A History of R




July 22, 2020


Tomorrow (July 23, 2020 ) I am speaking on the history of the R statistical software environment as part of a virtual panel for a Lunch & Learn. I like how they used “featuring” in the announcement. It is like I am a hip-hop star! The title of my talk is, A History of R (in 15 minutes…and mostly in pictures).

R @ 25 Lunch & Learn: Understanding the Landscape of the Popular Free/Open Source Statistics Software
Featuring Andrew Zieffler, Ph.D. (EPSY); Alicia Hofelich Mohr, Ph.D. (LATIS); Ethan C. Brown, Ph.D. (RMCC), and Jeffrey K. Bye, Ph.D. (EPSY/RMCC)

Co-sponsored by RMCC and LATIS

Abstract: The R statistical software environment has a large international community, powerful data-management and visualization tools, implements cutting-edge methods, and can be used to create beautiful web dashboards and customized reports. In this panel discussion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of R being licensed as open-source software, we will explore the growth of R from its humble beginnings as a project by two University of Auckland statistics professors to install S on a Macintosh computer to its current status as computational statistics lingua franca. We will also discuss how to navigate the large ecosystem of R packages including classic “base R”, the “tidyverse” and others. Finally, we will provide tips and resources on getting started learning R and also growing your R proficiency—including upcoming workshops and courses here at the U. This panel discussion is for everyone interested in learning more about R, but doesn’t assume any R experience.

References and Resources

First, my slides:

The slides include a long list of references, many of which are videos of talks by the people who appear in my slides. And believe me, they can tell their story better than I can. Unfortunately when I flattened the PDF the links no longer work, so I re-print them here with links. The new PDF should have working links!

History of S and R [video]

History of S and R [papers/slides/resources]