Crash Course in R Programming

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

Have you ever wondered how scientists and business leaders use data to answer important questions? By the end of this crash course in programming, you will be able to read and write code and apply this knowledge to help you understand and visualize data. The goal of this course is to learn how to program using R, a popular, user-friendly programming language for statistics and data visualization that is great for beginners! No prior programming experience is expected.

Data drives the modern world. Whether you are interested in the stock market, politics, healthcare, e-commerce, or science, data helps leaders in these fields understand the world, find problems, and create solutions. Modern computing allows for the collection of massive amounts of data - over 912,500,000,000 gigabytes of data every year and accelerating annually. However, understanding what to do with this data or how to do it remains challenging. This course will focus on learning the R statistical programming language and using R to understand data. Throughout the course, students will not only learn the fundamental concepts of programming and skills required to understand data, but will also observe numerous examples of how data helps professionals understand behavior and answer critical real-world questions. Programming and statistics are tools that will allow students to take data and represent it in meaningful, easily digestible ways. These tools will help students succeed in numerous, high-demand fields. This is an introductory crash course and students are not expected to know anything about programming or data beforehand.

At the beginning of every class, students will learn about a data challenge from a new field. Class time will alternate between interactive lectures and individual, small group, and large group coding exercises. Nightly assignments will challenge students to apply new skills to different problems. During the last class, students will choose a final data challenge to solve and present their solutions to the class.

By the end of the course, students will learn about R programming, data, and graphical representation. These skills will be acquired through daily lessons and nightly assignments. R programming skills will include fundamental programming concepts, basic math, conditional statements, loops, and basic functions. Data skills will include reading, writing, editing, and describing data. Graphical representation skills will include histograms, charts, and maps. These skills will help students better understand the data they encounter in everyday life and prepare them for college-level courses in fields ranging from computer science to psychology to economics.

Prerequisites: This is an introductory programming course and does NOT require prior knowledge of computer science or statistics.

Preferred: Algebra II

Course Information

  • Course Code: CECS0914
  • Length: 1 week

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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