Detailed information about the course

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Introduction to R


9-10 & 23-24 March 2023

Lang EN Workshop language is English

Dr. Jose Manuel Nunes, UNIGE


Dr. Jose Manuel Nunes, UNIGE


The R environment for statistical computing and graphics has become an undisputed reference for data analyses in Biology and many other sciences. It combines unparalleled facilities to learn, design, explore, analyse, graph, tabulate, draft and report computational/statistical data analyses. Its simple and reliable yet powerful extensions' system (packages) makes R the environment where many new methods are developed. The RStudio interface provides an easy to use interface to this very complete system that runs almost equally in a large number of operating systems. Furthermore, R is free software. The course includes some topics in statistics and presents some programming related features of R but it is not intended as a introductory or refresher statistics course or an introduction to programming.

Learning objectives:

By the end of the course, the participants are expected to:

-be able to make basic exploratory data analyses

-write R expressions to perform everyday tasks in data analysis

-produce tables and graphics and make them available as files

-be capable of reading, understanding and writing basic R scripts

-use the help facilities available

Previous knowledge/skills: The course assumes no prior knowledge of the R system nor any specific background except being familiar with basic text editing and file manipulation (copy, move) in computer systems.

Technical requirements: You may use the computers provided by the University or bring your own laptop in which case you'll need to make a 10 minutes check-up test two days prior to the course (details provided upon confirmation).


Schedule: Information will follow



  • R System Overview
  • Data Types (vectors, data frames, lists)
  • Subset Selection - Importing and Exporting Data from/into Files (read/write)
  • Numerical Summaries - Using Functions Effectively
  • Graphical Summaries
  • Classical Statistical Tests
  • Families (tests, probability distributions, functions)
  • The (self) Help System
  • Scripting for Reproducible Resea



This course is organized in collaboration with the CUSO Doctoral Programs in Ecology & Evolution, Microbial Sciences and StarOmics and the Doctoral School in Life Sciences of Neuchâtel (DSLS).



Deadline for registration: TBA

Priority is given to PhD students of the Doctoral Programmes CUSO DPEE, MPS, StarOmics and students of the DSLS.
4 places available for each participating program.



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