R is an open source programming language for statistical computing, data analysis, and graphical visualization. R has an estimated one million users worldwide, and its user base is growing. While most commonly used within academia, in fields such as computational biology and applied statistics, it is gaining currency in commercial areas such as quantitative finance and business intelligence.
Among R's strengths as a language are its powerful built-in tools for inferential statistics, its compact modeling syntax, its data visualization capabilities, and its ease of connectivity with persistent data stores (from databases to flatfiles).
In addition, R's open source nature and its extensibility via add-on "packages" has allowed it to keep up with the leading edge in academic research.
For all its strengths, though, R has an admittedly steep learning curve; the first steps towards learning and using R can be challenging.
To this end, the Bay Area R Users Group is dedicated to bringing together area practitioners of R to exchange knowledge, inspire new users, and spur the adoption of R for innovative research and commercial applications.