During this presentation, James McCaffrey tried to make us understand what is the language R.
You can find the webcast of the session on Channel9 but the content can be summarized with its first slide:
In summary, it is a simple language (it is subjective) with a large framework containing mathematical functions. This language is not the only one to provide that. You can also use MatLab, Maple, Python using the lib ScyPy, and so on. However R is quite old and is very used in data analysis (besides Microsoft uses it for Azure Machine Learning).
The speaker then showed us several concrete examples showing also the equivalent C# code (much longer, of course). In short, he showed us lots of numbers on a console:
As the presentation was rather short, he then explained how to make money in Vegas playing Texas Hold'em Bonus. For this you have to analyze the result of the sleeves with R…
In summary, James quickly explained what R is and why it is used. By cons I would have liked a demo with Azure Machine Learning. Fortunately we can catch up with the documentation: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/machine-learning-r-quickstart/