02.14

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.

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