Welcome to the website for the R conference at the annual International Indian Statistical Association conference to be held on Thursday, December 26, in Mumbai, India. This conference has been endorsed by the R Foundation.

The conference seeks to bring together R users and data scientists from academia and industry to discuss and showcase applications of R in education, research and elsewhere. It is hoped that this will be a first in a series of large conferences involving R and data science, all over India and its vicinity.

A major goal of the conference is to make it feasible for R users in the region to attend an International conference with top speakers and a world-class program. We want to provide a face-to-face welcome into the international R community to as many people as possible from all backgrounds and circumstances. We are committed to producing a conference that reflects the great diversity of the R Community. Thanks to our sponsors, we are able to provide some student scholarships for attendees from India and neighboring countries. If you are a potential sponsor, please help us extend our reach (details on the sponsors page).

Who should attend?

The only requirement to benefit from this conference is that partcipants have familiarity with R and its package ecosystem. We welcome R users with all levels of expertise from basic to advanced from academia and industry. Beginners will be able to gain an understanding of the power R and see a wide range of applications. Advanced users will have the opportunity to present talks by submitting abstracts and posters. All users will benefit from the tutorials.


Email the organizers at r-iisa-2019@protonmail.com.

Conference Venue

The conference will be held in the Victor Menezes Convention Center on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.


Please navigate to the "conference details" section of the IISA conference website.

Gateway of India image under cc-by-sa 3.0: Credits

Program (Updated!)

This conference will be a a day-long, single-track event. The entire set of talk titles and abstracts is available in pdf format.

Invited Speakers

  • Susan Holmes, Professor of Statistics, Stanford University.
  • Martin Morgan, Research Professor, Biostatistics, SUNY, Buffalo and Director of the Bioconductor project.
The conference will also include talks by Jan Gorecki (H2O), Balasubramanian Narasimhan (Stanford University and R Foundation).

The morning session will include a tutorial and some talks. The afternoon session will consist of several talks of shorter and longer duration. This will be followed by poster session.

Time, Event, and Details
08:30 Check in
09:00 - 11:00 Invited Tutorial

R Packages for Communicating Reproducible Research

Martin Morgan

This tutorial is for all who wish to write R packages. R is a fantastic language for you to develop new statistical approaches for the analysis and comprehension of real-world data. R packages provide a way to capture your new approach in a reproducible, documented unit. An R package is surprisingly easy to create, and creating an R package has many benefits. In this tutorial we create an R package. We start with a data set and a simple script transforming the data in a useful way; perhaps you have your own data set and script? We replace the script with a function, and place the function and data into an R package. We then add documentation, so that our users (and our future selves) understand what the function does and how the function applies to new data sets. With an R package in hand, we can tackle more advance challenges: vignettes for rich narrative description of the package; unit tests to make our package more robust; and version control to document how we change the package. The final step in the development of our package is to share it with others, through github, through CRAN, or though domain-specific channels such as Bioconductor.
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:15 Contributed talks
  • How Do People Engage With UK Parliamentary Debates

    Pushkal Agarwal, King's College, London.

  • What is in a name: an analysis of diversity in India

    Sabir Ahamed, Pratichi Institute, India.

  • Are Business School Reviews Helpful? A Text Analysis and Machine Learning Approach with Evidence from India

    Soumyajyoti Datta, Indian Institute of Management, Indore.

  • Namma App: Exploring mobile monitoring air quality data using the Shiny package

    Adithi Upadhya, ILK Consultancy.

  • Simulation study using R for comparing Kaplan-Meier method with weighted Kaplan-Meier methods

    Jagathnath Krishna, Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.

12:15 - 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 - 14:30 Invited talk

Hidden variables: latent structure in bacterial communities in the human microbiome

Susan Holmes

The analyses of complex biological systems often results in output that may seem just as complex, with little useful knowledge extracted as a result of the multiple layers of information. Analogies with methods in textual analyses (Natural Language Processing) such as the use of latent variables methods provides useful interpretations as shown by Sankaran and Holmes, 2018. The use of multi-scale strategies is providing useful predictions of preterm birth and a deeper understanding of resilience of the human microbiome after antibiotic perturbations.

Our team has shown that Bayesian and Bootstrap approaches can provide nonparametric answers to the statistical challenges and have supplemented these with effective uncertainty visualization techniques distributed as Bioconductor/R packages (phyloseq, adaptiveGPCA, treelapse, bootLong). This presentation will include joint work with Kris Sankaran, Julia Fukuyama, Ben Callahan, Claire Donnat, Joey McMurdie, Pratheepa Jeganathan, Lan Huong Nguyen and David Relman's group at Stanford.
14:30 - 14:45 Break
14:45 - 15:45 Special contributed talks

  • Efficiency in data processing: data.table basics

    Jan Gorecki, H2O.

    We will briefly go through the db-benchmark report to see performance-wise state of data processing tools for operations such as aggregation and join. Then we will discuss basic concepts of data.table. How we can use extended version of data.frame `[` operator to achieve flexibility of expressing data processing operations in comprehensive and concise way.

  • Disciplined Convex Programming in R

    Balasubramanian Narasimhan, Stanford University.

    Convex optimization plays an important role in statistics and machine learning. We introduce CVXR, an R package for Disciplined Convex Programming (DCP), a way of formulating convex optimization problems in a natural mathematical syntax. Problem objectives and constraints can be constructed by combining constants, variables and parameters using a library of functions with known mathematical properties. The DCP calculus verifies the convexity, converts it using a graph implementation into a form that solvers, either open source or commercial, can handle. We will illustrate with a number of examples. This is joint work with Anqi Fu and Stephen Boyd.

15:45 - 16:30 Contributed talks

  • Exploring probability distributions for bivariate temporal granularities

    Sayani Gupta, Monash University.

  • Variable Clustering using Ortho-oblique Rotation

    Krishna Mohan Roy, Bridegi2i.com.

  • Developing an R Package for New Two-Stage Methods in Forecasting Time Series with Multiple Seasonality

    Anupama Lakshmanan, Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru.

  • Shiny tool for building Interactive Decision Tree

    Snehasish Sarkar, Bridegi2i.com.

16:30 - 17:30 Poster Session

  • R vs Python for cancer genomics data analysis in oral cancer

    Sachendra Kumar, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

  • Sleuth: Pipeline for Differential analysis of RNA-Seq data

    Jyotsana Mehra, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi.

  • Analysis of Barbados malnutrition data using Bioconductor

    Moumita Karmakar, Texas A&M University, Texas.

  • Meta-Heuristic Optimisation methods for model-fitting in R

    Sourav Garg, Indian Institute of Management, Indore.

Victor Menzes Center Photos: Credits

Registration Details

The registration is done through the INDSTATS 2019 conference website which allows for registering either for the main conference or only for the R@IISA pre-conference. During registration, you will be asked to agree to the code of conduct.

Abstract Submission

We invite you to submit abstracts for talks and/or posters for the R@IISA pre-conference (as opposed to the main conference) using our abstract submission form. (Update: the deadline has passed and submission is closed.) Since this is an R conference, your abstract for a talk/poster should discuss either your own R package, or use of R and other packages in order to be viewed favorably. For good examples, look at the abstracts submitted for the useR! 2019 conference. Purely methodological and statistical talks are more appropriate for the main conference.

We also recommend, but do not require, that you register for R conference using the INDSTATS 2019 conference website using the same email address used for abstract submission. There is a registration fee, but it has been significantly reduced for participants from India and its vicinity. Note that if you abstract is accepted, you will be asked to register before you can participate.

The program committee will evaluate the submissions and notify the authors if the talk is accepted or not by late September, 2019.


Thanks to our sponsors, we hope to provide scholarships for deserving participants from around India and neighboring countries. We encourage applicants to present a poster or talk abstract for this R conference (using the abstract submission form above and not the one for the main conference) to improve their chances of getting a scholarship.

Apply for a scholarship using this form. The original deadline of August 31, 2019 has passed and we've stopped accepting responses. While we do not require registration to apply for a scholarship, the registration fee will be applied towards your awarded amount if your scholarshop application is successful. The program committee will evaluate the applications and notify each applicant whether the application was successful or not, by end of September 2019.

Please note.
  • Awardees will be notified by the program committee and an award amount will be specified.
  • The scholarship will be paid after the conference.
  • The amount refunded will depend on proof of expense: train or plane tickets, lodging bills, etc.
  • The amount reimbursed will not exceed the awarded amount.
  • The registration fee will be refunded as part of the award.

Victor Menzes Center Photos: Credits

Our Sponsors




R Consortium

R Consortium

We are indebted to our sponsors without whom this conference would not be possible.

If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact r-iisa-2019 at protonmail dot com.

Code of Conduct

The organizers of R@IISA are dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, or religion (or lack thereof).

All participants (including attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers) at R@IISA are required to agree to the following code of conduct. The code of conduct applies to all conference activities including talks, panels, workshops, and social events. It extends to conference-specific exchanges on social media, for instance posts tagged with the identifier of the conference (e.g. #r_iisa2019 on Twitter), replies to such posts, and replies to the official social media account (e.g. @r_iisa2019 on Twitter).

Organizers will enforce this code throughout and expect cooperation in ensuring a safe environment for all. There will be a dedicated team to respond to code of conduct concerns during the conference, reports made to the response team will be treated confidentially. Participants engaging in harassing behaviour may be given a formal warning to stop harassing behaviour and expelled if they continue, or in a severe case immediately expelled from the conference. Refunds may not be given in case of expulsion. The organizers reserve the rights to remove sponsor displays, take down conference posters and to cancel or stop talks or other contributions early, as a result of code of conduct violations. All conference participants agree to:
  • Be considerate in speech and actions, and respect the boundaries of fellow participants.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour and speech. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    • Stalking
    • Deliberate intimidation
    • Unwanted photography or recording
    • Sustained or willful disruption of talks or other events
    • Use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes
    • Offensive verbal comments related to age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race or religion
    • Inappropriate physical contact, which can include grabbing, or massaging or hugging without consent.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention, which can include inappropriate questions of a sexual nature, asking for sexual favours or repeatedly asking for dates or contact information.
  • Alert a member of the code of conduct response team [reference to further details] if you notice someone in distress, or observe violations of this code of conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

If you are asked to stop harassing behaviour you should stop immediately, even if your behaviour was meant to be friendly or a joke, it was clearly not taken that way and for the comfort of all conference attendees you should stop.

Additional Requirements for Conference Contributions

Presentation slides and posters should not contain offensive or sexualised material. If this material is impossible to avoid given the topic (for example text mining of material from hate sites) the existence of this material should be noted in the abstract and, in the case of oral contributions, at the start of the talk or session.

Additional Requirements for Sponsors

Sponsors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment. In case of violations, sanctions may be applied without return of sponsorship contribution.


Parts of the above text are licensed CC BY-SA 4.0. Credit to SRCCON. This code of conduct was based on that developed for useR! 2018 which was a revision of the code of conduct used at previous useR!s and also drew from rOpenSci’s code of conduct.

Victor Menzes Center Photos: Credits

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How may I reach the organizers? You may reach the organizers at r-iisa-2019@protonmail.com.
  2. I haven't heard about a decision regarding my application for scholarship. Replies have been sent to every applicant who applied before the deadline of August 31, 2019. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on availability of funds. This may take some time and but every applicant will receive a reply.
  3. Why was my scholarship application rejected? The scholarships are mainly for students and researchers directly affiliated with institutions in India and neighboring countries. The scholarship commitee considers this fact among others in its decision.
  4. I wish to attend the main International Indian Statistical Association Conference. Will my schlolarship cover the registration for the main conference? No, the award is meant specifically for the R conference. You are free to register for both, but only the registration for the R conference will be reimbursed.
  5. What are the poster requirements? The dimensions of the poster should be 3 ft by 5 ft. The poster should be in portrait mode. Poster printing costs are eligible for reimbursement upon delivery of a receipt as long the grand total does not exceed the awarded amount.
  6. How will the scholarship be disbursed? When you attend the conference, you will be asked to submit itemized receipts for your expenses. The approved expenses towards the R conference will be reimbursed, up to the maximum specified amount of the award. Recipients are expected to have precise bank details ready to avoid delays and hassles.
  7. Victor Menzes Center Photos: Credits