Introduction to Programming with R - Software Carpentry
CQ University Australia

November 28-29, 2019

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Instructors: Jason Bell



To register – you must email Jason Bell ( to register for this event.

You must attend both days, unless otherwise confirmed with the instructor. With this training provided online using Zoom, places are very limited. With this in mind, if you register to attend and then don’t attend the full training, you may forfeit any other training provided by CQUniversity eResearch Support for the remaining of the year. Obviously, if there are extenuating circumstances, then they will be considered. If you cannot make this workshop, you will need to inform the trainers 48 hours prior to the start of the workshop.

General Information

Software Carpentry 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 program design, version control, data management, and task automation. 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: Virtual lesson taught over Zoom.

When: November 28-29, 2019. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). on.

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.

Contact: Please email for more information.


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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

(Introduction to Programming with R)

Before Pre-workshop survey
09:00 Introduction to R and RStudio
09:40 Project Management With RStudio
10:00 Seeking Help
10:30 Morning break
10:45 Data Structures
12:30 Lunch
13:15 Exploring Data Frames
14:45 Afternoon break
15:00 Subsetting data
16:00 Creating Publication-Quality Graphics with ggplot2
16:30 END

Day 2

(Intermediate to Advanced Programming in R)

09:00 Vectorization
09:45 Functions Explained
10:30 Morning break
10:45 Writing Data
11:30 Splitting and Combining Data Frames with plyr
12:30 Lunch break
13:15 Dataframe Manipulation with dplyr
13:45 Dataframe Manipulation with tidyr
14:45 Afternoon break
15:00 Producing Reports With knitr
16:00 Writing Good Software
16:15 Feedback
16:15 Post-workshop Survey
16:30 END


Programming in R

  • Working with vectors and data frames
  • Reading and plotting data
  • Creating and using functions
  • Loops and conditionals
  • Using R from the command line
  • Reference...

Lesson Details: R Programming

Lessons online :


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.