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Research Computing Services Intro to R Workshop
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Intro to R Workshop Materials

Northwestern IT Research Computing Services

Software and Files

R and RStudio Installation Instructions

This workshop assumes you have recent versions of R and RStudio - R 3.4 or later (ideally 3.5 or 3.6) and RStudio 1.1 or later. R and RStudio installation instructions.

Workshop Materials

How to get the materials depends on how you plan to access R and RStudio for the workshop.

Option 1: On your laptop

If you installed R and RStudio on your laptop, download all of the materials to your laptop. Click on the green Clone or Download button above, then download the repository as a ZIP file.

github download

Find the downloaded .zip file on your computer, likely in your Downloads folder. Unzip it - usually by double-clicking. This will create a directory called r-intro-summer2019-master. Move this somewhere on your computer where you'll be able to find it, like your Documents folder.

Double-click on rintro2019.Rproj to open the project. Or from RStudio, File menu > Open Project..., then navigate to the location of the file.

Option 2: RStudio Cloud

If you're using RStudio Cloud, go to and log in (or create an account if needed). Click on Your Workspace in the left Menu. Then make sure you are on the Projects tab, and click down arrow in the blue button for New Project. Choose the option of New Project from a Git Repo. The repo address is

rstudio cloud new project

This will copy all of the files from this repository into your new project. This will take a few moments to copy files from this repository. You'll then need to install packages listed on the handout.

You can use this space like you would your RStudio on own computer, except you can only access the files that are part of the project and save files within the project.

Option 3: Quest Analytics Nodes

If you're familiar with git, you can log in to Quest and clone the repository. Then connect to RStudio on the Quest Analytics Nodes and navigate to the directory. It's easier to find directories in /home than in /projects

Alternatively, you can download the files to your laptop, as in option 1 above, then transfer them to Quest via SFTP; save them somewhere in your /home directory, which is where you'll be by default when you connect to Quest via SFTP. Then navigate to the directory after you connect to RStudio on the Quest Analytics Nodes.

Open the workshops materials as a project in RStudio: File menu > Open Project..., then navigate to the location of the file.

Types of Files

The main materials are slides. Keynote and Powerpoint versions are available:

Exercises we do during the workshop are either in the slides or in .R files in the exercises directory.

Other Resources

An extensive list of good R resources can be found in the main R workshop repository.

The handouts for this workshop are from:

R Reference Card: lists many commonly used functions

RStudio Base R Cheat Sheet: syntax reference

Online reference for plotting for this workshop:

Base R Examples by David Gerard

R Base Graphics Cheat Sheet by Joyce Robbins

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