Why R? Foundation in 2018

2018 was a year of changes in the world of Why R?. Aside from organizing another iteration of our main event, the Why R? 2018 Conference, we managed to start two new initiatives: Why R? pre-meetings and Why R? Supporting Grant for Women in Data Science.

We have grown into ranks of international R events while still keeping our scope of promoting R in Poland. The main event, Why R? 2018, happened in Wrocław in July. We managed to attract over 250 R enthusiasts from all over the Europeand share with them our passion for the data analysis. The more in-depth report from Why R? 2018 is available on our blog.

Conferences are great! Lot of R people gathered in a single location guarantees a rapid exchange of experience and ideas. On the other hand, conferences require an investment of the time and money, just to reach the venue and participate in the event.

In Why R? we understand how busy R folks are. So we decided to start a new series of events, Why R? pre-meetings. A pre-meeting is a mini-Why R?, a local event happening directly in your location. In 2018 we organized eleven pre-meetings, half of of them abroad. Why R? pre-meetings were possibly only thanks to diligence and energy of local R user groups. Thank you for your support!

Packages are bread-and-butter of R, a vital tool that allows R enthusiasts to exchange their creations in an easy and accessible way. Although packages are so useful, their development is always associated with a lot of challenges, including huge time investments. All members of the Why R? Foundation are active R developers and that is why we understand all hardships related to maintaining an R package. One of our goals is to award the best of young package maintainers with financial support that will help them to continue their work for the R community. To further increase the diversity of our environment, we started our initiative with the Why R? Supporting Grant for Women in Data Science. In 2018, Alicja Gosiewska, Ph.D. student at Warsaw University of Technology, received our grant for her achievements in the development of the auditor package. We hope to increase the size and number of awarded grants in 2019.

During 2018 we laid a cornerstone for a current Why R? strategy. New challenges, as pre-meetings and supporting grants, require more manpower. We are looking for volunteers, who would like to help us in our endeavors as organizing the Why R? 2019 and pre-meetings.

See you at Why R? 2019 and let us hope for an even better year for the R community.