I’m reading the O’Reilly book called the R Cookbook. A really good 400 page book with 14 chapters. This gave me an idea if I could condense this book while reading it into 14 short tutorials- for each chapter into a DIY style.

How can we make teaching in general more fun so more people will want to learn R and make the learning curve less steep?

This is a new project: I will be publishing these tutorials over the next month.The tutorials will be 15 pages each. Just kidding – I will keep them as short as possible.

The goal of these tutorial is to make R fun and give you incentive to explore R more and hopefully read a more detailed book yourself. That’s where I feel most books fail with me – it takes too much effort to sustain interest of the reader.

I will be posting twice a week. You can figure out the pace you’re comfortable with.

**Chapter 1 – Getting Expectations Straight**

**Why should you learn R?** Statistics and graphics. Not compelling enough?

Let’s try again: Learn R if you want to play with numbers easily and make sense of them. R makes exploring and finding meaning from small spreadsheets (your monthly budgets?) to lots of data.

In bigger, and usually intentionally big words it’s a tool to do statistics, statistical programming and graphics.

These tutorials are not a 101 on statistics but how you can use R to do statistical analysis. The usage of R is not hard it when you understand the concepts already. But I will try my best to point you to the right resources to learn some concepts along the way. A stat tool is easy to learn how to use if you know what you want to get out of it. The latter is the hard part.

**Now let’s figure out if you’re the right audience.**

Read these tutorials a) If you’re curious about R or b) You want to learn how to learn how to make sense of groups of numbers or c) You are curious about the data analytics thought process

Of course if you’re a pro in R would love if you read it – and give feedback!

**Requirements:**

The requirements for these tutorial is you come with an ability to Google when something doesn’t make sense.

Additional Notes to remember – which are usually forgotten

1. Practice makes perfect. There will be points of frustration. As Bill Wtihers said ” You can’t get to wonderful without passing through Alright”

2. Most people usually start and never finish. Just an observation – but you can decide which category you want to be in.

3. #1 is worth repeating.

**Setup and first commands**:

Goto the R website and download R. It’s available for Windows, Mac and UNIX. Choose a format – download it, run it and open R.

Once you click on the download link, choose the location closest to you.

Once you open R you will see a blank window with a prompt. This is called as the R console.

1. Type

>2+2

and press enter.

First use of R – can be used as a calculator.

2. Type

>max(1,3,5)

To learn more about what this function does –

Type

> help (max)

> ?max

**HW for the next lesson:**

Open R and use it as a calculator for the next few days. Whatever calculations you need to do – just open R and start typing them directly in the space.

If you need help help:

Just some steps you can follow throughout these tutorials when you get stuck –

1. Google

2. Type help(function_name) at the prompt or the ?followed by a prompt

3.The R website

help.start()

Takes you online to the documentation.

That covers it for today. Next chapter in a few days.