Yihui Xie

A Few Notes on UseR! 2014

Yihui Xie / 2014-07-26


It has been a month since the UseR! 2014 conference, and I’m probably the last one who writes about it. UseR! is my favorite conference because it is technical and not too big. I have completely lost interest in big and broad conferences like JSM (to me, it has become Joint Sightseeing Meetings). Karl has written two blog posts about UseR! (1-2, 3-4), and I’m going to add a few more observations here. An important disclaimer before I move on: Karl Broman is not responsible for videotaping at UseR! 2014 (neither am I), and he is not even on the conference committee. I accidentally mentioned the videos when replying his tweet, which seemed to have caused confusion unfortunately. Any questions about the conference, including the time to publish videos, should be directed to the official organizing committee.

The conference website is hosted on Github. Awesome. Speakers can add links to their slides through pull requests. Genius. It is a little sad, though, that each UseR conference has its own website and twitter handle. There should have been a single website, a single domain name, and a single twitter account managing all the R conferences each year. Fragmentation is just such a natural thing in programmers’ world.

The on-campus dorms were fantastic (oh when I wrote “dorm” I almost typed “dnorm”), which saved us time on transportation. Dining halls were on campus as well. Breakfast was perfect, although I could not stand eating sandwiches, hamburgers, or pizza for four days. Okay, let’s talk about the talks. You can find most of the slides on the conference website.

Finally it is rumor time: