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useR 2012

The 8th International R User Conference

Vanderbilt University; Nashville, Tennessee, USA

12th-15th June 2012

Revolution Analytics OpenAnalytics American Credit Acceptance CRC Press Sage

Table of Contents

Reviews of the Conference


Stephania McNeal-Goddard
Assistant to the Chair
Phone: 615.322.2768
Fax: 615.343.4924
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Department of Biostatistics
S-2323 Medical Center North
Nashville, TN 37232-2158

Program Highlights

Conference Program

The conference schedule and general information are given in the program booklet. A printed version will be available at the conference registration desk.
Conference Program - Finalized: 16:30, 5 June 2012.

Abstract Booklet

Draft Abstract Booklet - Updated: 16:00, 12 June 2012.

Keynote and Invited Speakers

Keynote Speakers:

Di Cook Every Plot Must Tell a Story - even in R
Kevin Coombs Cell Lines, Chemotherapy Response, and the Need for Reproducible Research
Bill Venables R, Quo Vadis?; Slides; Paper

Invited Speakers:

Tim Hesterberg A Tale of Two Packages
Norm Matloff Parallel R, Revisited
Yihui Xie & JJ Allaire New Tools for Reproducible Research with R
Bryan Hanson HiveR: 2 and 3D Hive Plots of Networks
Simon Urbanek Web-based Interactive Graphics and R in the Cloud

Short Course

The internationally renowned statistician Bill Venables will offer a pre-conference short course the day of June 11th, 2012! The short course curriculum is a gentle survey of modern data analysis, graphics, and statistical modeling in the style of Modern Applied Statistics with S, Venables' classic textbook with co-author Brian D. Ripley. The course will include developments both in R and statistics since the latest edition. Materials for the short course may be retrieved by downloading one of the archives below:

.tar.gz archive venables.tar.gz
.zip archive venables.zip

NOTE Windows users getting "does not appear to be a valid archive" message can download the winrar archiver from http://www.rarlab.com to uncompress the .zip file. However you have to fill out an offer form for Netflix etc. to get winrar for free. Or try http://www.winzip.com .


useR! 2012 is proud to host a series of half-day tutorials the morning and afternoon of June 12th, 2012. Tutorials span a variety of topics and should appeal to a wide audience.

The useR! 2012 program will begin officially at 8:30am Wednesday, June 13th. Technical sessions will take place Wednesday and Thursday all day, and Friday morning. The poster session will be held Wednesday evening. The conference will conclude at 12:30pm Friday, June 15th.

Terri Scott & Frank Harrell Reproducible Research with R, LaTeX, Sweave, & knitr
Uwe Ligges Writing efficient and parallel code in R
Dirk Eddelbuettel & Romain François Introduction to Rcpp
Douglas Bates Fitting and evaluating mixed models using lme4
Jeremiah Rounds RHIPE: R and Hadoop Integrated Programming Environment
Jeffrey Horner Building R Web Applications with Rook
Brandon Whitcher, Jörg Polzehl, & Karsten Tabelow Medical Image Analysis in R
Richard Heiberger & Martin Maechler Emacs Speaks Statistics
Olivia Lau A Crash Course in R Programming
Hadley Wickham Creating effective visualisations
Josh Paulson, JJ Allaire, & Joe Cheng Getting the Most Out of RStudio
Romain François & Dirk Eddelbuettel Advanced Rcpp Usage
Terry Therneau Design of the Survival Packages
Martin Morgan Bioconductor for High-Throughput Sequence Analysis
Max Kuhn Predictive Modeling with R and the caret Package
Robert Muenchen Managing Data with R
Barry Rowlingson Geospatial Data in R and Beyond
Karim Chine Cloud Computing for the R environment

Call for Abstracts and Tutorial Proposals

Note: The regular abstract submission deadline has passed. Online submission is available for late-breaking poster abstracts only. Participants are encouraged to submit a one-page abstract for oral or poster presentation at useR! 2012. Half-day tutorials will be held in the morning and afternoon of June 12th. All innovative and interesting applications of R are suitable. Abstracts and proposals should be directed toward the intended audience. Submitted material may be linked from this and other conference websites, and printed in the conference booklet. Past abstracts and tutorials have spanned the following topics:

  • Bayesian statistics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biostatistics
  • Chemometrics and computational physics
  • Data mining
  • Econometrics & finance
  • Environmetrics & Ecological Modeling
  • High Performance Computing
  • Imaging
  • Interfaces with hardware and other languages/software
  • Machine Learning
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Nonparametric Statistics
  • Pharmaceutical Statistics
  • Psychometrics
  • Spatial Statistics
  • Statistics in the Social and Political Sciences
  • Teaching
  • Visualization & Graphics

As in past conferences, the poster session will be a major social event and submissions for this session are actively encouraged. Submissions for contributed talks will be considered for the following types of session:

  • useR! Kaleidoscope - These sessions give a broad overview of the many different applications of R and should appeal to a wide audience.
  • useR! Focus Sessions - These sessions focus on topics of special interest and may be more technical.

For regular talks/posters, please use the abstract templates available below in Microsoft Word/LibreOffice Writer or LaTeX formats, with an BibTeX example provided for the latter.

The schedule of tutorials and assignment of talks to sessions will be made by the program committee. Contributed oral presentations will be allowed 17 minutes, followed by 3 minutes discussion. In addition to regular contributed talks, all participants are invited to present a Lightning Talk, for which no abstract is required. These talks provide a 5-minute platform to speak on any R-related topic and should particularly appeal to R beginners. The format for Lightning Talks will be a 15-slide version of Pecha Kucha. Participants wishing to give such a talk must provide an informative title on their registration form.

Late-breaking Posters

Abstracts may be submitted for posters presenting recent developments and late-breaking applications of R, on topics as indicated in the earlier call for abstracts (see above).

Late-breaking posters will be displayed during the Poster session alongside regular posters, and they will appear in the electronically published book of abstracts for the conference. However, these abstracts may not appear in the conference booklet. To submit a late-breaking poster abstract, please use the online submission form below. Please use the abstract templates. Contact authors will be informed whether or not their abstract has been accepted usually within 5 days.


  • Tutorial Submission: Dec 1 - Jan 15
  • Tutorial Acceptance Notification: Jan 16 - Jan 22
  • Abstract Submission: Dec 1 - Mar 12
  • Abstract Acceptance Notification: Mar 13 - Apr 15


One-page abstracts and tutorial proposals should be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF). LaTeX/BibTeX users may use pdflatex to generate a PDF document. LibreOffice Writer gives the option to "Export as PDF" under the "File" menu. Microsoft Word users may be required to use a third-party tool to convert from Word format to PDF. It is the responsibility of the submitter to ensure that the document is free of grammatical and spelling errors.

Microsoft Word / LibreOffice Template useR2012_template.doc
LaTeX Template useR2012_template.tex
BibTeX Template useR2012_template.bib
Example Abstract/Tutorial Proposal (PDF) useR2012_template.pdf

Online Submission

Note: Abstract submission is closed. The preferred method of abstract and tutorial proposal submission is via the web form below (removed 6/27/2012). In the case that this mechanism fails, abstracts and tutorial proposals may be submitted by email to Stephania McNeal-Goddard: stephania.mcneal-goddard@vanderbilt.edu.


Note: Registration is closed.


  • Early Registration: Jan 23 24 - Feb 29
  • Regular Registration: Mar 1 - May 12
  • Late Registration: May 13 - June 4
  • On-site Registration: June 12 - June 15


  Academic Non-Academic Student/Retiree
Registration: Early $290 $440 $145
Registration: Regular $365 $560 $185
Registration: Late $435 $645 $225
Registration: On-site $720 $720 $360
Short Course $200 $300 $100
Tutorial $80 $120 $40

Online Registration

Registration for useR! 2012 is now open! Please visit the Online Registration Website.


Through generous sponsor support, a limited number of student scholarships1 are available for reimbursement of travel and registration costs up to $500. The allocation will be based on merit and need. Students who wish to apply should send an application to Tatsuki Koyama (tatsuki.koyama@vanderbilt.edu) no later than April 15th, 2012. Include a brief CV, a copy of your abstract if one was submitted, a statement that demonstrates your need for financial assistance, and a letter of support from your supervisor.

Travel and Lodging Information

Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Air Travel

The nearest major airport to Vanderbilt University is the Nashville International Airport (BNA). The airport is about 10 miles east of the campus and downtown Nashville. The BNA website maintains a list of ground transportation options for air travelers. The approximate taxi fare from the airport to Vanderbilt University is $27. Shuttles and buses are also available from the airport. The latter is economical (approximate fare is $1.60), but the travel time is more than an hour.

Car Travel

Nashville is located at the intersection of three major interstates. Interstate 40 approaches from the east and west, interstate 24 from the northwest and southeast, and interstate 65 from the northeast and south.


Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville
2100 West End Avenue
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
(800) 336-3335 Reservation Phone Line
(615) 320-1700 Hotel Phone
(615) 320-0576 Fax
Special Rate Extended: Room Rate/Range: $169.00 (plus tax)
Available Dates: Monday, June 11, 2012 – Friday, June 15, 2012
Rate Code: VAN612

Venue and Maps

The conference will take place in three separate buildings on campus. Bill Venables' pre-conference short course will take place in the Vanderbilt Student Life Center (SLC). Tutorials will be held in one of three buildings: the Student Life Center (SLC), Light Hall (RLH), or Medical Center North (MCN). The conference program contains two maps of campus. The small-scale map illustrates the entire campus, but highlights Light Hall/Langford auditorium. The large-scale map highlights the Student Life Center, Light Hall, and Medical Center North. The Student Life Center is located near the intersection of 25th Avenue South and Vanderbilt Place. Light Hall and Medical Center North are both located near the intersection of Garland Avenue and Stevenson Center Drive. The interactive map below illustrates the locations of conference hotels, on-campus housing, parking (for those not staying on-campus), and the conference venues.

View useR! 2012 Hotel Map in a larger map

There is also an Interactive Vanderbilt Campus Map.

On-campus Housing

Due to constraints, on-campus housing will be available only to full-time student registrants after April 18th, 2012. On campus housing for the useR! conference will be in the Gillette House, located on the Commons. Gillette house is about 500 feet east of the intersection of Dixie Place and 21st Avenue South, or 500 yards west of the intersection of Horton Avenue and 18th Avenue South. Linen service will be provided, which includes top sheet, bottom sheet, pillow, pillow case, towel, washcloth and a knit blanket. The rate including this is $30.43 per person, per night in a double room and $41.75 per night for a private/single room. This is with hall baths in a traditional residence hall building. For a flat fee of $10 per bed, our staff will also prepare the beds so that they are ready to be slept in upon arrival. Parking is $10 per car, per day for overnight guests. Reservations for on-campus housing can be made during the conference registration process. Please direct any questions about on-campus accommodations to Elizabeth Stout at 615-343-1402 or via email at elizabeth.r.stout@vanderbilt.edu.


Conference parking (during the day) will be available at the 25th Avenue Garage, located at the intersection of Jess Neely Drive and 25th Avenue South, on Vanderbilt’s campus. The cost for each day would be $7.75 per vehicle, and each car would get a hangtag parking pass for the event. Shuttles will run regularly between all the host hotels and the conference venues while the conference is in session. If you need to arrange handicapped parking, please contact Natalie Raines at 615.343.3320.

Local Information

Program Committee

Organizing Committee

  • JohnBock
  • AudreyCarvajal
  • WilliamCunningham
  • ChrisFonnesbeck
  • FrankHarrell
  • TatsukiKoyama
  • StephaniaMcNealGoddard
  • JoAnnAlvarez
  • MattShotwell
  • YannaSong
  • SherryStokes
  • YuweiZhu

1. The term "scholarship" is used in a generic sense, i.e. an amount of money granted to a scholar for the pursuit of scholarly activities. No other support or commitment is implied by use of the term "scholarship".
Topic revision: r132 - 24 Feb 2013, MattShotwell

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