R Programming Video: 15 Tips for The Beginner

March 25th, 2014 by

One of our instructors–David Lillis–recently gave a talk in front of the Wellington R Users Group highlighting 15 Tips for using the R statistical programming language aimed at the beginner.

Below is a video recording of his presentation…


R Is Not So Hard! A Tutorial, Part 13: Box Plots

March 17th, 2014 by

In Part 13, let’s see how to create box plots in R. Let’s create a simple box plot using the boxplot() command, which is easy to use. First, we set up a vector of numbers and then we plot them.

Box plots can be created for individual variables or for variables by group (more…)

R is Not So Hard! A Tutorial, Part 12: Creating Histograms & Setting Bin Widths

March 7th, 2014 by

I’m sure you’ve heard that R creates beautiful graphics.

It’s true, and it doesn’t have to be hard to do so.  Let’s start with a simple histogram using the hist() command, which is easy to use, but actually quite sophisticated.

First, we set up a vector of numbers and then we create a histogram.

B <- c(2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14, 16)


That was easy, but you need more from your histogram. (more…)

Ten Ways Learning a Statistical Software Package is Like Learning a New Language

January 31st, 2014 by

Someone recently asked me if they need to learn R.  In responding, it struck me that this is another way that learning a stat package is like learning a new language.

The metaphor is extremely helpful for deciding when and how to learn a new stat package, and to keep you going when the going gets rough. (more…)

R Is Not So Hard! A Tutorial, Part 11: Creating Bar Charts

January 28th, 2014 by

Let’s create a simple bar chart in R using the barplot() command, which is easy to use.

First, we set up a vector of numbers. Then we count them using the table() command, and then we plot them.

The table() command creates a simple table of counts of the elements in a data set.

H <- c(2,3,3,3,4,5,5,5,5,6)

Now we count the elements using the table() command, as follows: (more…)

Do I Really Need to Learn R?

January 23rd, 2014 by

Do I really need to learn R?

Someone asked me this recently.

Many R advocates would absolutely say yes to everyone who asks.

I don’t.

(I actually gave her a pretty long answer, summarized here).

It depends on what kind of work you do and the context in which you’re working.

I can say that R is (more…)