Anyone here experienced in R?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Droid13, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Droid13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Dear All,

    Please accept my apologies if this is the wrong forum, I just guessed that this was the likely place where people would know. Note: I am a new at what I am trying to do and may come across as more than a tad uninformed. That would be correct. Please bear with me - I am willing to learn and unafraid of trying things out.

    Basically: I want to learn how to use the R programming language for statistics purposes - a colleague showed it to me up and running on their machine and funnily enough it seemed a lot more straightforward to use when it comes to massive datasets compared to some of the other stuff that I have used.

    Questions:

    1) I have gone to my nearest mirror http://cran.ma.imperial.ac.uk/ - is the file at http://cran.ma.imperial.ac.uk/bin/macosx/R-3.0.2.pkg the only thing I need to get started?

    2) If not, what else will I need? For making graphs or charts, do I need any other bits and pieces?

    3) How do I verify the MD5 checksum in Terminal?

    4) Are there any good books or online resources you would recommend to get me learning in a structured way (I learned to play in VisualBasic and Python by trial-and-error and it wasn't pretty)

    Thank you in advance for you help.

    Best regards,
    Droid13
     
  2. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #2
    I'm not experience in R at all so this may not help, but...

    1) The installation manual at http://www.r-project.org says that's the file you need.

    2) Should be included in that package although there are packages that add additional features & functions (list available here -> http://cran.ma.imperial.ac.uk/web/packages/available_packages_by_date.html)

    3) md5 path_to_package in Terminal should give you the hash to compare

    4) I'd start looking at the manual and FAQs at r-project.org and then search google for some R tutorials, you'll be bound to find plenty published by the many universities across the world that use it.

    Hope that helps and good luck on your endeavour :)
     
  3. MiesVanDerRobot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    #3
  4. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #4
    I took the Coursera course and enjoyed it. You get a nice certificate at the end! However, expect a bit of independent study where topics needed to complete an assignment is not discussed by the lecturer. Total time investment is on the order of 10 hours a week for lectures and assignments. If you do the assignments well and keep good notes, the exams are easy.

    I found the RStudio integrated development environment for OS X to be very nice: http://www.rstudio.com
     
  5. 8.33 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    #5
    Another vote for RStudio being very good - it has a good package search/help feature and makes it easy to add any others that you need.

    There is a package called RCommander that gives a GUI - not very powerful but you get the console input that would have resulted in the same action so may be useful to learn some of the syntax.
     
  6. Droid13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    Thank you!

    Dear All,

    Thank you for your replies - I have downloaded and installed the package from the Imperial College mirror (though the RStudio environment looks like it might be something to try as well) and a friend will be sending me a dummy dataset to play with while I read around the subject.

    You are not the only folks who have mentioned Coursera - it seems I am right on time to enroll, though I might start with the suggested readings (I am not at all knowledgeable but as I said, unafraid of having a go and willing to learn) before hitting the course.

    Thanks again! If any of my work ends up being worthy of publication, the thread up to this point will be acknowledged as my starting point.

    Best regards,
    Droid13
     

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