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Learn R

Resources to learn and use the Open Source Statistical software R (R-Project)

The R Project for Statistical Computing is a free, open source statistical computing language that is popular among researchers in many fields. 

The learning curve for true understanding is steep, but specific tasks (e.g., importing files from other statistical software) are often quite easy because of packages that can be created by anybody. R undergoes rapid development and improvement. Tutorials even a year old may be out of date

Note that RStudio is currently in the process of changing names to Posit. Various tutorials may reference one or the other, but both are acceptable at this time.

  • R for Data Management
  • R for Statistical Analysis
  • R for Data Visualization

See the slides from our Getting Started with R (pdf) workshop for an overview and recommendations.

Start Here

Quick Start

No installations needed; runs in your web browser.

Starting a Project

Full Course

Related Resources

Why R?

Why R?

How to Choose

  1. If you know other programing languages, Python will likely be easier to start with. 
  2. If you instead are familiar with statistical software, R will likely be easier to start with.
  3. If you are just starting out,
    • Pick R If you will mostly work with data tables and be in an academic context
    • Pick Python if you will work with text or websites and/or be in a business context

Many people will ultimately learn both. But, they are similar enough that you do not want to learn them at the same time--it can get confusing to switch back and forth. Knowing either one will help you learn the other. So, just pick one and get started!

Switching to R

Switching to R

If you already know another statistical software or programming language, you might try these first.