Spring 2020 - R Workshop Series


Apr 10-May 1, 2020


Instructors: Jamie Jamison, Leigh Phan, Kristian Allen, Tim Dennis

Helpers: Dave George, Geno Sanchez, Ibraheem Ali, Scott Gruber

General Information

Workshops created by the Carpentries aim to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This series of hands-on workshops will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, task automation, and containerization. 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.

Where: https://ucla.zoom.us/my/ucladatascience.

When: Apr 10-May 1, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email datascience@library.ucla.edu 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.

Recording Notice

This workshop is being conducted over Zoom. The instructors will be recording this session. The recording feature for others is disabled so that no one else will be able to record this session through Zoom. No recording by other means is permitted. This session will be posted to UCLA Google Drive for sharing. If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let us know what name you will be using so that I know who you are during the session. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to an instructor only (and not to “everyone”), or you may contact instructors by another email <datascience@library.ucla.edu>. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact us. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between the vendor and UCLA, the data is used solely for this purpose and the vendor is prohibited from redisclosing this information. UCLA also does not use the data for any other purpose. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, the recording may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a videoconference.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.



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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Apr 10, 2020 R basics Parts of episodes 1-7
Apr 17, 2020 Data cleaning and preparation in R Episodes 13 & 14
Apr 24, 2020 Creating Publication-Quality Graphics with GGPLOT2.) Episode 8
May 1, 2020 Producing Reports with knitr Episodes 15


R for Reproducible Scientific Analysis

  • Introduction to R/Rstudio
  • Data Structures
  • Exploring data frames
  • Subsetting Data
  • Manipulating data frames
  • Making dynamic reports with knitr
  • Reference...


To participate in a Carpentries workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

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.


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.