R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, used by a growing number of economists, engineers, and data analysts every day at Google. We’ve even published our R Style Guide on Google Code. The R community has done a lot of great work with Google APIs, such as integrating the R programming language with Google Earth, Protocol Buffers, and Google Docs.

I've just returned from the annual useR! conference for the open source R programming language. This year the conference attracted nearly 500 individuals to the NIST campus outside Washington D.C.

The conference provided a great opportunity to meet with some of the package authors that are working on third-party extensions, including Romain Francois and Dirk Eddelbuettel who jointly gave a pair of well-attended talks on their RProtoBuf and Rcpp packages.

In addition to the 3 days of tutorials, panels, and presentations, Google sponsored a dinner for conference attendees at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. to facilitate the "hallway track" of informal discussions outside of the official conference program.

Thanks to all those presenters, sponsors, and organizers involved in putting together a successful conference. For those who weren’t able to attend, the abstracts and slides from the 168 presentations and a more limited number of videos are available from the technical sessions. Hope to see you next year...

By Murray Stokely, Software Engineering Team