Learning R

March 13, 2014

Back in December a friend asked me what I would suggest to start learning R. I put together the list below, and am finally getting round to sharing it here. If you have other suggestions of great resources for beginners do let me know so we can add to this.

  1. TryR by CodeSchool

    This is all in the browser but will offer a frictionless basic introduction to R syntax, data frames etc.

  2. Download R Studio

    This is the simplest IDE for R, and what I use for all my projects.

  3. Take an online course

    Roger Peng’s Coursera course Computing for Data Analysis is a solid introduction. As is Jeff Leek’s Coursera course Data Analysis. Both also put their videos on Youtube: Roger’s Youtube channel and Jeff’s. Google also has a set of courseware to learn R, and you could read R-Project’s Introduction to R notes.

  4. Start a basic project

    The first project I did using R was a basic exploration of Yale’s internal Facebook that looked at a distribution of majors etc. It wasn’t complicated, and didn’t involve any analysis beyond descriptive statistics, but it forced me to start mastering the R syntax etc. Having an achievable project in mind (a basic data set you want to explore) is the best motivation for really learning the language.

  5. Blogs

    R Bloggers has a ton of tutorials and resources. The Simply Statistics blog, written by the afore mentioned Roger and Jeff, is a great resource for both stats, R, and inspiration. StatsChat is a useful blog. I also find a bunch of interesting stuff on the Revolutionary Analytics Blog. Hadley Wicham is a prolific contributor to R and the author of ggplot which is a beloved graphics library, and he is worth following on Twitter.

Learning R was published on Miles Grimshaw

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