25 Recipes for Getting Started with R
Excerpts from the R Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: January 2011
Pages: 62

R is a powerful tool for statistics and graphics, but getting started with this language can be frustrating. This short, concise book provides beginners with a selection of how-to recipes to solve simple problems with R. Each solution gives you just what you need to know to use R for basic statistics, graphics, and regression.

You'll find recipes on reading data files, creating data frames, computing basic statistics, testing means and correlations, creating a scatter plot, performing simple linear regression, and many more. These solutions were selected from O'Reilly's R Cookbook , which contains more than 200 recipes for R that you'll find useful once you move beyond the basics.

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O'Reilly Media25 Recipes for Getting Started with R
 
3.5

(based on 4 reviews)

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67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Concise (4)
  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (4)

    Reviewed by 4 customers

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    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    A little too short and concise

    By lookjane

    from Washington, DC

    About Me Maker

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Easy to understand

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough
    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Novice

    Comments about O'Reilly Media 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R:

    25 Recipes for Getting Started with R by Paul Teetor is a little book of examples that solve particular problems using R. What's "R" you ask? Well, then this isn't the book for you, despite its "Getting Started" moniker. I knew that R was a hot new thing (program or programming language or environment or something) that people were using to do neat stuff with data and statistics. But I wanted to know more and this seemed like a good book start with. I should have read the Preface a bit more carefully as it clearly says:
    This book is not a tutorial on R, although you will learn something by studying the recipes. The book is not an introduction to statistics either.
    Those are both important caveats. While I know slightly more about R than I used to, I'm still looking to "get started" using R. The problem here, to be fair to to Teetor, is probably the publisher's (which it pains me to say since I love them so and I got this book for free in order to review it). This book is a set of excerpts from a larger book of recipes called the "R Cookbook." That book probably makes sense to buy if you've already gotten your start with R and want some guidance on how to solve problems using R. The "25 Recipes" book is too short (only 44 pages of actual "recipes", the first 6 pages of which cover installing and getting help on the web) to provide more than a very cursory overview. More troubling is that some of the explanations within the recipes seem truncated. I'm guessing that's because they refer to recipes in the full book that weren't included here. For example, Problem 1.10 carefully explains that, depending on how you select a column you might get a "vector" or a "data frame" returned. While most people reading a book about R are probably going to be able to intuit the distinction it still would have been helpful to have thrown in a "recipe" about it. But of course, that would be more of a "tutorial" which this book states that it is not. As a positive, the book does cover the main things you'd want to know (basic statistical function, basic plotting/graphing, regressions). But it's hard to imagine that there aren't free alternatives on the web that get you at least as far. In sum, I like the idea behind the book but couldn't recommend this version. Perhaps the full "R Cookbook" is the way to go.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Good intro to R

    By Zeus

    from Exeter, RI

    About Me Developer, Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about O'Reilly Media 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R:

      25 Recipes for Getting Started with R is a collection of short introductory tutorials ("recipes") derived from the R Cookbook by the same author. The goal is to show the reader how to perform basic tasks in R, a language for statistical analysis.

      Starting with the obligatory "installing R", the book moves through reading data files of various types, then it's off to recipes on various statistical functions. The recipe format is generally useful, making use of straightforward examples, then referring the reader to R's documentation for more detailed information.

      Be aware that this is not a statistics tutorial and no attempt is made to explain, for example, *why* you might want to compare the mean of two samples; the book simply tells you how to do something like that in R.

      I appreciated the author's ability to provide examples which did not involve unnecessary complications - each recipe solves the stated problem without requiring the reader to delve into tangential topics. This can be exactly what you need when starting out. The potential downside, of course, is that a book like this may not be a "keeper" once past the novice stage. Readers who intend to use R extensively would likely prefer to purchase the R Cookbook, which can provide a little more depth.

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Short but useful introduction to R

      By jsanpe

      from Washington DC

      About Me Researcher

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too basic

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about O'Reilly Media 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R:

      This book contains a fantastic first glance at the R language and its possibilities for statistical data analysis. The book is targeted to the new R programmer, and assumes just a basic knowledge of statistics. Easy to read, it provides readers with the basics to start working with this exciting language. Its main disadvantage: it is just too short and leaves the reader wanting more.

      As a complete newbie to the R language, I have found the first recipes describing data input extremely helpful. These by themselves are worth the price of the book. R allows for quite a wide range of input formats as well as parsing options. The author gives illustrative examples for the functions and parameters used to import the most common file formats (e.g. csv). It seems obvious after reading these pages that finding this information in the R reference manual would have taken hours instead of minutes.

      The second part of the book describes data representation within the R environment, namely vectors and data frames. This part is also very useful for the new R programmer: knowing the native R data types helps to understand how the statistical methods function.

      The book ends with recipes describing basic statistical functions. While the first few examples are illustrative and helpful for about every new R programmer, I find that the last examples are way too specific and not as helpful. This leaves the reader with mixed feelings about the book: for such a short book, every single line should be meaningful to every reader.

      Buy the book if you are new to the language and want to start using it and getting results in a matter of minutes, literally. Don't buy it if you know your way around the language. If you are not in a rush, I would recommend alternative and more comprehensive readings, such as "R in a Nutshell" by Joseph Alder.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Very good for R beginners

      By Michal Konrad Owsiak

      from Poland

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about O'Reilly Media 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R:

        Simple, straight to the point, and nicely composed introduction to R. This is the first impression after you go briefly through all the chapters. I am not regular R user – I use R periodically when I have to perform server log analysis. However I remember my first experience with R. It was quite painful to do such simple tasks as loading data from input files, printing loaded data, plotting basic charts not to mention more complex data analysis. Paul guides you through R basics and provides you with gentle introduction to R – powerful tool (or language if you want to be strict) for statistical analysis of data. What you get here is a description of tasks that every beginner will perform – sooner or later. Book guides your through all the steps from the installation process to complex data analysis. After reading this book chapter by chapter you will most probably notice something – it wasn't that hard to start working with R after all. What I really like in Paul's approach is that examples are really, really simple and straightforward. No messing around, just plain, clear, simple examples – very often single liners. But don't think that this is all about. After each solution there is a time for a deeper analysis of the problem. This is the place, where you get detailed explanation of what really happens when you execute given example. Great benefit of the book is that it covers really basic issues related to R programing and it covers them at fairly small number of pages. This way, you get the knowledge, while at the same time you don't get bored. Must have for R beginners.

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