Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The HSHSL is a part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore | My UMB The Elm UM Shuttle Google Apps@UMaryland Blackboard
Library Logo

601 West Lombard Street
Baltimore MD 21201-1512

Reference: 410-706-7996
Circulation: 410-706-7928

R: Introduction to R

An introduction to the R programming language.

Introduction to R

About R

  • R website, https://www.r-project.org/
  • Free and open source software
  • Runs on Windows, OSX, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, and more
  • Created in ‘93 as a free software version of the S language
  • R is both a programming language and a programming environment
  • Installing R provides the default “R Base" suite of R packages, the modules of functionality available by default
  • Additional packages can be installed from within R via CRAN (Comprehensive R Archive Network)
    • CRAN website, https://cran.r-project.org/
    • The main source for downloading R and most packages
    • Documentation is provided with each package for learning how to use the package
    • Datasets are often available within a package to practice using the its functions
    • Very active global community of users and developers

 

Programming Features of R

  • Interpreted language (commands are executed directly and output is provided immediately)
  • Accessible via:
    • Command line
    • The R application itself
    • 3rd party graphical user interfaces, like RStudio
  • Supports procedural programming with functions and some object-oriented programming
  • data structures include
    • Vectors
    • Matrices
    • Arrays
    • Data frames
    • Lists

 

RStudio

  • RStudio website, https://www.rstudio.com/
  • Free and open source software
  • Most popular integrated development environment (IDE) for R
  • Combines the power of the command line with the smaller learning curve of a graphical user interface
  • Provides the same experience across operating systems (which the R application and other GUIs do not)
  • Requires prior R installation