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R - Introduction

R is a free and open-source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. R was created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is currently developed by the R Development Core Team.

R provides a wide variety of statistical tools (linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, etc.) and graphical techniques, and it is highly extensible.

Language Features:

One of key strength of R is the ease with which a well-designed and high-quality plots can be produced, including mathematical symbols and formula wherever needed.

R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. It includes:

  • An effective data handling and storage facility.
  • A suite of operators for calculations on arrays, in particular matrices.
  • A large, coherent, integrated collection of intermediate tools for data analysis.
  • Graphical facilities for data analysis and display either on-screen or on hard-copy.
  • A well-developed, simple and effective programming language which includes conditionals, loops, user-defined recursive functions and input and output facilities.

R has its own LaTeX-like documentation format, which is used for comprehensive documentation.

R is available as Free Software under the terms of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public License in source code form. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms and similar systems (including FreeBSD and Linux), Windows and MacOS.