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developerWorks: Statistical Programming with R, Part 1

Sep 24, 2004, 07:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Mertz, Brad Huntting)


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"In the first of a three-part series, David and Brad introduce you to R, a rich statistical environment, released as free software. It includes a programming language, an interactive shell, and extensive graphing capability. What's more, R comes with a spectacular collection of functions for mathematical and statistical manipulations--with still more capabilities available in optional packages.

"The R environment is not intended to be a programming language per se, but rather an interactive tool for exploring data sets, including the generation of a wide range of graphic representations of data properties. You can save both the generated graphics and the steps taken during a session for later use, which is especially useful in picking up working environments, per project, where you last left off. By default, R commands are saved in a session history, but you can also save particularly helpful sequences of instructions in .R files that you can source() within a session..."

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