R is a tool for mathematical and statistical analysis. It can perform many functions similar to Matlab, but R is a free, open source program available for Windows, Linux, and Macs. I find Matlab a simpler tool to work with in many cases, but I currently only have a license to use Matlab on a Mac while at school, which can be a bit impractical. In any case, R is impressive for the broad scope of added packages and functionality which have been created for it (for free) by scientists and programmers from around the world.

Getting started with R can be difficult, since some of the syntax is quite confusing and the error messages are atrocious.  I’m still looking for good intro tutorials on R; below is what I’ve found useful so far

  • Getting Started with R (pdf) – there about a million pdfs with this title, but this one actually seems to cover the basics well.
  • Plotting in R – this is a great tutorial on making plots. The most useful resource I’ve found so far.
  • UCLA’s Stat Computing R site – the “class notes” are a good starter on importing and analyzing external data.

Quick Tips:

  • To close all plots: graphics.off()
  • more will be added someday.

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