Introduction to R, an SWC-like Workshop

King's College London

Apr 14-28, 2021

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructors: Rohit Goswami, Sanjay Fuloria, Annajiat Alim Rasel

Helpers: Fursham Hamid, James Cain, Kai Lim

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: Online. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Apr 14-28, 2021. 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 on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Who can attend?: This workshop is for scientists and students from King's College London.

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.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this etherpad for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey

Day 1

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
13:30 Pre workshop set up
14:00 Project Management With RStudio
14:15 Introduction to R and RStudio
15:00 Break
15:15 Seeking Help
15:30 Analyzing Data
16:00 Creating functions
16:30 Analyzing Multiple Data Sets

Day 2

14:00 Analyzing data
14:45 Break
15:00 Data Wrangling with dplyr
15:45 5 minutes question break
15:50 Data Wrangling with dplyr and tidyr
16:50 Post-session survey

Day 3

14:00 Data Visualisation with ggplot2
14:45 Break
15:00 Data Visualisation with ggplot2
16:00 Open session for questions and discussion of the graph gallery
End Post-workshop survey


To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need access to software as 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.

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.

Video Tutorial

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.