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Series: Basic R Skills

This series is provides tutorials and references on key skills needed to complete more complex tasks in R. It is not intended as an guide for the introduction to or initial learning of how to use R.

R Skill Level: Beginner - you’re learning, or refreshing on, the basics!

Series Goals/Objectives

After completing the series, you will be able to:

  • Getting Started with the R Programming Language
    • Use basic R syntax
    • Explain the concepts of objects and assignment
    • Explain the concepts of vector and data types
    • Describe why you would or would not use factors
    • Use basic few functions
  • Installing & Updating Packages in R
    • Describe the basics of an R package
    • Install a package in R
    • Call (use) an installed R package
    • Update a package in R
    • View the packages installed on your computer
  • Build & Work With Functions in R
    • Explain why we should divide programs into small, single-purpose functions
    • Use a function that takes parameters (input values)
    • Return a value from a function
    • Set default values for function parameters
    • Write, or define, a function

Things You’ll Need To Complete This Series

Setup RStudio

To complete the tutorial series you will need an updated version of R and, preferably, RStudio installed on your computer.

R is a programming language that specializes in statistical computing. It is a powerful tool for exploratory data analysis. To interact with R, we strongly recommend RStudio, an interactive development environment (IDE).

Set Working Directory: This lesson assumes that you have set your working directory to the location of the downloaded and unzipped data subsets. An overview of setting the working directory in R can be found here.

R Script & Challenge Code: NEON data lessons often contain challenges that reinforce learned skills. If available, the code for challenge solutions is found in the downloadable R script of the entire lesson, available in the footer of each lesson page.

Tutorials in the Series