The R System -- Commentary and Links
Reasons for Using R
1The R system has had, increasingly in
the past five years, a leading role in statistical software
innovation. Each year, the American Statistical Association
Statistical Computing and Graphics Section makes a $1000 cash award
(the John M
Chambers award) for statistical software written by, or in
collaboration with, an undergraduate or graduate student. All winning
entries from 2003 to 2010 have been for software that is associated
- R is free (copy it down from the internet).
Use is covered by
the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License, which is
designed to guarantee the freedom of users to develop and give away
- R has state of the art statistical and
graphical abilities, and strong scientific computational abilities,
with new features regularly added;
- R has a vibrant and rapidly growing user
community, who contribute by discussion on various
email lists, by adding new abilities, and by writing books and papers
that are intended to help other users;
- R has become a system of choice for statistical
It is used increasingly for the development of
software in many different areas of science and commerce;
- R runs on wide variety of systems: Windows, MacOS X, UNIX
(including FreeBSD), and Linux;
- R makes well-designed publication-quality plots that can
incorporate mathematical symbols and formulae as needed.
Canberra R Users Group
This group is organised by Felix Andrews and John Maindonald.
From time to time I run courses on
R, and on R-based statistical analysis. This document suggests
preparatory reading and exercises that will help in gaining
familiarity with the R command line. It lists packages that will be
required or may be useful. There is a link to a document that
comments on R setup under Windows.
Getting help with R
The RStudio site Getting help with R
has further useful links. Note in particular:
Web site for R (CRAN = Comprehensive R Archive Network)
Download, Installation, Setup of R (the side panel will
link to many other Youtube videos)
- The RSeek meta search engine
can be used to locate R information from right across the web.
Overflow is a good resource for seeking answers to R-related
- The Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative free online
Introduction to Statistics has an option that uses R for
exercises and labs.
The R Videos
channel, run by Drew Conway, has links to R-related videos.
- For statistical questions, try perhaps
CrossValidated Q & A
- R Podcasts
- Analysing the World of Analytics
(Website maintained by Bob Muenchen)
Other links that may interest current or prospective R users
- Official R email lists
New York Times article on R
to the NY Times article in the NZ Herald
- Revolution Analytics
(a commercial enterprise; has useful links)
- Open source R in commercial revolution - article from The Register
- Top ten RRReasons R is bad for you?
Notes and Overheads from AMSI/SSAI ASC2008 Satellite R Workshop
John Maindonald's web site
useR! is held annually. Additionally, R is a strong
focus of the more specialized Directions in Statistical
Computing meeting, held every two years.
Commentary on talks at useR! 2009 (July 7-10 in Rennes,
France), and at DSC2009 (July 13-14 in Copenhagen)
email: john.maindonald AT anu.edu.au