Learning from our search history

Origin of the idea Recently the team I work with has had a few new members and I’ve been thinking lately of ways we could try to help them. The team leader was traveling this week, which gave me the opportunity to come up with a new type of session and test it out.

Asking for help is challenging but is typically worth it

Recently I’ve been thinking on the subject of asking for help. In short, it’s hard to ask for help. It involves admitting to yourself that you can’t solve the problem alone, opening yourself up, hoping that another person will understand you and guide you in the right direction.

Using Slack for Academic Departmental Communication

This is a joint blog post between Stephanie Hicks and Leonardo Collado-Torres. We want to share with you our experience using Slack and why you should join us. This post is in an interview style.

Updating R

As you might know by now, the latest R version was recently released (R 3.4.0). That means that you are highly encouraged to update your R installation. There are several ways to do this some of which are documented in these other blog posts: Tal Galili, 2013, Kris Eberwein, 2015.

How to ask for help for Bioconductor packages

tl;dr Please post your question at the Bioconductor support website and check the posting guide It’s important that you provide reproducible code and information about your R session.

Use hidden advanced arguments for user-friendly functions

As a user Imagine that you are starting to learn how to use a specific R package, lets call it foo. You will look at the vignette (if there is one), use help(package = foo), or look at the reference manual (for example, devtools' ref man).

Trying to reduce the memory overhead when using mclapply

I am currently trying to understand how to reduce the memory used by mclapply. This function is rather complicated and others have explained the differences versus parLapply (A_Skelton73, 2013; lockedoff, 2012 ) and also made it clear that in mclapply each job does not know if the others are running out of memory and thus cannot trigger gc (Urbanek, 2012).