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What is today’s goal?

In the course of this tutorial we will show you …

  • How tabular data (spreadsheets) can be imported into R
  • How to install and use almost any R function (and read its related documentation)
  • How data can be cleaned and prepared for analysis
  • How you can find help and learn more about R

What this tutorial will not teach

The single most important thing this tutorial will not show are the hours of frustration, Googling, and copying-and-pasting that go along with using R (and just about any other programming language).

If (and especially if) this is your first time programing and/or using R. It’s important to know that programming is a learned skill - you will get better as you do it more so don’t expect that it will just “come naturally.” In fact, you will get a lot of use out of R without having to use it every day/week/month. With some basic skills, you will be able to do many important bioinformatics-related tasks, hopefully a lot faster and more reproducibly than you are doing now.

Is this tutorial right for you?

There are some useful tips and tricks for everyone in this tutorial but it was designed for people with little to no knowledge of programming and or R. After years teaching biologists, here are some typical statements from learners at this level:

  • “I used R once /took a class once several years ago”
  • “I’m afraid of R”
  • “I use R, but there are a lot of things I do and don’t understand why I am doing them”

If this sounds like you, this tutorial was written just for you.


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