The 6th Spanish R Users Conference

By Joseph Rickert

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

by Emilio L. Cano

The VI Spanish R Users Conference took place on October 23 and 24 in Santiago de Compostela (Spain). It was a two-day event with a variety of talks and workshops about the R statistical software and programming language and its applications.

First of all, let me thank all the local organizers, the melisa[1] association and the R-Hispano[2] association, also supported by cntg[3] and cixug[4]. The organizing committee team did a great job before and during the event. In my opinion, the conference was a great success, not only from the scientific and technological points of view, but also because of the personal interactions among all the participants.

We also wish to thank the conference sponsors. In addition to Revolution Analytics, that supports activities on a regular basis, the conference was sponsored by melisa (‘Terra de Melide’ free software users association), amtega (agency for technological modernization, Xunta de Galicia), GPUL (Group of Linux Programmers and Users), and AGASOL (Galician free software businesses association).

There were a total of 272 registered participants. 109 of them were able to follow the conference on-line thanks to the streaming service provided by the organization. Moreover, the recordings of the sessions, including some of the workshops, are already available at the conference program webpage for the general public. The slides and other resources such as the workshop materials are already available from the conference program. An abstracts booklet can also be downloaded with all the contributions.

In addition to the typical invited and regular talks one would find at a major R conference, workshops also played a prominent role. Thus, three parallel sessions of workshops were held, covering the following topics: R basics, Bayesian inference, raster data visualization, predictive models, time series visualization, and color perception and visualization with R.

As for the presentations: plenary talks, 15 minutes regular talks, and 5 minutes express talks were given. In the opening plenary talk, Miguel Á. Rodríguez Muíños gave an overview of graphical user interfaces with R, showing for example how they have deployed a Cardiovascular Risk Calculator at the Galician Health Department to be easily used by physicians. In the afternoon plenary talks, Carlos Gil Bellosta made us think about models as pets and herds, while Rafael Rodríguez Gayoso showed how they are spreading the use of R, among other free software, in Galicia. For example, with the translation of Rcommander to Galician or the hosting of a CRAN Mirror.

The remainder of the presentations encompassed topics such as demographics, biostatistics, spatial analysis, or statistical methodology, among others. Some of the speakers illustrated their advances using published packages, others just practical code, and several of them showcased their results with impressive shiny applications. See for example the one by Noema Afonso Casalderrey y Salvador Naya Fernández for their middle-town Galician study, or the two by Luis Mariano Esteban to make HUMS nomogram for Organ confined disease and growing curves.

Just to mention some of the Spanish R people contributing with published packages at CRAN and other repositories, you can see the slides by Rubén Fernández-Casal (npsp), Inés Garmendia (micromatch), María José Nueda (maSigPro), Manuel Fontenla (optrees), Manuel Oviedo de la Fuente (fda.usc), Emilio Torres-Manzaneda (freqweights), Oscar Perpiñán Lamigueiro (meteoForecast), and Emilio L. Cano (SixSigma).

As you may imagine, all of attendees also enjoyed the social events in such a beautiful city, kind people, and nice food.

Even though we are still catching our breath, we are already excited about the VII edition, which will take place next year in Salamanca, another historical and charming Spanish city. More details will be provided in due course both in the R-Hispano website and twitter account (@R_Hisp).


[1]’Terra de Melide’ free software users association
[2]Spanish association of R users
[3]Galician new technologies center
[4]Galician universities’ free software office

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