Few weeks ago we finished Why R? 2020 conference. We had an honour to host Jan Vitek, a Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University. This post contains a biography of the speaker and an abstract of his talk: R MELTS BRAINS - or How I Learned to Love Failing at Compiling R.
Wouldn’t you like to have you R code run as fast as C? What if you could write a loop without fear of waiting for hours that it complete? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could load massive datasets and be confident that R can handle them? Wouldn’t it be cool if R was the next Julia? This talk is about how to compile R programs into native executables. Replacing R’s interpreter with a compiler and thus getting code that is both fast and efficient in memory. It tells the story of years of attempts and explains why fast R is still not there yet. We will touch on different ways to reach the goals and how those approach would affect the user experience. The story is not pretty and then ending is still uncertain. Enter at your own perils.
By Jan Vitek