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John Chambers recounts the history of S and R

"R has had a revolutionary effect on the way statistics are communicated." So says John Chambers: one of the members of the R-core team overseeing R; and co-inventor of the S language. In this interview with Trevor Hastie (his co-author on Statistical Models in S), John Chambers recounts his involvement in the birth of the S language in 1976, and how it evolved over the years to become the inspiration for the R language.   (via Siamak Faridani.) One interesting tid-bit from the video: John Chambers owns the original CD-ROM (serial number #1) of R 1.0.0, released on February 29 2001, and signed by all the members of R-core. In 1998, John Chambers won the ACM Software Systems award for the S language, which the ACM heralded as having "forever altered how people analyze, visualize, and manipulate data". He generously used the prize money to create the John M Chambers Statistical Software Award, which recognizes innovative statistical software written by an undergraduate or graduate student. If you know a deserving recipient, the deadline for nominations for the 2014 award is February 18.

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More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

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