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Hadley Wickham, the Man Who Revolutionized R

Wickham earned his renown as the preeminent developer of packages for R, a programming language developed for data analysis. Packages are programming tools that simplify the code necessary to complete common tasks such as aggregating and plotting data. He has helped millions of people become more efficient at their jobs -- something for which they are often, and . The packages he has developed are used by tech behemoths like Google, Facebook and Twitter, journalism heavyweights like the New York Times and FiveThirtyEight, and government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 

Truly, he is a giant among data nerds.

Wickham is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Rice University, interested in interactive and dynamic graphics, in developing practical tools for data analysis, and in gaining better understanding of  complex statistical models through visualisation. In July 2008, he completed his PhD in statistics at Iowa State University with Di Cook and Heike Hofmann.

Teaching by Wickham

  • stat645: Data visualisation. Rice University, Spring 2011.
  • stat310: Introduction to probability and mathematical statistics. Rice University, Spring 2011 (previously taught Spring 10 and Spring 09).
  • stat405: Statistical computing. Rice University, Fall 2009. (Previously taught in Fall 2008.)
  • stat480: Applied statistical computing. ISU, Spring 2007/08.
  • hon322f: Escape from flatland. ISU, Spring 2007

R packages

  • ggplot2, an implementation of the Grammar of Graphics in R
  • Tools for model visualisation: classifly (classification boundaries), clusterfly (clusterings) and meifly (ensembles of linear models)
  • DescribeDisplay, a package for recreating GGobi graphics in R
  • rggobi for fluidly moving data and metadata between R and GGobi
  • plyr, a package that generalises and standardises the apply family of functions for problems that require you to split up a large data structure into multiple pieces, apply a function to each piece and then join the pieces back together
  • testthat, a friendly unit testing framework for R
  • profr, an alternative visualisation for profiling data
  • reshape for flexibly restructuring data in R

Under development

  • tourr, with Di Cook. A package for powering all sorts of tours (grand, guided, local, planned, rock) from R
  • localmds, with Lisha Chen.
  • decumar, a literate programming interface for R (an alternative to sweave)
  • eval.with.details, an enhanced version of eval that gives you complete control over output

This article was first posted here. In this version, only the summary is included, and we've added sections about his teaching and R packages.

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