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 in applied statistics 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.  Instructor

Anna Görner


3.  Date

This part will take place in the mornings of September 30 - October 02, 2013 in Seminar room B0.002 @ MPI-BGC


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.  Agenda

Intro >> Mon, Sept. 30, 2013, 9:00-11:00

  • 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 >> Tue, Oct. 01, 2013, 9:00-11:00

  • 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 >> Tue., Oct. 01, 2013, 11:00-ca.13:00

  • 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 ...
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