Course: Kick-start R (3rd edition)


April 24, 2015


Room F-401, Science (W&N) Building, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081HV Amsterdam
Route descriptions: URL-1 / URL-2


As the title says, the main goal is to provide the participant with a kick-start in R. Clearly, good and practically applicable knowledge of R will only be gained by subsequent self-study. A kick start is achieved through the following sub-goals:

  1. The participant will become acquainted with the structure and philosophy behind the R-language. The participant will thereby be able to gain a quicker understanding of the R-language compared to the “immediate problem solving” approach taken by most (online) manuals.
  2. The participant will become acquainted with a number of tools specific to the R-language. This will help the participant to start using R quickly in a professional manner.


Dr. Douwe Molenaar (VU)

Target audience

Primarily targeting researchers from academia, but participants from the private sector are also welcome.


This is a one-day introduction to the possibilities of the statistical calculation environment R for those who would like to use it, or have already started using R for statistical data analysis but would like to obtain a bit more background. We will start with a lecture in which the philosophy behind the R-language will be explained. This will allow you to better understand the data structures in R. Also, you will be shown some of the advanced possibilities of R as well as where to find tutorials if you want to know more about those techniques. Most of the day will be devoted to a computer tutorial where you can start either to learn working with R or, if you already have some experience, start to explore more advanced topics in R. The tutorial contains material from an introductory master course that is taught at the VU University. The manual contains material and references to material for self-study.

Topics that we will discuss: R language basics, installing R and R-packages, finding help, using R-studio, making dynamic reports, model fitting, reading/writing data from/to files, making modern publication-ready graphs, books and tutorials on the use of R.

Participants will get a certificate after successfully completing this course.

Course programme

9:45  Coffee/tea
10:00 Welcome
10:10 Introductory lecture: philosophy of R, understanding data structures and methods
11:15 Tools for using R (RStudio, Version control, Making dynamic documents)
12:00 Afternoon: Solving basic and advanced problems in R. Problem sets are available in the VU R-course syllabus, or you can work on problems that you encounter in your own research. Technical assistance will be present.
12:30 Lunch
15:00 Coffee/tea
16:30 End

Course material will be provided for and will be online available.

More information

For more information about the course programme you can contact Douwe Molenaar


Maximum number of participants is 35, so register soon to be sure of a course seat! Coffee, tea and soft drinks and lunch will be provided.

Registration for the course is closed.