1  What is R?

R was a programming language that was designed specifically for the needs of statistics and data analysis.

-Hadley Wickham (Hermans 2021)

R is a statistical programming language used commonly for data analysis across a wide array of disciplines and industries. It’s often preferred over similar languages for it’s robust support of statistical analysis, the ease in which one is able to create beautiful graphics, and its open source nature among other reasons.

1.1 History

R was built by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the University of Auckland and was first released in 1993.

Robert Gentleman and Ross Ihaka “both had an interest in statistical computing and saw a common need for a better software environment in [their] Macintosh teaching laboratory. [They] saw no suitable commercial environment and [they] began to experiment to see what might be involved in developing one [them]selves.” (Ihaka 1998)

While R was officially first released in 1993, it wasn’t until 1995 that Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentlemann were convinced by Martin Mächler to release the source code freely (Ihaka 1998).

1.2 Resources