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Experience with R

Random Variable

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 31, 2012
253
I'm finding R to be the most frustrating mathematical computing language ever.

A program that I wrote in Maple in about 10 minutes took me a whole afternoon to figure out how to write in R. I became so frustrated that I was cursing and throwing things at my computer.

I'm taking a modeling class in which we are being forced to use R. I tried to turn in assignments written in Maple and Matlab, and the professor basically told me to take those assignments and shove them somewhere.

I've never taken a class in which you were forced to use a particular programming language unless that class was specifically about learning a particular programming language.

Have any of you programmed in R?
 

mathbalarka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 22, 2013
573
I have tried a bit of an R lately.

It's too unhandy, takes a lot of a code to get short result. It's better for graphics, though, I have seen a 3-page code wrote out to draw an Ulam-like spiral.

Note that I didn't try R rigorously, just took a look at it. So, you might find it easier if you practice it.
 

Random Variable

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 31, 2012
253
My frustration mainly stems from being forced to use R. We never discussed how to program in R. We spent one class going over basic commands and that was it.
 
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mathbalarka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 22, 2013
573
My frustration mainly stems from being forced to use R. We never discussed how to program in R. We spent one class going over basic commands, and that was it.
R is basically a programming language for statistical computation and graphical attacks. I am not sure what they tells you to do with R, since integral computations and analysis on R is no match with Maple.

For commands, you'll have to understand that by yourself. If you have a good knowledge on pseudocode construction and all the commanding ability of R, it would be easier to do that. You might occasionally want to see some worked out examples of coding in R to understand how it works. At least, that was how I learned to program in PARI/GP.

PS : Also, interaction with a decent computer programmer might be helpful.

Balarka
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Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,040
It's interesting you made this thread because I am also just starting to work with R. Haven't actually done anything with it yet but my next homework assignment is completely about R, so I'll get some practice in soon. Hope it's not as bad as you say! :p
 

zzephod

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2013
134
I'm finding R to be the most frustrating mathematical computing language ever.

A program that I wrote in Maple in about 10 minutes took me a whole afternoon to figure out how to write in R. I became so frustrated that I was cursing and throwing things at my computer.

I'm taking a modeling class in which we are being forced to use R. I tried to turn in assignments written in Maple and Matlab, and the professor basically told me to take those assignments and shove them somewhere.

I've never taken a class in which you were forced to use a particular programming language unless that class was specifically about learning a particular programming language.

Have any of you programmed in R?
If I were teaching a course that required a computational component I would want to avoid the use of commercial software (even on an academic or student licence). So if I don't use a package myself I am not going to mark assignments handed in using it.

(Student licences on software are a marketing ploy to lock people into using such packages when they leave education when they will charge 10 times the price for something that is available for free - usually curtsy of the hacker, educational or research community)

Also R is highly thought of in the statistical computing community and will be a marketable skill when students graduate.

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Random Variable

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 31, 2012
253
If I were teaching a course that required a computational component I would want to avoid the use of commercial software (even on an academic or student licence). So if I don't use a package myself I am not going to mark assignments handed in using it.

(Student licences on software are a marketing ploy to lock people into using such packages when they leave education when they will charge 10 times the price for something that is available for free - usually curtsy of the hacker, educational or research community)

Also R is highly thought of in the statistical computing community and will be a marketable skill when students graduate.

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I disagree. But since I'm sensing some hostility being directed towards me, I'm not going to offer a counterargument. I don't want it to blow up into something nasty.
 

zzephod

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2013
134
I disagree. But since I'm sensing some hostility being directed towards me, I'm not going to offer a counterargument. I don't want it to blow up into something nasty.
There is no hostility being directed at you (if there is any it is directed at certain commercial purveyors of mathematical software who abuse their position in the market).

I also take the view that mathematical and scientific software should be free at the point of use.


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