UF Carpentries Workshop: Intro to R

September 28-29, 2020

10:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Instructors: Hao Ye, Renata Diaz, Eve Bohnett

Helpers: Brandon Merriell, Brian Stucky, Geraldine Klarenberg, Plato Smith

General Information

The Carpentries aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including data management, basic R programming, data visualization, and version control. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Zoom- Online Workshop. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: September 28-29, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants have a computer with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.). You should have permission to install software on your laptop. Before the workshop, please make sure that your laptop has a few specific software packages installed.

Code of Conduct: Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can make learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will do our best to help.

Contact: Please email evebohnett@ufl.edu for more information.


Space is limited to 35 participants for this workshop and registration is required. Please plan on attending the entire time for both days. This workshop will be free, however registration requires attendance for most of the workshop.

Register for this workshop!


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

Before Pre-workshop survey
10:00 AM Intro to R and R Studio
11:30 Morning break - 30 mins
12:00 Data Structures
1:00 PM Lunch break - 1 hr
2:00 Subsetting Data
3:30 Afternoon break- 30 mins
4:00 Control Flow
5:30 END

Day 2

10:00 AM Functions Explained
11:30 Morning break - 30 mins
12:00 Dataframe Manipulation with dplyr
1:00 PM Lunch break - 1 hr
2:00 Creating Publication-Quality Graphics with ggplot2
3:30 Afternoon break - 30 mins
4:00 R data manipulation and visualization, continued
5:30 Post-workshop Survey
16:40 END

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.


R is a programming language that is especially powerful for data exploration, visualization, and statistical analysis. To interact with R, we use RStudio.

Video Tutorial

Install R by downloading and running this .exe file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE. Note that if you have separate user and admin accounts, you should run the installers as administrator (right-click on .exe file and select "Run as administrator" instead of double-clicking). Otherwise problems may occur later, for example when installing R packages.

You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo dnf install R). Also, please install the RStudio IDE.