Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who is R?

After several years of using R to do various tasks from simple t-tests to much larger data sets I think I finally understand who R is.

R is like the computers of yesteryear, it does what you tell it, and only what you tell it, period. If you want more than the minimal amount of output, you have to ask for it. But it also has a bit of an attitude, for example, instead of outputting the type 3 sums of squares in ANOVA like virtually every other statistical package, it outputs the type 1 sums of squares by default. Why you might ask? The reason is because they want you to first think about what type of sums of squares you want, so by default they give you the one that isn't the most commonly used one. Hence R has a steep learning curve, which after several years I am still trying to surmount.

Enough talk, time for some code in the next post.

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