & NIPS tutorial

Vowpal Wabbit 8.5.0 & NIPS tutorial Yesterday, I tagged VW version 8.5.0 which has many interactive learning improvements (both contextual bandit and active learning), better support for sparse models, and a new baseline reduction which I’m considering making a part of the default update rule. If you want to know the details, we’ll be doing a mini-tutorial during the Friday lunch break at the Extreme Classification workshop at NIPS. Please join us if interested.
Original Post: Vowpal Wabbit 8.5.0 & NIPS tutorial