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Using R for Statistics and Graphics:An Introduction for Busy Non-programmers

Video Available*SUNetID required

R is a free software package that calculates statistics and generates publication quality graphics. It has a difficult learning curve if you do not have the correct tools. This class will teach the essentials of R to people who have little time to learn and especially those busy people who have no computer programming experience. People who attend will learn how to set up and use R to generate descriptive statistics, as well as common graphics and statistical tests like t-tests on means and χ2 tests on frequency counts. Attendees should be comfortable working with either Windows or Mac OS X and ideally be familiar with Microsoft Excel. This is both a lecture and hands on lab so students should ideally have a laptop.

After completing the class attendees will know how to:
  • recognize files that R can easily understand
  • make readable Excel files
  • use Excel to get data ready for analysis
  • add a point-and-click system to R
  • load data into R with a point-and-click system or with code
  • do descriptive statistics and graphics with code generated from a point-and-click system
  • write an R program
  • find additional help
Attendees will also understand:
  • common objects that R uses
  • what a R function is
  • what function arguments do

About the Instructor:

Ray Balise PhD, Stanford Health Research and Policy
Please contact Ray Balise if you have questions about course content, etc.


Students must have completed the instructions installing R on a Windows Machine or a Mac before taking this class.