Intro R workshop

Quickly get up and running with R


This 2-day hands-on workshop gets participants up and running with R statistical software. It is designed to provide the solid foundation needed to conduct data analysis and visualization for data science. No previous experience is required, though some basic programming or data science experience is helpful.

Our workshops get 4.6 out of 5 in hundreds of anonymous reviews

Our workshops get 4.6 out of 5 in hundreds of anonymous reviews


Day 1: Introduction to R programming

  • Brief R background, why R
  • RStudio basics, panes, snippets, themes, projects
  • The R system: workspace, working directory, packages
  • Getting help
  • The R language basics, function arguments
  • R objects
  • Working with R objects: subsetting, changing data types, names, missing values, reading and writing data
  • The “new R workflow”: dplyr, magrittr and tidyr packages for data manipulation
  • Traditional (base) plotting in R

Day 2: Intermediate and advanced R programming topics

  • Data visualization with ggplot2 (in depth)
  • Advanced R: control structures (for, if else, while)
  • Advanced R: family of apply functions
  • Advanced R: writing more useful functions
  • Advanced R: working with dates and strings (including the stringr package)
  • A brief hands-on demonstration of other relevant technologies (R markdown, Shiny)

Day 3 (optional half-day): High performance R

This section is a survey of strategies for working with big data and speeding up code. Users will come away with a good sense of options for working with big data in R but the specific tools to use are context specific and thus each topic will be covered only briefly

  • Timing code and measuring object size
  • Tips for writing faster code
  • Packages for faster data manipulation (dplyr, data.table)
  • Working with external databases like PostgreSQL, Hadoop, MySQL, SQL Server
  • Other big data strategies (alternative linear algebra libraries, Microsoft R Open, running calculations in parallel, precompiling code or using C++ code, using optimized packages/functions designed for big data)

From the Students

Zev is an excellent teacher – clear, organized but also adaptive, patient, perceptive, highly knowledgeable in the subject matter, and simply nice and skilled at connecting with his audience.”

Anthony Coghlan
Freddie Mac
Director, Credit Analytics and Reporting,
Single Family Modeling and Analytics

A student in my lab took the R course last week. He thought it was fantastic, and then used the knowledge to write a script to simplify and help in his analysis experiments he is doing for his project. He just told me that he used to be severely limited by the number of replicates he could analyze because of a problem handling the data – now that limitation is gone and he will be able to analyze much more data. Thank you for organizing the course.”

Cornell University
Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
(from a note sent to the organizer of the R workshop)

Based on a great experience I had with an introductory R course that Zev taught at a scientific conference a few years ago, I invited Zev to deliver the introductory R workshop at Columbia University. The workshop was a perfect introduction for students and staff to this powerful, open source statistics and visualization software, and gave them the skills and confidence to get to work using R on their own data.”

Patrick Kinney
Columbia University
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Director, Columbia Climate and Health Program

Teaching R at Cornell University

Teaching R at Cornell University

Workshop Instructor

Zev Ross is president of ZevRoss Spatial Analysis, a company focused on data science, statistics and data visualization. He is an RStudio recommended trainer and consultant and has used R on a daily basis for nearly 15 years conducting data analysis and statistics for a wide range of clients including some of the world’s largest public health agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Zev has authored or co-authored more than 40 scientific research papers and maintains a popular data science blog.

Zev has been teaching R workshops for 7 years and clients include the New York City Department of Health, Freddie Mac, Zurich Insurance, UCLA, Columbia University, Agriculture Canada and many others. These on-site wokshops have earned an average of 4.6 stars out of 5 in hundreds of anonymous reviews and 99% of the reviewers gave the workshops 4 or 5 stars.

Workshop Format

The workshop involves a mix of slides, collaborative hands-on material and exercises and can be held at your institution. Participants use their own laptops and will be provided access to RStudio Server for the course. To fit with busy schedules the workshop can be held on weekdays or weekends. The workshop is designed for up to 15 participants (but let us know if you have a small or large group).

20 responses

    • I sent you an e-mail. In most cases, I run workshops on behalf of an organization or group that invites me (rather than a workshop completely open to the public). If you have an organization or group interested let me know.

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