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  1. Dec 2018
    1. ggplot2 and dplyr are clear intellectual contributions because they provide tools (grammars) for visualization and data manipulation, respectively. The tools make the tasks radically easier by providing clear organizing principles coupled with effective code. Users often remark on the ease of manipulating data with dplyr and it is natural to wonder if perhaps the task itself is trivial. We claim it is not. Many probability challenges become dramatically easier, once you strike upon the “right” notation. In both cases, what feels like a matter of notation or syntax is really a more about exploiting the “right” abstraction.

      This is a fascinating example to me of both an important intellectual contribution that is embodied in the code itself, and also how extremely important work can be invisible or taken for granted because of how seamlessly or easily it becomes integrated into other research,