Dr Richard O'Keefe, Department of Computer Science

Title: "Functions "R" um, let me put it this way..."

John Chambers of Bell Laboratories and his colleagues invented a programming language for statistics, graphing, and mathematical calculations, called S. The language has gone through several revisions. There is a commercial version called S-PLUS. Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman developed an open source implementation of the S language and libraries called R; it now enjoys wide use and very active development. But it's interpreted. Writing a compiler for R is made difficult by its data structures (think of APL and Matlab, then think of something weirder. Now you're half-way there) and by its approach to function calling, which was designed for human convenience.

In this seminar I shall explain the compilation technique I have developed for R function calls. There's still one aspect I have no satisfactory answer for, and suggestions from the audience will be most welcome.