R for dummies – Andrie de Vries

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R For Dummies.

Welcome to R For Dummies, the book that takes the steepness out of the learning curve for using R.

We can’t guarantee that you’ll be a guru if you read this book, but you should be able to do the following:

– Perform data analysis by using a variety of powerful tools

– Use the power of R to do statistical analysis and other data-processing tasks

– Appreciate the beauty of using vector-based operations rather than loops to do speedy calculations

– Appreciate the meaning of the following line of code:

knowledge <- apply(theory, 1, sum)

– Know how to find, download, and use code that has been contributed to R by its very active community of developers

– Know where to find extra help and resources to take your R coding skills to the next level

– Create beautiful graphs and visualizations of your data

About This Book.

R For Dummies is an introduction to the statistical programming language known as R. We start by introducing the interface and work our way from the very basic concepts of the language through more sophisticated data manipulation and analysis.

We illustrate every step with easy-to-follow examples. This book contains numerous code snippets, several write-it-yourself functions you can use later on, and complete analysis scripts. All these are for you to try out yourself.

We don’t attempt to give a technical description of how R is programmed internally, but we do focus as much on the why as on the how. R doesn’t function as your average scripting language, and it has plenty of unique features that may seem surprising at first. Instead of just telling you how you have to talk to R, we believe it’s important for us to explain how the R engine reads what you tell it to do. After reading this book, you should be able to manipulate your data in the form you want and understand how to use functions we didn’t cover in the book (as well as the ones we do cover).

R and RStudio.

R For Dummies can be used with any operating system that R runs on. Whether you use Mac, Linux, or Windows, this book will get you on your way with R.

R is more a programming language than an application. When you download R, you automatically download a console application that’s suitable for your operating system. However, this application has only basic functionality, and it differs to some extent from one operating system to the next.

RStudio is a cross-platform application with some very neat features to support R. In this book, we don’t assume you use any specific console application. But because RStudio provides a common user interface across the major operating systems, we think that you’ll understand how to run it quite quickly. For this reason, we use RStudio to demonstrate some of the concepts rather than operating-system-specific editor.

About the Authors.

Andrie de Vries. Andrie started to use R in 2009 to analyze survey data, and he has been continually impressed by the ability of the open-source community to innovate and create phenomenal software. Andrie is director of PentaLibra Limited, a boutique market-research firm specializing in surveys and statistical analysis. He has contributed two R packages to CRAN and is developing several packages to make the analysis and reporting of survey data easier. He also is actively involved in the development of LimeSurvey, the open-source survey-management system. To maintain equilibrium in his life, Andrie is working toward a yoga teacher diploma at the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation.

Joris Meys, MSc. Joris is a statistical consultant and R programmer in the Department of Mathematical Modeling, Statistics, and Bioinformatics at Ghent University (Belgium). After earning a master’s degree in biology, he worked for six years in environmental research and management before starting an advanced master’s degree in statistical data analysis. Joris writes packages for both specific projects and general implementation of methods developed in his department, and he is the maintainer of several packages on R-Forge. He has co-authored a number of scientific papers as a statistical expert. To balance science with culture, Joris spends most of his spare time playing saxophone in a couple of local bands.

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