Summary and Setup
an introduction to R for non-programmers using gapminder data
The goal of this lesson is to teach novice programmers to write modular code and best practices for using R for data analysis. R is commonly used in many scientific disciplines for statistical analysis and its array of third-party packages. We find that many scientists who come to Software Carpentry workshops use R and want to learn more. The emphasis of these materials is to give attendees a strong foundation in the fundamentals of R, and to teach best practices for scientific computing: breaking down analyses into modular units, task automation, and encapsulation.
Note that this workshop will focus on teaching the fundamentals of the programming language R, and will not teach statistical analysis.
The lesson contains more material than can be taught in a day. The instructor notes page has some suggested lesson plans suitable for a one or half day workshop.
A variety of third party packages are used throughout this workshop. These are not necessarily the best, nor are they comprehensive, but they are packages we find useful, and have been chosen primarily for their usability.
This lesson assumes you have R and RStudio installed on your computer.
- Download and install the latest version of R.
- Download and install RStudio. RStudio is an application (an integrated development environment or IDE) that facilitates the use of R and offers a number of nice additional features. You will need the free Desktop version for your computer.