About the Book
This book covers different aspects of the use of the R language plus the languages behind some R packages, including the grammar of graphics implemented in package 'ggplot2' and the grammar of data manipulation implemented in the 'tidyverse' packages. I do not discuss here statistics, just R as a tool and language for data manipulation and display. The idea is for you to learn the R language like children learn a language: they work-out what the rules are simply by listening to people speak and trying to utter what they want to tell their parents. I do give explanations and highlight aspects that may differ from readers expectations, but the intention is mainly for you to use the numerous examples to find-out by yourself the overall patterns and coding philosophy behind the R language. Instead of parents being the sound board for your first utterances in R, the computer will play this role. You should look at and try to repeat the examples, and then try your own hand at modifying them and seeing how the computer responds, does it understand you or not? Then write something new based on your current understanding of the rules...
Are you in doubt about whether this approach will work or not for you? Just give it a try, you can download the book for free in you so wish.
At the moment this book is about 95% complete, but some of the existing text and examples will be revised before final release. Please, do give feedback.
The original datasets and files in formats foreign to R that are used in examples in the book are available in package 'learnrbook' available through CRAN.
Current version is up-to-date with ggplot2 2.2.1 and with several packages extending ggplot2 as released through CRAN, including my own 'ggpmisc' 0.2.15.
About the Author
I started using R in the late 1990's for the analysis of data from my own experiments. Shortly afterwards in 2001, I started teaching R at BSc and MSc level at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). I have developed several R packages of which nine are in CRAN , the public repository of R packages. Over the years I have written programs and scripts in about a dozen different languages.
I am currently a Lecturer in Physiological Plant Ecology and Principal Investigator at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Helsinki (Finland). The main focus of my research in on the study of the mechanisms of acquisition and use of information by plants: a field called 'Sensory Ecology of Plants'. I teach ecology, statistics and methods for reproducible research.