IBM joins R Consortium

The company is expected to announce the move at the Apache Spark Summit

IBM is joining the R Consortium with a "significant investment," the company is scheduled to announce at today's Apache Spark Summit, becoming a top-tier Platinum supporter of the open-source R programming language.

R, designed specifically for statistical computing and other data analysis tasks, has become increasingly popular in recent years as both data volumes and interest in data science have exploded. IBM says that R is among the languages it used to develop its Watson natural language/machine learning platform.

Dinesh Nirmal, IBM vice president of development for next-generation analytics platform and big data solutions, will join the R Consortium board of directors.

"IBM is deeply invested in open-source software for computing applications like data science," Nirmal said in a statement released by the Consortium. "And as a long-time member of The Linux Foundation, it's a natural fit for us to extend our commitment to collaborative development by joining the R Consortium."

Big Blue joins Microsoft and RStudio as Platinum members of the Consortium, a non-profit project under the Linux Foundation's organizational umbrella. (Donations of at least $100,000 are required for Platinum sponsorship.) Google, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard are also among the technology companies that sponsor R Consortium, which aims to promote use of R, create infrastructure and best practices for the R community and support the annual useR conference.

The Consortium has awarded several grants to projects seen as useful to the R community, such as R-Hub, a planned service for developing and testing R packages, and Simple Features for R for easier geospatial analysis in R.

See more Computerworld coverage of R, including new and how-to guides.

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