Course description

This short course runs for four weeks beginning in the second week of the quarter and is offered in fall and spring. It is recommended for students who want to use R in statistics, science or engineering courses, and for students who want to learn the basics of data science with R. The goal of the short course is to familiarize students with some of the most important R tools for data science. Lectures will focus on learning by example and assignments will be application-driven. No prior programming experience is assumed.

At the end of this class you should be able to:

Some things that you will not learn from this class:


Instructor: Evan Rosenman (rosenman (AT) stanford (dot) edu)

Office hours: Wednesdays 3-4pm, Sequoia Hall Library.

Communication: Please direct all questions regarding class materials, logistics and assignments to Piazza.


  1. Introduction to R: variables and data structures.
  2. Visualizing data.
  3. Importing and transforming data.
  4. Exploratory data analysis.
  5. Statistics in R: modeling, testing and predicting.
  6. Tidying data and relational data.
  7. Communicating with R Markdown.
  8. R as a programming language: syntax, flow control, iteration, functions.

Optional textbook

“R for Data Science” by Garrett Grolemund and Hadley Wickham. Available for free at

Course prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites. However, some statistics knowledge and prior programming experience is encouraged.

Course policy

Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit (participation: 10%, homework: 40%, final project: 50%).

There will be one problem set, assigned the first week of class and due during the third week of class. You are also expected to submit a final project (in groups of up to 4 students). You are free to choose a topic for your final projects. Please submit a title and a one-paragraph summary/abstract for your intended project during the third week of class.

Honor code

Please review the CS honor code, which binds students enrolled in this course.

Students with disabilities

Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty. Unless the student has a temporary disability, Accommodation letters are issued for the entire academic year. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, URL: