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Introduction to R

Instructor: Srdjan Sarikas



R is one of the most widespread programming languages for data analysis. It is free and open-source, maintained largely by practicing researchers and statisticians. Its large community of volunteer scientists and professionals continuously offers packages for many of the common tasks.

This course will present basics in the following domains:

- Introduction to programming: variables, functions, basic control structures

- Basic arithmetic of vectors and matrices

- Data structures, data manipulation, importing and exporting, basic visualization

- Using packages, basic statistical functions...


Target audience

The main aim is to prepare first-year students for the core “Modelling” course, which will require them to use the computer to handle data. The core course does not require any specific programming language, and many students will already be familiar with one that is appropriate. For those who have little or no previous experience, R may be a suitable introduction.

The course may also be useful as an introduction to programming and data analysis for researchers with no programming experience.


Participants are encouraged to download and install R and RStudio before the first session. CRAN website provides latest R distribution for Mac, Linux and Windows. RStudio offers installers on their website.


No previous programming experience is assumed.



Grading (pass/fail) will be based on classroom participation, and in-session and homework exercises.




Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time Topic Location
Tue Sep 22 9:00-12:00 Introduction to programming Mondi 3
Thu Sep 24 9:00-12:00 Importing and exporting data, Matrices, Packages Mondi 3
Fri Oct 9th 12:00-15:00 Data structures Mondi 2
Thu Oct 15th 15:30-18:30 Data structures Lecture Hall

Homework and Additional Downloads

Session 1 slides homework_1 solution_1

Session 2 slides homework_2.1 (source) solution_2

Session 3 slides homework_3

Session 4 slides

Training Datasets