Programming with R

Rice University (online)

May 12-13, 2020

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructors: Mauro Lepore, Jackson Hoffart

Helpers: Lisa Spiro, John C Mulligan, Clinton R Heider, Miaomiao Rimmer

General Information

This hands-on workshop is based on a lesson from Software Carpentry, an organization that helps researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

When: May 12-13, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: See Setup.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop. If we can help making learning easier for you please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to help you.

Contact: Please email or for more information.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct.This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use Zoom's Chat for chatting, and this collaborative document for long or persistent notes (e.g. bits of code).


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


To ensure the workshop is suitable for two half-days and is up-to-date, we will use the curriculum from Open Science with R (parts 1-6). The content will be adapted for online delivery and to focus on most current tools and best practices.


To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need to copy this project from a modern web-browser. For your personal use after the workshop, you may want to install the software described below:


R is a programming language that is especially powerful for data exploration, visualization, and statistical analysis. To interact with R, we use RStudio.

Video Tutorial

Install R by downloading and running this .exe file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE. Note that if you have separate user and admin accounts, you should run the installers as administrator (right-click on .exe file and select "Run as administrator" instead of double-clicking). Otherwise problems may occur later, for example when installing R packages.

You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo dnf install R). Also, please install the RStudio IDE.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.