Re: R-alpha: Information

Peter Dalgaard BSA (
15 Jan 1997 12:03:11 +0100

To: Robert Gentleman <>
Subject: Re: R-alpha: Information
From: Peter Dalgaard BSA <>
Date: 15 Jan 1997 12:03:11 +0100
In-Reply-To: Robert Gentleman's message of Wed, 15 Jan 1997 14:38:07 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <>

Robert Gentleman <> writes:

>  1) Your Name/email
Peter Dalgaard

>  2) Institution
Dept. of Biostatistics
University of Copenhagen

>  3) What you're using R for

Right now? Debugging it... :^). Seriously, since it is still has a few
rough edges, it won't be a workhorse just yet, but the potential is

Teaching material (graphs). A little bit of consultancy (regression
analysis, contingency tables, nonparametrics (Kurt H.'s stuff)). We
have S-plus on our Suns, so for major stuff I use that, but for
work-at-home (Linux) I'll use R. Also, for development research code,
there is some extra flexibility in R that makes it attractive.

I'm currently planning a course in basic statistics for medical PhD
students and trying to see if I can make ends meet pedagogically if I
use R. This is a bit sticky, because of the low abstraction level of
the students. The strong sides of R is the small size and free
distribution and the immediate interactivity, which allows e.g.
demonstration of the concept of distributions, using "hist(rnorm(50))"
and simple interfaces to basic procedures (t.test and friends). The
flip side is the occasional abstractness of functional programming
issues and to some extent lack of reference documents. Also, I need a
Windows version...

>  4) How many users at your site (# of students if teaching).

Actively using R? Just me currently. Staff, incl. PhD students and
student assistants: 20, many of whom use S-plus and might use R at
home and for research code. Students (medical) attending PhD courses
have a flux of at least 70/year.

   O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3  
  c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N   
 (*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (             FAX: (+45) 35327907
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