Ahoy! We R excited for you to start your learning adventure with a language built for data enthusiasts! The R community is made up of people passionate about the intersection of numbers, data, analysis, and code. In this lesson, we will introduce you to some basic R syntax and discuss how R classifies data types so that it can mathematically process them in analysis.

But before you go any further, let’s talk about how R is different from most programming languages. Unlike with other languages, most beginners who want to learn R do so because they want to analyze data. In this way, R is more of a tool to understand data than a programming language used to build software applications. Our approach to teaching you R will be similar to teaching you how to use a new tool.

What is the tool for? R is powerful for conducting statistics and other specialized data analysis. It was invented by scientists for statistical computing and a community of specialized packages has been built around the language.

Some housekeeping: over the next exercises you’ll be conducting all of your work inside R-notebook files. You’ll see the .Rmd file format will allow you to write blocks of code and see their output as a webpage. You will see the blocks wrapped inside the following syntax:

This is regular markdown text that will render as regular text. ` ` `{r} 7 + 7 # This is R code ` ` `

This format allows you to group blocks of code with common logic, see their output, and then render all of it together as an HTML file that can be viewed on a browser as a static webpage. The .Rmd format is the preferred standard in the data science industry.

Note: This lesson assumes no prior coding knowledge and will introduce programming concepts as you need them in order to continue using R as a tool to conduct analysis.


By the end of these R lessons you will be an expeRRRRt R data analyst!

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