Recommendations for an "Intro to R" course in the NYC area
April 21, 2011 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Help me spread my love for R.

I cannot imagine doing my work (clinical HIV epidemiology) without R. A close friend/research collaborator is looking to expand his S-Plus/SAS workspace and get into R. I am looking for recommendations for a paid or free "intro to R" course geared at working scientists in the New York City area. (Friend is a post-doc at Columbia.) Thanks!
posted by docgonzo to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Not exactly a class, and you may have heard of it. But what made R really click for me was my discovery of Deducer which lets me move away from the command-line and do things more trial-and-error, which is more my learning style. Best of luck!
posted by ejfox at 9:58 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

I recently took a 6-week once weekly online class through Virginia Commonwealth...I think this is the main one here, but they offer more than one for different plans for using it. It was around $300, so not free, but it was useful to be able to ask questions and run through problems in live time. We used R Commander, so combined both the syntax and more point and click things.
posted by bizzyb at 10:04 AM on April 21, 2011

Oh my god, ejfox, Deducer looks pretty awesome. Playing with that when I get home.
posted by dismas at 10:56 AM on April 21, 2011

I'm with dismas, I was just beating my head against R this afternoon and I think I might be in love with Deducer from that video!
posted by katers890 at 1:37 PM on April 21, 2011

I am a heavy R user. If your friend wants to get up to speed on R, the best course of action is to really just start using it. Grab one of many R books and freely available PDFs and get cranking.

Once, he becomes more familiar, he can ask questions on stack overflow and interact with experts there.

If he really wants to attend a course (online) offers several R courses. example

Your friend can also follow the #rstats tag on twitter.

Sorry, I don't have time to populate my answer with links...running late on some R analyses myself.
posted by special-k at 3:10 PM on April 21, 2011

To provide a slightly handy answer (this is something you've probably already told your friend, but for other suckeR amateurs): Googling for R-related documentation is occasionally difficult. However, Sasha Goodman's handily whipped up R-seek which searches documentation/other freely available R-related materials (there seem to be a fair amount of lecture notes and presentations in there, which can be helpful). It's pretty handy.
posted by dismas at 6:58 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

We have an ok R User Group in my area. A lot of colleges use R, but of course non-stats majors take an intro class and only learn the very basics before switching to SPSS or Minitab.

I'd really, really appreciate a clearly written R tutorial written for people who already do numerics programming. Despite having spent a ton of time trying to learn R, I still find myself consulting documentation and guessing about function names unreasonably often. I don't think I'll ever actually get how S3 and S4 functions are different for example.
posted by miyabo at 8:13 PM on April 21, 2011

Write more vignettes for the kinds of things that R can do, but are not obvious. Anyone who's worked with it has encountered innumerable of these, and the key is someone who wrote it down the same language so that googlebot could connect the dots for you.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:32 PM on April 21, 2011

Oh sorry, ignore that. Crossed wires on R related tabs.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:33 PM on April 21, 2011

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