Pedicularis groenlandica

Wetlands and landscapes

Data science, water, isotopes, and ecosystems

Benchmarking R and Rcpp

A speed comparison.

Jason Mercer

7 minutes read

At the UW Data Science Center we’ve been talking speed lately. Generally R is considered a somewhat slow language (though I’m not sure that’s fair). However, there are some excellent packages and interfaces that can drastically speed up R. For example, the Rcpp package acts as an interface between R and C++, thereby allowing useRs to drastically speed-up analysis – or at least that’s the idea.

Notes on using a custom domain to host the site

More notes on my journey towards static site domination.

Jason Mercer

5 minutes read

So far, in my minimal web development experience I’ve never setup a true website such that my site had it’s own domain. I’ve owned at least one domain in he past, but I only used that for email services. However, I’ve heard one can setup a GitLab (and GitHub, etc.) site with a custome domain. Since I already had a custom domain,, I thought I’d give setting up a custom domain a shot with the new site.

Using rayshader on a DEM of the Snowy Range

Exploring html widget functionalities with rayshader.

Jason Mercer

3 minutes read

In this post I’m hoping to test out some of the html widget capabilities of using blogdown with Hugo in the form of a dynamic graph made with rayshader and rgl R packages. The end result should be a DEM of the Snowy Range in Wyoming, US that you can zoom in on, rotate, and otherwise manipulate.

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I am a PhD candidate at the University of Wyoming, studying mountain wetlandscapes.