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R Beginner Bootcamp

Transportation:

 

MBTA: Red line subway stop is nearby.  Several buses go into Kendall Square.

 

Parking:

*MIT has a few free parking lots - Hayward Street and E51 on Amherst Street.  Please use online maps for directions.  Information can be found here at the bottom of the page:

http://web.mit.edu/facilities/transportation/parking/visitors/public_parking.html

 

*Microsoft has a basement garage parking lot - cost is $10

 

*Metered parking on Main Street and some MIT streets - if you use this option please make sure you check the street signs and meters to know what time these become free so you do not get a ticket.

 

 

Pre-BootCamp software installation

 

So that we can make the best use of our time in class, please setup your laptop beforehand. The instructions below describe installing and testing the items we'll use in the BootCamp.

You'll do four steps to get your laptop ready:

  1. Install R
  2. Install RStudio
  3. Install the BootCamp example files
  4. Test the installation

Getting help

If anything here is tricky, please email me or post a note in the comments, and we'll help you straighten out any issues.

 

What if I already have this software installed?

Definitely upgrade by following the instructions below. RStudio and R have are under very active development, and you'll get the most out of the BootCamp if your installation is in sync with the course.

Install the necessary components 1) Install R

  1. Open http://cran.r-project.org/mirrors.html
  2. Choose one of the USA download mirrors
  3. In the section Download and Install R, choose Windows / Linux / Mac OS X

Note for Windows users:

  • You only need the base package for this workshop ("Binaries for base distribution")

Note for Mac OS X users:

  • You need only the R binary, e.g., R-2.15.3.pkg (latest version)

2) Install RStudio

  1. Open http://www.rstudio.com/ide/download/desktop
  2. Install the appropriate package for your platform

Note: Windows users need Administrator privileges to install RStudio

3) Install the BootCamp example files

  1. Go to http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Predictive-Analytics/files/ and download the file.
  2. Unzip the file [masked]_examples.zip a folder on the desktop. (Extract the zipped files; don't just open the zip file itself.)
  3. Check that you have a folder R_examples on your desktop

4) Test your installation

  1. Start RStudio. You should see something like this http://www.rstudio.com/ide/screenshots/
  2. Click File / Open file
    1. navigate to the desktop folder R_examples
    2. open the file welcome.R
  3. In the upper-left RStudio panel, click "Source"
  4. You should see a graph in the bottom-right panel.
  5. If you saw a graph Learning R increases your salary, congrats, everything is working!

Please post your experiences with these installation instructions, and we'll make sure things are going smoothly.

We're really looking forward to seeing you Monday evening.  We will be there at 5:30 in order to help anyone who needs last minute help with the install.  Bootcamp starts at 6.

 

Many thanks to Microsoft NERD for hosting this event. A few dollars will go to cover pizza that will arrive about 5:40ish.  The room will be setup classroom style (rows of tables with power strips).  Food/drink is allowed in the room.  MS has fridges full of soda as well as Keurig-like machines for coffee, hot chocolate, etc.

 

Schedule:

05:30 Networking / Pizza / Setup - we will be at MS early to help folks with install issues.

06:00 Workshop and R Overview

06:15 R-Studio: inputting scripts (multiple lines of code), entering code, installing packages and libraries, running a script, looking at data, visualizing output.

06:30 Data Management: inputting data, manipulating data/text using Vectors, DataFrames -- think Excel Columns (Vectors) and Excel spreadsheet (DataFrame).

07:30 Break

07:35 Functions: will be writing a very basic function to be used in the subsequent graphing section.

07:50 Graphics: Barplots, Histograms, Line, Scatterplots; Graph Formatting.  If you have ideas of what kind of chart you wish to create using R, then this can be discussed on break, afterwards to help out on this.

08:45 Recap

 

The workshop, which is the fourth time it has been offered, is designed to get folks up and running using the basics of R.  This includes data management and moving real-world data in and out, performing analytics and generating data visualizations using various graphic packages.  After completing this hands-on workshop, you'll have a foundation for moving onto more extensive analysis in R.

The workshop is being taught by David Weisman who has consulted in computer science and software engineering for 25 years and has also earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology, focused heavily in bioinformatics and big data mining. He uses R extensively throughout his work.

 

For the bootcamp, a couple items on the Online Courses and pre-workshop prep.

 

(1) Online Courses - CodeSchool:  Yesterday I went through the codeschool Try R, and found this to be very good at exploring various capabilities of R.   They use an online R emulator of some sort.  Material is presented item-by-item, and they try to have parts build on one another. However it's not a program or script; though more about becoming more familiar with some of R capabilities.

http://www.codeschool.com/courses/try-r

I learned some new things - especially on some different types of graphs.  It's organized in "chapters"; and once one finishes you cannot go back and review!  I ended up saving PDFs of each of the seven chapters just to be able to go back and review.

 

(2) Online Courses - Coursera:  The beginner R course is not currently available; however they have a Data Analysis course still ongoing.  They carried over about 10 videos/lectures from the beginner course.  For Coursera, I generally enroll though don't take the course due to time constraints; however I download videos/lectures (before they are removed as some courses do not have a class archive).  I use these mainly as reference / on-demand when I have specific questions.

https://www.coursera.org/course/dataanalysis

http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Predictive-Analytics/pages/Online_Tutorials/

 

(3) Pre-Workshop Prep.  In addition to downloading the base R software and R-Studio (see event page for links), one member asked about what to do to better prepare for the workshop.  The above online videos might help, and if these are sufficient so as to not do the offline workshop, then great!   More generally, what is your reason for taking this workshop?  I realize for many it's a get-ones-feet-wet and learn what is all the buzz about R; and how to get jump started.   If you have a specific task or project that you want to implement in R, then that would be helpful, e.g. I use XYZ software currently (SAS, SPSS, scientific, financial, etc). and want to run some analysis in R; or I want to create a particular graphic.   In the interim before the workshop, two good resources for R are R-Bloggers and Quick-R; the former being very unstructured, creative, interesting; and the latter geared at basic training.  Each has scripts/code, though R-bloggers can be hard to follow; though people also post links to R-Tutorials, etc.

 

http://www.r-bloggers.com/

http://statmethods.net/

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Ramon V.

    Excellent all around.

    June 11, 2013

  • Creence L.

    Can you interface R with python so that a website can dynamically create those plots that are on the R enthusiasts page?

    1 · April 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi,

    I've been trying to print the PDF slides from the Bootcamp but keep getting errors. Anyone else had this problem? Are the PDF files protected? Any help would be great.

    April 3, 2013

  • Yi L.

    Great event! But you might still remember there is an unresolved issue when we tried to rename mammal$species (recall 'dataFrameColVecManip.R' slide). For example > m$species[2] <- 'lizard'

    you'll get error prompts like this:

    In `[<-.factor`(`*tmp*`, 2, value = c(4L, NA, 3L, 1L, 2L)) :
    invalid factor level, NAs generated

    Today I spent a little time studying it and found the reason - 'lizard' is not in the levels of species. It would be OK if you rename it with the name that fall into levels of species, such as 'human' and 'cat'.

    Therefore, we can tackle this problem by expanding the levels.

    > levels(m$species) <- c(levels(m$species), "lizard")
    > m$species[2] <- 'lizard'
    > m
    species bodyWt brainWt
    1 Human [masked] [masked] lizard 0.023 [masked] Gorilla [masked] [masked] Cat 3.300 [masked] Elephant[masked] [masked]

    Hope it helps.

    March 31, 2013

  • Dessislava H.

    Excellent. Thank you for organizing and for the very informative presentation. I feel prepared with basics to continue learning on my own.

    March 20, 2013

  • Kaisar Nova K.

    Excellent Bootcamp! The R class was both well structured and paced. David did a great job getting through the material and answering all questions.

    While computing tools come and go, R programmers should seek comfort in enterprise grade backing by Oracle.

    Thank you to EMC for sponsoring this event.

    March 20, 2013

  • Dennis R.

    I believe the demographics for the session were remarkable. The mix crossed gender, age, academic level, business, education level, and profession from my assessment. Truly it highlighted the desire for this type of continued training for Stat packages, Analytics tools, and Data Mining methods. Hope there is more to come. The session itself was very worthwhile and informative with a great presenter. Thanks to the organizers.

    March 20, 2013

  • Gaurav S.

    Very informative

    March 20, 2013

  • Erik W.

    David did an excellent job covering significant material with perfect depth and cadence for an intro. Loved the examples and the gotchas sprinkled through the presentation. I am switching from Excel to R Studio!!!

    Looking forward to additional sessions by David. He's one of the best presenters I've ever seen and I've been around quite a while.

    Also, I would also like to attend a session on using R with Hadoop etc. Thanks to all the organizers - really appreciate the effort!!!

    March 19, 2013

  • ukats

    Echo reviews from others, great introduction to R from David and I feel knowledgeable to take off with the basics provided in the bootcamp!

    March 19, 2013

  • Michael

    Concur with all the other positive comments. I am grateful. Thank you.

    March 19, 2013

  • Hafeez

    Well Organized, well thought off, no time wasted, handy instructions, i am IN for the next camp.
    Happy to be part of this meetup. Thanks to John for such an organized meetup.

    1 · March 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent meet up! Exactly what I was hoping it would be.

    For anyone looking for some data to play with, I found these sources from Information is Beautiful:

    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/data/

    Also, here is a comprehensive play-by-play database for the NFL, seasons 2002 through 2012:

    http://www.advancednflstats.com/2010/04/play-by-play-data.html

    Lots of good reading at both sites.

    March 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent bootcamp. Could be used as a model!

    Thank you for organizing and presenting!

    March 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    One of the most useful Meetups I have been to -- Thanks !

    March 18, 2013

  • Ramon V.

    Excellent Meetup - thanks for all you work John. Please do post your slides if you if you can.

    March 18, 2013

  • Cesar

    This was a great meetup and I look forward to attending the next part (intermediate) meetup. John, I was wondering if you posted the first part if the presentation desk. I looked on files, but I did not see the R comparison with other software.

    Thanks

    March 18, 2013

  • Nik

    I was able to pay and get in just now for the spot that opened up.
    Cheers,
    M

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • Ramon V.

    John B. I've had the same experience. I saw the first cancellation early this am and tried to get in, but the meetup software would not let me. May be my browser? What's the saying - don't look in the free meetup software's mouth.

    The install/test instructions and software worked like a charm.

    March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    How are waitlisters notified? I keep getting emails about open slots but no way to respond.

    March 18, 2013

    • John V.

      I understand the frustration as I have experienced this in the other groups I'm in. Meetup unfortunately doesn't have an "auto-waitlist with auto-pay" system. On the day of the event a "manual-waitlist + payment required to RSVP" is what we have, and that means whomever responds first gets in. With the "auto-waitlist and pay at leisure", about 50% of people who move into the RSVP do not pay. I then have to send payment reminder emails, and then remove unpaid RSVPs. This is somewhat okay a week before an event though still not optimal. On the day of an event this is much harder given the short time window until the event. "Auto-Waitlist + Auto-Pay" would be helpful, though not sure if this feature will ever be added to Meetup. Apologies as I realize we do not have a perfect solution. Suggestion anyone? Will try to get another R Bootcamp scheduled soon. ~John

      March 18, 2013

  • Kaisar Nova K.

    The R installation instructions were clear and concise. I am still on the waiting list, however. If you cannot attend due to inclement weather, please exchange your spot with someone on the waiting list, if possible. Thank you.

    March 18, 2013

  • Glenn B.

    Weather and distance I have to drive to this event I have to decline.

    March 18, 2013

  • Alejandro

    Sorry, but the weather is going to send me straight home after work. I look forward to attending the next one.

    March 18, 2013

  • Rajeev V.

    I cannot attend today's meet up. Someone use my spot

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I received an email saying that a spot opened up and I can register, but when I RSVP as attending, I am told that I am on waitlist but there is no option to pay for the meet.

    Am I missing something here?

    March 18, 2013

  • Hafeez

    Did any one say any thing about Parking .. Can any one put the address please ... do not want to waster time searching for parking ...

    March 18, 2013

    • John V.

      Hi Hafeez, the address is 1 Memorial Drive. There is parking at MIT at the Hayward Street and E51 lots. Microsoft also has a paid parking garage for $10. The MBTA has a nearby subway station. I have added these instructions with links to the event page. John

      March 18, 2013

  • Hafeez

    I think i am the last minute installer ... handy instructions, looking forward to get the 'R'-feet WET.

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • Ramon V.

    I see one has cancelled - I hope I am next in the waiting list!

    March 18, 2013

  • Shin F.

    I have a work meeting I have to attend and I will have to drop out. It would be great if I could get a refund. Apologies for the last minute change.

    March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i have also installed stuff and really excited about this event. as things turn out, i am on the waitlist and not sure what number i am at!! anyone dropping off at the last min?

    March 18, 2013

  • Dennis R.

    Good to go. Hope the course is packed with details and moves quickly. Lot's to cover.

    March 17, 2013

  • Simon R.

    The instructions worked perfectly. I am up and running after 30 minutes!

    March 17, 2013

  • Alberto

    The step-by-step instructions were awesome! I am all set!

    March 17, 2013

  • Bob M.

    A note for others trying to download the examples zip file. You need to be logged into the Meetup site to see and download the file. I couldn't see the file initially as I hadn't logged in.

    March 17, 2013

    • Alberto

      Thank you Bob for the tip! I could not see the zip file until I read your post and then logged in! Thanks!

      March 17, 2013

  • Robert M. C.

    My environment is setup and I'm excited about tomorrow!

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there any chance that more people will be able to get in off the waitlist... just saw this today and very interested.
    (#80 on waitlist :( )

    March 15, 2013

    • John V.

      Hi Diana, at this point not too likely and unfortunately we are at capacity. Will try to get another one of these scheduled as soon as we can find event space. Regards, John

      March 16, 2013

    • Yi L.

      I am on waitlist #19. figures crossed!

      March 16, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Would bringing some data, perhaps in comma-delimited text files, be a help?

    March 16, 2013

  • Mike C.

    Can someone suggest parking around NERD tonight? Free is preferred (says Captain Obvious). Thanks.

    March 11, 2013

    • Mike C.

      Yeah, I screwed up. I'm here at NERD now as we "speak". So I'm attending the AWS meetup. Thanks for the parking referral. Please include a street address so I can find it via a GPS navigation device. I'm as good with directions as I apparently am with a calendar. Thanks.

      March 11, 2013

    • Tom M.

      The Hayward St. lot is on Hayward St. (in Cambridge)

      March 12, 2013

  • Amanda

    I would like to come. I am on the waitlist. Right now it says 12 spots are available. I think we have a lot of waitlisters ahead of me. But if more spots open then I am readyto PayPal it.

    1 · March 11, 2013

  • Jyotirmay G.

    I would definitely like to come.

    March 11, 2013

  • Nathan B.

    Ending up having to travel on that day so sorry, will not be able to attend. Please give my spot to someone else.

    March 10, 2013

  • Glenn B.

    My question: Paypal and I are not good friends. Is there another way of sending payment? I am interested in attending - snail mail address?

    March 4, 2013

    • John V.

      Meetup has three options, PayPal, Amazon Payments, or offline. So if PayPal doesn't work then cash or check at the event would work.

      March 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Those people who have posted an "I cannot attend" message should go to through the site and actually remove yourself from the attendee list. You are doing that, right?

    February 28, 2013

    • John V.

      Yes, that would help. On Monday when I go through the list these will be take care of as well.

      February 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    How does the waitlist work for an event like this? Are those with spots required to confirm? Will additional spots open up? Just curious the chances of making it off waitlist at this point.

    February 21, 2013

    • John V.

      Hi Bryan, the waitlist is set on automatic and takes the person with the oldest waitlist date/time. Those who are on the RSVP list need to pay in a reasonable time with people on the waitlist moved up to replace unpaid RSVPs. We are pretty much at capacity for the room. Regards, John

      February 27, 2013

  • Ernie K.

    Is the $10 price final?

    February 21, 2013

    • John V.

      Hi Ernie, yes, $10 is the final price.

      February 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am going to offer my seat to someone else for this event.

    February 25, 2013

  • Elona H.

    I would like to offer my spot to other people interested, as I won't attend. Thank you.

    February 21, 2013

  • Maggie H.

    Sorry, can't make it. leaving the space out for waiting list people

    February 21, 2013

  • John V.

    Hi Erika, its not needed to have programming or statistical experience. We will walk through a project; taking time to go through each part of the script / code. I've updated the event page, and I'm drafting a longer email to help the group out, and will send in the next day or so. Best Regards, John

    February 20, 2013

  • Brandon B.

    Staying tuned for open spots...

    February 20, 2013

Your organizer's refund policy for R Beginner Bootcamp

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 4 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

Regardless of the refund policy set by the organizer, Meetup may issue refunds on an organizer's behalf if we determine that Meetup's Payment Policies have been violated.

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