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My R Journey: Adrienne Zell

Adrienne Zell wears many hats. She is an Assistant Professor in the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) – Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health . She is also the Director and co-founder of the OHSU Evaluation Core , an Assistant Director for the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI), and the Director of the OCTRI Office of Research Impact at OHSU . Adrienne’s team provides evaluation support and technical assistance to academic and...

If You Care About Equity, Use R

If you care about issues of equity and you work with data, you should use R. Yes, a humble data analysis tool can play a small, if important, role in creating a more equitable society. The first way that you may connect R and equity is with who uses it. Proprietary software like SPSS, SAS, Stata, and the like can cost thousands of dollars, making them inaccessible for many living outside of the wealthiest countries. R is famously free. If you have a computer you can use it. Efforts like...

Using R to Automate Survey Administration

Do you conduct surveys? If so, you likely know the pain of having to continually remind people to complete your survey? What if you could automate this process so that you don't have to keep track of anything? In this video tutorial, I give an example of how you can use R to automate survey administration. People typically think of R as a tool for data analysis, which it of course is. But, with thousands and thousands of package that give R added functionalities, you can use several of them...

A short overview of the grammar of graphics

One of the things I've had most trouble explaining to folks learning R is the grammar of graphics . It's the theoretical underpinnings of the ggplot2 package, which is used to make all sorts of graphics. In general, I try to avoid being too theoretical in my courses and workshops , but the grammar of graphics is so key that you can't learn ggplot without understanding it. In putting together my Fundamentals of R course , I made this video to help my students learn the grammar of graphics. I...

My R Journey: Alex Michel

Alex Michel recently graduated from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health in Portland, Oregon with a Master of Public Health. She’s worked in science communication and science writing for about 10 years and hopes to continue to use R to improve public access and engagement with research. Why did you decide to learn R? I first really got interested in R when I saw a guy who was making these really great graphs that also used these hilarious color palettes inspired by the nineties X-Men cartoon...

A Guide to R for Excel Users

Many of the clients I work with are coming from Excel. When I teach them R, I try to relate new information to things they are already familiar with. In that spirit, I've put together a short video that shows some key functions ( select , mutate , filter , summarize , group_by , and arrange ) from the dplyr package in R. If you've ever wondered, say, what the equivalent of the filter function would be in Excel, I've got you covered! A rendered version of the RMarkdown document used in the...

How teaching second graders helps me teach R

From 2005 to 2007, I was a second grade teacher at Bel Pre Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was the hardest job I've ever done. But I learned so much about teaching during that time (as well as my education master's program) that it was anything but a waste. Recently, I've been reflecting on ways that I'm incorporating lessons learned from my time working with young students into how I've designed my Fundamentals of R course for (slightly) older students. Lesson #1: Go Slow...

What is a Tidyverse-centric approach?

I describe my Fundamentals of R course as taking a "Tidyverse-centric approach." If you're new to R, you might be wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Here's my explanation as to what the Tidyverse is and why I use it to teach R. The Tidyverse is described as: ... an opinionated collection of R packages designed for data science. All packages share an underlying design philosophy, grammar, and data structures. The Tidyverse consists of multiple packages . When you run the code...

Is R just for data scientists?

Take a look at most R courses and they're pitched to aspiring data scientists. They say things like, "learn R and you can get a great job working at one of the many companies that use it to do data science." Take a look at the bios of many of the most prominent R users and you'll see that they are data scientists (or talk about using data science in some other field). Take a look at the most famous book for learning R and what is it called? R for Data Science . So, is R only for data...

My R Journey: Steve Richard

Steve Richard works as a data analyst at the Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) in Multnomah County, Oregon. JOHS is an office that was created through an inter-governmental agreement between the city of Portland, Oregon and the County to allocate funds to and manage contracts for social services agencies serving the homeless population in the County. In his role, Steve is responsible for implementing the homeless system's monitoring plan, communicating performance outcomes to various...