CSE, Lyle School of Eng., SMU

Learn R On Your Own
(formerly CSE 8091: Advanced Scientific Computing with R)


Scientific computing applies computational methods to scientific and engineering problems. This course will help you exploit the power of R, a freely available language and environment for statistical computing and graphics, to boost your research with state of the art data analysis and visualization. R is currently the 2nd most widely used environment for data analysis/mining beating the well-known commercial tools IBM/SPSS, SAS and Matlab (2011 KDDnuggets Survey) and the most used programing language for data mining and analytics (another 2011 KDDnuggets Survey).

The material collection of this page was created for the course CSE 8091 Advanced Scientific Computing with R held in Fall 2011 (see course syllabus). The material is suitable for learning R by yourself. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Install R (see Tools and Software below). You probably also want to install RStudio.
  2. Work through "An Introduction to R" (see Readings Section below). The presentation slides and videos on this page cover a large part of the introduction.
  3. Check out the rest of the sections Readings and the Useful Links section below.


  1. Overview: A first R session - Slides / Video
  2. Objects, arrays and lists - Slides / Video
  3. Loops, apply and functions - Slides / Video
  4. Plots and Visualization - Slides / Video
  5. Creating simulated data - Slides
  6. Object-oriented programing - S3 object system / S4 object system
  7. Anatomy of packages - Example package TSP
  8. Basic regression and classification models - Code examples
  9. Computation using multiple-cores or a cluster - multi-core example, cluster example
  10. Visualizing Graphs - igraph examples (map.R)


Tools and Software


This is the preferred installation! You can do one of the following:

In Ubuntu you can use the "Synaptics Package Manager" (under "System Settings") to install "R-base", "g++" and any other software you need.


You can download R for Windows from CRAN.

RStudio IDE

RStudio makes working with R much easier.

Useful Links

Michael Hahsler
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