Learn R: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Learn R

1st Edition

By Pedro J. Aphalo

Chapman and Hall/CRC

360 pages | 114 Color Illus.

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pub: 2020-03-27
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Learning a computer language like R can be either frustrating, fun or boring. Having fun requires challenges that wake up the learner’s curiosity but also provide an emotional reward on overcoming them. The book is designed so that it includes smaller and bigger challenges, in what I call playgrounds, in the hope that all readers will enjoy their path to R fluency. Fluency in the use of a language is a skill that is acquired through practice and exploration. Although rarely mentioned separately, fluency in a computer programming language involves both writing and reading. The parallels between natural and computer languages are many but differences are also important. For students and professionals in the biological sciences, humanities and many applied fields, recognizing the parallels between R and natural languages should help them feel at home with R. The approach I use is similar to that of a travel guide, encouraging exploration and describing the available alternatives and how to reach them. The intention is to guide the reader through the R landscape of 2020 and beyond.

What will you find in this book?

  • R as it is currently used.
  • Few prescriptive rules, mostly the author’s preferences together with alternatives.
  • Explanation of the R grammar emphasizing the "R way of doing things".
  • Tutoring for "programming in the small" using scripts.
  • The grammar of graphics and the grammar of data described as grammars.
  • Examples of data exchange between R and the foreign world using common file formats.
  • Coaching for becoming an independent R user, capable writing original code and of solving future challenges.

What makes this book different to others?

  • Tries to break the ice and help readers from all disciplines feel at home with R.
  • It does not make assumptions about what the reader will use R for.
  • It attempts to do only one thing well: guide readers into becoming fluent in the R language.

Table of Contents

1. R: the language and the program

2. The R language: “words” and “sentences”

3. The R language: “paragraphs” and “essays”

4. The R language: Statistics

5. The R language: adding new “words”

6. New grammars of data

7. Grammar of graphics

8. Data import and export

9. Bibliography

10. General index

11. Index of R names by category

12. Alphabetic index of R names

About the Author

Pedro J. Aphalo is a PhD graduate from the University of Edinburgh, currently lecturer at the University of Helsinki. A plant biologist and agriculture scientist with a passion for data, electronics, computers and photography in addition to plants. A user of R for 25 years, who first organized an R course for MSc students 18 years ago and the author of 13 R packages currently in CRAN.

About the Series

Chapman & Hall/CRC The R Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General