R - 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 courses 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.  Instructor

Franziska Schrodt


3.  Date

This part will take place on October 08, 2014 in Seminar room B0.002 @ MPI-BGC


4.  Agenda


Intro ''>> 9.00-10.30

  • 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.



Graphics + basic statistics >> 11:00-12:30

  • 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 ...
  • Univariate descriptive statistics
    • plot, hist, boxplot
  • Multivariate descriptive statistics
    • cov, cor
    • linear regression: lm, summary, plot.lm



Programming 101 + basic statistics >> 13:30-15:00

  • Univariate descriptive statistics
    • mean, median, quantile, range, min, max, var, sd
  • Conditions
    • if, else
  • Loops and friends
    • for, while, apply & co
  • Functions
  • Processing of character strings
    • match, grep, paste, strsplit, sub, gsub ...



5.  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)


6.  Interested?

  • Register here by October 2, 2014.

7.  Material

More R… Here is a list of useful online resources to accelerate your progress.


8.  Feedback

17 of 18 participants filled in the survey by October 10, 2014. Thank you very much for your support! The survey results are available here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.
Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.

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