R course - The Basics

1.  Concept

This seminar addresses everybody who is interested in learning R from scratch.

This workshop is also intended as a preparation for the advanced modules? and courses in applied statistics and data analysis? as well as data visualisation, which require some scripting skills.

There will be

  • a little theory
  • focus on technical aspects (not on interpretation)
  • time for questions and answers
  • hands-on training based on the requests you write in the comment field of the registration form. Feel free to approach us with your data

2.  Organizational issues

Instructor: Guido Kraemer
Date: Wed and Thu, May 18-19, 2016
Starting time: 9.00 am
Place: Seminar room B0.004 (MPI-BGC)


3.  Content of the course

Intro & Graphics - Wed, May 18 (9-12 am)

  • RStudio & R as a calculator, operations: +-*/, sum
  • Read and Write files
  • Data types: logical, numeric, character ...
  • Data structures: vectors, matrices, lists, data.frames, arrays
  • navigating the R universe: finding help, searching documentation, finding the right packages/functions for the right purpose.
  • High-level graphic functions
    • plot, barplot, boxplot, contour, curve, hist, image, mosaicplot, pairs, persp
  • Low-level graphic functions
    • abline, arrows, axis,grid, legend, lines, mtext, points, polygon, text, title
  • Saving graphics
    • pdf, png ...



Basic statistics & Programming 101 - Wed, May 18 (1-4 pm)

  • Univariate descriptive statistics
    • mean, median, quantile, range, min, max, var, sd
    • plot, hist, boxplot
  • Multivariate descriptive statistics
    • cov, cor
    • linear regression: lm, summary, plot.lm
  • Conditions
    • if, else
  • Loops and friends
    • for, while, apply & co
  • Functions
  • Debugging (with Thomas Wutzler)
  • Processing of character strings
    • match, grep, paste, strsplit, sub, gsub ...



Introduction to NetCDF - Thu, May 19 (9-12 am) In preparation for the skill course 'Applied statistics & data analysis'

  • Reading and writing




4.  What you need to prepare

Bring a laptop and make sure that a recent version of R and R Studio is running on it.

You can download the most recent version here: http://www.r-project.org/
RStudio is a new open-source integrated development environment that runs on all platforms. It nicely combines console, script editor, working directory, plots etc. into a an uncluttered layout that you can easily navigate. You need to have R installed before you can use RStudio as a development environment.

Please also make sure that you can access the internet via WLAN (BGC-users, if you have a BGC-account; BGC-guests, if you don't have an account)


5.  Material

This is the course material from previous years:

More R…


6.  Feedback

The survey gives feedback of 9 (out of 12) participants which was given by mid-June.
A retrospective assessment was requested after 10 months where 5 (out of 12) participants filled in the survey. Results are given here.
Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.


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