Using visualisation to understand R theory

Seminar | April 11 | 4-5 p.m. | 10 Evans Hall | Note change in location

 Hadley Wickham, RStudio

 Department of Statistics

In this talk, I will introduce the lobstr package which provides tools to visualise R's data structures on the command line. I'll show three R functions ast(), cst(), and ref() and use them to discuss three important components of R's theory:

1. All R code possesses a tree like structure, known as the abstract
syntax tree.
2. R's lazy evaluation introduces a tree-like structure into the call stack
3. R's copy on modify semantics

Together, these three topics make R special compared to other programming languages, and have surprisingly practical implications.