Super Bowl weekend was especially dreary in Chicagoland, the victim of a polar vortex winter for the ages. Between the Friday night/Saturday morning snowfall and the bitter cold that followed, my wife and I were pretty much confined to our suburban home for two days, canceling plans with friends in the city. But I resolved while snow-blowing that I wouldn't let the elements win, that I'd at least have a productive, if unexciting, weekend. And so it was I decided to watch sports on TV throughout– college basketball all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon, climaxing in the Super Bowl Sunday evening – at the same time starting to learn some new analytics software on my computer.

That software turned out to be the hot programming language, Julia, from MIT. I've been seeing more and more Julia on the analytics forums and noticed the Julia citation in a comment to a recent blog. But it was the slide deck Julia for R Programmers by University of Wisconsin Statistics professor and respected R elder Douglas Bates that really caught my attention.

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